Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Hampers to Ireland

Happy Christmas to all our readers and customers.

With only 15 days to go until Christmas Day, hundreds of Irish Gourmet hampers are being dispatched. This year we have a selection of over 60 baskets, but the selection will gradually reduce as varieties sell out.

Heavy sales of Battle of the Biscuits means it will be withdrawn shortly. There is also heavy pressure on Great Taste Award Winner Silver edition, Christmas Wine Celebration and 100% Alcohol Free.

In spite of this Irish Gourmet has never emailed a customer with a week remaining before Christmas to advise them that they are unable to fulfil their customers order. Invariably we are the company that people in NI and the ROI find when they are let down by others.

We advise customers to order as early as possible as this gives us time to adjust inventory and if you are reading this and can only see a reduced selection, there is a reason for this and we hope you'll visit us again in the future.

Irish Gourmet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exciting New Irish Gourmet Website

The Irish Gourmet is thrilled to annouce that our fab new website was recently launched, just in time for the busy Christmas period.

The old website served us well over the years, but we thought a Spring (or Autumn) clean was in order. The new site has the look & feel of a traditional Irish Shop, selling wonderful Irish artisan produce. As well as this attractive new look we have also amended the categories to make searching even easier for our customers. A bit like re-arranging the layout of a shop! There is also an improved search facilty, if you would like to see all gift baskets containing 'brie cheese' or 'dark chocolate' for example.

A lot of our customers send our gift baskets to friends & family abroad, so the decision was made to arrange out baskets according to where they can be shipped to.

1) Great Britain & Ireland
2) USA, Canada & International
3) Germany, France & Europe

These sections are further sub-divided into 'Christmas', 'All Year Round Hampers' (i.e - birthday, get well, thank you gifts, and 'Shop by Price'.

As well as making browsing easier for our customers, there have also been improvements behind the scenes. These improvements will help us improve automation, like stock management and order processing.

We know a lot of our customers are repeat customers, who had previously created accounts with Irish Gourmet. As we have moved platforms, unfortunately your email address & log in details will no longer be recognised as a returning customer. Please don't think you are doing anything wrong. We have records of all past orders though, if you would like to check what gift basket you ordered last year. Creating a new account is quick & easy, and your billing & shipping addresses will be stored for future orders again. Other shopping cart improvements include the calender & the ability to input multiple shipping addresses under 1 order, is shortly being introduced.

We hope you enjoy shopping on the new Irish Gourmet site. Please let us know your thoughts or suggestions. Our Christmas 2009 hampers and gift baskets are available to buy now & we look forward to helping you with your Christmas gifts.

The IG Team

Friday, September 11, 2009

Christmas Presents in Dublin Ireland

The proliferation of cross border traffic over the past few years due to the rising difference in the cost of living between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic has presented the Irish consumer with a fantastic opportunity when it comes to sourcing Christmas presents and gifts within Ireland.

By no stretch of the imagination can Irish Gourmet be considered a large company, but we are located in Northern Ireland and as a result can take advantage of All Ireland Courier rates.

The advantages of an Irish Gourmet Hamper as a Christmas Gift or present are numerous.
1) The value and quality of our hampers are the best in Europe. But don't just take our word for that, take some time to look around other companies within Europe delivering to Dublin.

2) We only do hampers as presents. Nothing else, so as a result the attention to detail and what goes in them is of absolute importance to us. A recent enquiry from England wanted us to do their Irish deliveries, but compared us to a traditional English hamper company. They counted items and weights and said we needed to do better. Unfortunately this is not our ethos. You cannot compare a Christmas Pudding baked by Ireland's Master Baker and a low cost volume brand made for the British supermarkets.

3) Sales tax in the north is 15%, whilst in the republic it is 21%. Minimum wage in the south is 50% higher than in the North.

4) Technically speaking the most Irish Hamper company in the world is Irish Gourmet. We buy organic salmon from Cork, chocolates from Galway, sweet gourmet items from Wicklow and cooked ham from Donegal. We combine with Northern Irish product likes to create a 100% Irish product, excluding the wicker basket of course.

So when you are searching for a Christmas gift to send to friends or relatives in Dublin, take a look at what has to offer and be pleasantly surprised at the low cost, high value present you will be able to send.

