Belfast Telegraph

Liqueur firm boozing confidence after Turkish export deal

By Margaret Canning

A husband and wife liqueur business in Co Down is woozy with success after making export sales in Turkey.

Blackcurrant, cranberry and blackberry liqueurs from Boozeberries in Dromore will be sold in stylish bars in the capital Istanbul.

This achievement has boosted Boozeberries' goal of having 75% of its business in international markets by 2013.

Sales director and co-founder Barbara Hughes said Turkey had not been on its radar for export as she and her husband Stuart felt that as a Muslim country, it was not a viable market for alcohol.

But distributor Vodkar Ickler encouraged them to think again. Its liqueurs are already sold in Tesco and Sainsbury's in Northern Ireland and in numerous locations in the Republic.

Mrs Hughes said: "The initial approach came last November, and I decided to fly to Istanbul, which was the European City of Culture last year, to see for myself."

Her impressions were quickly reversed: "Istanbul has the highest percentage of young professionals in Europe. The city also has a great many excellent restaurants and stylish bars. The distributor loved our products and was very keen to represent us there.

"As a result of the contract with Vodkar, our complete range of liqueurs is now on sale in many of the city's style bars and in a number of high-end retail outlets."

Invest NI trade director Dr Vicky Kell praised Boozeberries' attitude to new markets.

She said: "The success is the outcome of the company responding quickly to a tentative inquiry from the distributor. The message from Boozeberries' new business is that there are opportunities for Northern Ireland companies in the most unexpected markets."