By SAM BUTLER
Prem Epice, a start-up business based in Londonderry, which was inspired by Indian cuisine after founder Antima Basu had a large crop of apples in her garden.
Originally from Rajasthan in India, she started experimenting making various chutney and pickle recipes from the applea.
In response to requests from family and friends, she wanted to develop a retail ready apple pickney product that could get into stores and/or markets.
Prem Epice required support to get the product shelf-ready, covering from initial production to finished product.
To assist with the development of her concept, Antima made contact with North West Regional College (NWRC) Business Support Centre (BSC), which supported her through the InnovateUs programme funded by the Department for the Economy.
NWRC Food Technology Technical Consultant Christina Perry provided 30 hours of upskilling support in recipe standardisation and development, understanding shelf-life, production upscale, labelling support, including ingredient declaration, nutritional and allergens info.
On completion of the project, Antima, with her love for both chutney and pickles, combined them to produce Apple Pickney, which are now supplied to two local Indian convenience shops in Derry city and a deli in Letterkenny.
Antima described the benefits of working with NWRC’s Business Support Centre via the InnovateUs programme: “I had thought about making my ideas a reality for some time and I was delighted with the support I received from Christina Perry at Foodovation, which helped to make it happen.
“The skilled knowledge and guidance provided on all aspects encouraged and enabled me to launch the product.
“I would recommend Foodovation to any business and feel the programmes offered by NWRC are extremely worthwhile and beneficial,” Antima adds.
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