Bord Bia Awards: Entrepreneur category

The Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards are designed to recognise and reward excellence in the Irish food and drinks industry. The finalists in the entrepreneur category: Bfree; Irish Atlantic Salt; and Pandora Bell, are profiled here



BFree is a speciality wheat and gluten-free manufacturer of bread, rolls and bakery products. Formed in 2011, the company has secured nationwide listings with all major retailers in Ireland, including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, and SuperValu within two years of trading. BFree also has national listings with Pallas Foods, LaRousse Foods and Cuisine de France.

In 2011, BFree set out with a vision of developing a gluten-free bakery product for the coeliac community. Following intensive global and domestic research, the company quickly established that the market was much wider than those who suffered from coeliac disease and intolerances. BFree adopted its proposition to become a trusted gluten-free brand that not only catered for wheat, gluten and dairy intolerances but also for those who choose gluten-free for a healthy lifestyle.


Irish Atlantic Salt was formed in 2009 by the O’Neill family in West Cork, to develop and produce the first Irish Atlantic organic gourmet sea salt range of products. Working with only Irish companies, Irish Atlantic Salt sources and uses the finest ingredients and partners here in Ireland to produce this high end range of blended sea salt products.

In 2013, with the completion of the salt production facility on the Beara Peninsula, the company began to explore other markets in Ireland and overseas. Since February, it has secured valuable listings with most of Ireland’s multiples, including Tesco and Dunnes Stores, while still maintaining a strong presence in the speciality food market, with customers such as Fallon & Byrne and Donnybrook Fair.

The company is targeting the lucrative Foodservice market in the UK.


Established in 2009, Pandora Bell is a boutique confectionery label based in the West of Ireland. The retail packaging is based on the 1930’s, and as a result the company uses all recyclable packaging including glass bottles, paper bags and cardboard boxes, while 99 per cent of the waste is also recycled. The company exports to the UK, Italy, Germany, Australia, China and Kuwait.

Pandora Bell’s focus is on “good ingredients” and all the colours and flavours in the company’s handmade sweets and lollipops are natural, while The Real Fruit Jellies contain 70 per cent fruit pulp. The company’s philosophy is that a high quality daily treat is a healthier and more satisfying way to enjoy sweet things, and as a result there are no artificial colours, preservatives or trans fats in Pandora Bell’s products.

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