Famous Cork Spiced beef distributed nationally

30 October 2012
By Bryan Smyth

English Market Butchers secures national contract

Tom Durcan Meats (based in Cork City Centre’s English Market), has secured a contract for €250,000 to exclusively supply SuperValu, Ireland’s leading independent supermarket network, with its award winning Spiced Beef, which is used in leading restaurants such as Chapter One.

The nationwide contract was secured following a pilot scheme across SuperValu’s Cork stores, where the well-known local delicacy surpassed all sales expectations. The product will now go on sale in 150 SuperValu stores across the country. The company’s cooked sliced spiced beef recently won a bronze medal at the Blas na hEireann, Irish Food Awards.

Commenting about the contact, Tom Durcan said: “*This is a fantastic opportunity to offer my award-winning Spiced Beef to the whole country and I am very grateful to SuperValu for giving me this opportunity*. *Made with my own secret spice cure, it is sure to whet the appetite of dinner tables across the country. Four tonnes of our Spiced Beef is sold across the counter at our stall in the English Market in Cork during the Christmas period alone. I expect its popularity to multiply now having secured this contract with SuperValu.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, added: “*This contract with Tom Durcan Meats is another sign of our unwavering commitment to Irish suppliers*. *As the biggest supporter of the Irish food industry based on the amount SuperValu purchases from Irish suppliers, this is an example of how we help small Irish local food companies build a national footprint, and I sure this well-known Cork delicacy will soon have pride of place on many tables across the Country. This listing also helps us drive forward our SuperValu strategy to expand our range of speciality meats, with a focus on artisan Irish producers, and to provide high quality authentic products at affordable prices.”

SuperValu is the only retailer to source 100% of its meat from Ireland. All its beef, lamb, pork, bacon and chicken is born, bred and reared in Ireland, representing €183 million in retail sales or the equivalent of 95,000 cattle, 90,000 lambs and 12.5m chickens. Kantar Market Data reports that SuperValu retains the largest market share of the beef, lamb and pork market in Ireland.

SuperValu only stocks ‘Grade 1’ meat and ‘Class 1’ fruit and vegetables, ensuring consumers are provided with the best of Irish produce whenever possible. In addition, SuperValu also has the biggest network of qualified butchers, with our 400 butchers employed across our network of 194 stores.

In 2011 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.6bn to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector. SuperValu is the only supermarket with a store in every county, with 194 stores across Ireland.

About Tom Durcan Meats

Tom Durcan Meats butcher shop, founded in 1985, is located next to the fountain in Cork’s Old English Market, a historical landmark building in Cork city centre.

Tom Durcan is a craft butcher with over twenty five years experience. Tom’s career in butchery began as a youngster. For three years running, Tom took a job in Jim Kidney’s butcher shop in Carrigaline, during school holidays. The experience proved invaluable. Jim was an experienced butcher with his own slaughterhouse – and provided a ‘fantastic education’ for the young novice in how to source animals and the ground rules for good butchery. It was here Tom first learned how to spice beef, from a recipe Jim had been using forever. Twenty-one years later, Tom still uses it as a basis for his own spiced beef joints, which he is famed for.

As a young butcher, a three-month stint in Denmark taught Tom how to cure and smoke meats – valuable experience which remains with him today. His first business opportunity on home turf came a little later, with the renting of premises in Douglas, on the city boundaries. From here he supplied large contractors including the Irish Army and Department of Marine. Fate intervened one Saturday morning though, when strolling through the English Market, in the heart of Cork city, Tom spotted a unit for rent. Feeling the need to get back into selling directly to the public from a real butcher’s shop, he took on the unit, where he works from today. Durcan’s butcher’s stall is situated at the Princes street entrance, right by the famous market fountain. Customers include enthusiastic home cooks, housewives, food celebrities and the chefs of the city.

Tom Durcan is proud to be associated with the Craft Butchers Association of Ireland and Cork Business Association.  He has won three Associated Craft Butchers Awards and two Blas na hEireann, Irish Food Awards.

Tom Durcan Meats guarantees that all its meat is of the highest quality and is locally sourced, specially butchered, and used by the best restaurants in country. Tom Durcan’s ethos is to always have fresh, Irish sourced prime quality meat available.

The beef at Tom Durcan Meats come from Irish cattle that are less than two years old and maize fed for at least three months. He also stocks, prize winning Irish Hereford beef, renowned for its rich flavour. All stocks are butchered and aged accordingly, with prime cuts being dry aged up to 28 days.

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