Poots samples a ‘true gelato’ in Ballyclare

Poots samples a ‘true gelato’ in Ballyclare

Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has visited True Gelato in Ballyclare, which has received £6,875 from the Department’s Micro Food Business Investment Scheme.

This funding has enabled the business to purchase equipment which will enhance its product offering and embrace market expansion.

Speaking at the visit, Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to visit this business and be able to see first-hand the benefits that this funding has brought to it. I am very impressed that the funding provided to Karl and Ryan Wilson, under my Department’s Micro Food Business Investment Scheme, will enable their business to increase the quantity of its products being sold to the retail or distribution industry particularly outside of Northern Ireland.

“This project demonstrates what support can do for businesses and how it can assist with their growth plans. I congratulate you and wish you both continued success in the future.”

Karl and Ryan Wilson, joint owners of True Gelato said: “Award winning True Gelato has been producing its own gelato, sorbet, and gelato cakes, which are free from additives, preservatives, colourings, and palm oil, since 2017. Indeed, we are particularly proud of winning six awards in 2020, one of which was ‘Best Vanilla in the UK’.

“The funding from DAERA will help us achieve increased throughput by at least 80% over the next 2-3 years, as part of the projected growth for our business. As a result, there will also be associated savings in production costs.

“The equipment will also enable us to increase the number of customers we will be able to supply with our products thereby increasing the demand for more locally produced milk. It is therefore a pleasure to welcome Minister Poots here so that he can see for himself how the funding will greatly benefit our business.”

The Micro Food Business Investment Scheme was a pilot scheme that aimed to support existing micro food and drink manufacturing businesses who were processing local primary agricultural produce i.e., food or ingredients farmed or grown in Northern Ireland, to produce a new product; enhance an existing product; expand a product range; or produce more of an existing product.

The purpose of the grant was to enable businesses to commence supplying to the retail or distribution industry; or increase the quantity of products being sold to the retail or distribution industry; or move into sales outside of Northern Ireland.

The pilot Scheme provided financial capital grant assistance for new equipment/machinery. The Scheme is now closed with funding of £191k committed with all projects to be completed by the 31 March 2022.

The pilot was one of a number delivered to inform the development of a new Rural Policy Framework. The pilot scheme will be evaluated, and learning used in the design and delivery of the New Rural Business and Community Investment Programme.

Caption: Minister Poots is pictured with Karl and Ryan Wilson at True Gelato in Ballyclare.