By SAM BUTLER
North Coast Smokehouse in Ballycastle has joined the international Économusée of artisans at work. The company, a Food NI member, is the seventh artisan business here to become an integral part of the network which is supported by the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT).
North Coast Smokehouse specialises in handcrafted hot smoked goods produced in small batches using organic salmon. Each batch is individually and lovingly monitored by the founder and managing director Ruairidh Morrison and wife Melanie, also a founder director of the small business.
The company cures salmon as well as sea salt, black pepper and dried dulse.
The smoke for curing the award-winning salmon in particular is produced the old fashioned way, by simply burning small quantities of wood. Liquid-smokes, paints or dyes are not used.
The company’s inclusion within the network was announced by local celebrity chef Paula McIntyre.
The Économusée project provides a network for artisans to develop and combine culture, craft and tourism, creating an economic interacting platform from which these artists can encourage the promotion and development of traditional crafts, involving local communities and creating new job opportunities, in some instances allowing younger family members to share, develop and enhance the crafts and techniques of their ancestors.
By visiting the Économusée artisan workshops, tourists and locals gain an enhanced experience, learn about the history of the craft and the business, the enthusiasm of the artist along with the added opportunity of meeting the artisans face to face and discovering the beauty and authenticity of the products made and sold onsite.
Économusée project is funded by Interreg VB Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020.
The main objective is to develop services to support and foster local small businesses in order for them to not only survive, but to prosper.
Économusée food sector members include Broighter Gold in Limavady; Broughgammon Farm in Ballycastle; Ursa Minor Bakehouse, Ballycastle; and Hillstown Brewery, Ahoghill, were selected in August 2015 to join the Network and were officially launched as an Économusée in 2017.
The six workshops are open all year round with artisans offering tailored individual and pre-booked group tours and are an ideal suitable wet weather attraction.
n The Économusée concept (meaning ‘economic/working museum’) was developed in Québec, Canada. Its mission is to promote and keep alive traditional crafts and knowledge, whilst ensuring economic growth within rural communities.