By SAM BUTLER
Cloud Corn popcorn from Food Stories is now being enjoyed by shoppers in the Netherlands.
Belfast-based Food Stories has won its first sales in the Netherlands for its sweet and salty flavour share bags from Stach Food, which is based in Amsterdam and has a 19-strong network of stores across the country.
Stach is a leading retailer of gourmet and luxury foods, including snack and convenience products.
Founded by managing director Michael Heaslip in 2014, Food Stories is now developing business for its Cloud Corn popcorn and Pinkfinch fruit and vegetable crisps in international markets. It also recently lined up business in markets as diverse as Canada and Belgium.
The latest business also follows the participation of Food Stories in international food trade shows.
Commenting on the new sales in the Netherlands, Mr Heaslip says: “Stach is a respected and innovative food store chain, a network on a par with the UK’s Whole Foods.
“It is, therefore, a great first account for us in this important marketplace and will, hopefully, open up further business for our popcorn and crisps in the Netherlands in the near future.
“A lot of the supermarkets look to Stach for new product ideas,” he adds.
The store chain was attracted by Cloud Corn’s features which include being gluten-free, high in fibre, and suitable for vegans.
Starting five years ago selling food products to independent retailers in Northern Ireland, Food Stories has evolved as a product development and marketing business exploiting business opportunities in international markets from the significant growth in popcorn and healthy snacks.
As part of his focus on exports, Mr Heaslip decided that all the nutritional information on the packaging should be in six languages – English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Italian.
The small company is also the first Northern Ireland food producer to win business in French Polynesia. It currently employs four people.