Local Wicklow cheesemaker among this year’s Grow with ALDI finalists

Following an extensive nationwide search, ALDI has selected a talented, dynamic group of Irish entrepreneurs as this year’s Grow with ALDI finalists. 

Among this year’s 24 finalists is Wicklow Cheese Company, a local cheesemaker John Hempenstall, based in the South East of Co. Wicklow who produce delicious 100% Irish cheeses. The business will see its delicious Ballykilty Baking Brie €3.49 go on sale in ALDI stores nationwide for a two-week period starting May 25th. 

Undertaken in partnership with Bord Bia, Grow with ALDI is now in its sixth year and invites suppliers from across the island of Ireland to back their passion and take their business to the next level. An industry-led programme, it offers practical mentorship and invaluable retail support to help nurture small to medium-sized Irish businesses, setting them up for long-term success. First launched in 2018, the scheme has seen ALDI invest more than €8 million into championing over 230 producers and give Irish produced unrivalled access to Irish consumers, ensuring they can grow and thrive in the Irish market. 

Speaking about being selected as a finalist for this year’s Grow with ALDI competition, John Hempenstall of Wicklow Cheese Co. said: “We are so excited to be taking part in this year’s Grow with ALDI programme. ALDI is a long-time supporter of Irish producers, and it means the world to have our own Baked Brie stocked in ALDI stores nationwide. We thank ALDI for their support and encouragement to date and we look forward to seeing our product in the fridge of our local supermarket!” 

Speaking about the programme, Laura Harper, Buying Director at ALDI Ireland said: “We are thrilled to reveal the 2023 Grow with ALDI finalists, following an incredible standard of applicants for this year’s programme. Championing Irish food and suppliers is so important to us here at ALDI. We look forward to supporting the suppliers throughout their journey in the programme, alongside our partner, Bord Bia, as they launch in 157 stores nationwide.”

Commenting on the programme, Gillian Willis, Project Manager at Bord Bia, said: “Bord Bia is pleased to support the Grow with Aldi programme, which is once again giving innovative Irish suppliers the opportunity to promote their food and drink products nationwide to Aldi customers.”

This year’s Grow with ALDI finalists span 15 counties across all four provinces, from Antrim to Kerry and Dublin to Galway, and include a variety of daring, innovative products. From artisan ketchup and plant-based chicken to scented candles and female-specific nutritional supplements, there is much to discover among this year’s finalists. Successful applicants were assessed and selected based on their passion, the quality of their produce and their entrepreneurial spirit. Bold, brave and unafraid to take risks, they are testament to the boundless creativity and innovation that exists in Ireland today and represent the best of Irish. 

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