Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Coleraine company's 'Christmas in a cup' at Harrods

A Coleraine company will be selling its Hot Toddy in Harrods this Christmas.

The Good Food & Wine Company was founded by Nicholas and Michelle Lestas in 2011.

Describing the beverage as 'Christmas in a cup', Mr Lestas said the company will be holding tasting sessions in the store this month for customers.

Previously, the company provided smoked salmon with Irish whiskey and blackberry jam with 23 carat gold for the St Patrick's Day celebratory lunch at the Irish Embassy in Brasilia, an event attended by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness during their visit to Brazil to promote investment and trade exchanges.

The company has also won UK Great Taste Awards for several products and has run pop-up shops selling its range of Christmas hampers in the departures lounge at the George Best Belfast City Airport and in stores at the Titanic centre.

The new business was won after the company took part in a Meet the Buyer event organised by Invest NI in London and its 'Hot Toddy' drink, a non-alcoholic spiced apple juice, ended up being a hit with the high-end retailer in London's Knightsbridge.

Nicholas Lestas said that winning such important business is a massive boost for the company and gives a platform from which to market other food and drink including smoked salmon, juices and jams.

"The deal follows extensive discussions with Harrods over the past few months," he said.

"Invest NI's encouragement and introduction to a buyer from Harrods was extremely important in enabling us to reach a key decision maker quickly."

The company has received a range of support from Invest NI, including research and development assistance for product development, technical advice and marketing support.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest Northern Ireland trade director, welcomed the deal.

"This is an immensely encouraging success for a small and ambitious company that is keen to grow its business outside Northern Ireland," she said.

"Our Meet the Buyer events help companies to benefit from the relationships that we have developed with key decision makers in major retailers."