Irish Gourmet

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Irish Gourmet hasn't had time to do much blogging recently over the Summertime. With extensive logistical preparations for Christmas, a premises re-organisation, a brief trip to the Ardeche region of France and the annual visit to the Speciality Food Fair in London to tell you all about over the next month, the poor fellow has neglected his blogging duties.

We will post shortly with news about what's new and what is out of the 2009 Irish Gourmet Hamper Range.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Mr Gourmet has a meeting tomorrow with the representatives of Frank Design, which is a fancy design company in Ireland. They are going to tell us everything that is wrong with the web-site and create a new vision for the company.

However, we have a clear direction where we want to take the Irish Gourmet website and we think customers are going to really love it. It will be like no other web site in Ireland. It will be an artistic masterpiece. It will be everything you could ever want. It will be the finest hamper company website in Northern Ireland. All we need is a little time to roll it out.

Functionality will be massively improved with new javascript shopping carts and navigational array. Alongside this, we have completely new photography.

Information wise, we'll provide all the information you need to make a purchasing decision. There will be discussions with the artisan manufacturers. We'll even compare our products to competitors within Ireland.

Basically our objective is that if you're a looking for a hamper delivered within Northern Ireland or originating from the Emerald Isle, then it will be impossible to look beyond Irish Gourmet Hampers.

In the meantime, Irish Gourmet has a summer-time slant to it. By the Autumn or Fall, it will be transformed and ready to create the Ultimate Christmas Hamper of our customers dreams.

Mr I Gourmet

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We're doing our Independence Day and Canada Day range of hampers to celebrate the 4th of July and 1st of July respectively. We are aware of a few gatherings across Ireland for the celebrations. In Belfast there is an Independence Day Party at the US Consulate, whilst in Groomsport there is the Eagle Wing festival.

The following is taken from There are some great pictures on tyhe site of last years parade with the big American cars and the strange sight of so many star spangled banners flying in a small coastal village.

The Eagle Wing

The Eagle Wing Festival celebrates our links with America during the 4th of July celebrations. In 1636 an emigration ship called Eagle Wing sailed out of Groomsport taking 140 Presbyterians in search of a new life in the New World.

Although they did not reach their destination and were forced to return home after two months at sea, the Eagle Wing was the spark that lit the flame of emigration to the New World. Since then several million people have left these shores, taking with them their culture and traditions. We have become familiar with American Culture, but in Groomsport there is special reason to celebrate it.

The Festival aims to foster good Community Relations between neighbours, whether they live next door or 3,000 miles away in America. The event includes open-air concerts, a carnival parade, talks and workshops and much more.

The 2009 party starts at 7pm in Groomsport.

Canada Day or Dominion Day is on Wednesday 1st July. Obviously with a much smaller population, there are fewer of their citizens in the UK and Ireland. Get togethers to celebrate the Day appear to be at house parties or bars.

Happy Independence Day and Canada Day to all our cousins and relatives in the States and Canada.

The Irish Gourmet

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Northern Ireland Hamper

We've been asked by a number of people to put together a Northern Ireland Hamper. Obviously as the top Gourmet Hamper company in Northern Ireland they approached Irish Gourmet.

To be honest we are finding it quite difficult to assemble a hamper made of exclusively Northern Irish products. The main difficulty we are experiencing is in the chocolate department. The reason for this is that we buy most of our chocolate from the Irish Republic.

We have found chocolate to be one of those difficult products to judge. For instance when does a gourmet product stop being a gourmet product and become a retail product.
Naturally we want to showcase Irish and Northern Irish products, but if those products are too expensive without having a clear quality advantage, then it is difficult to sanction their inclusion solely on regional bias.

We'd like to hear from companies in Ulster which produce chocolates and lollipops. In the past we have encountered certain Irish companies produce such high quality and imaginative products that their products simply demand inclusion in our hampers. The companies which spring to mind are Wicklow Fine Foods and Skelligs Chocolates.

Both these companies packaging is not great, but the product quality is astounding. We keep on using them because customers who recieve them often write to us expresssing their surprise that such a high quality product was included in their hamper.

The problem is when too much money is spent on packaging and the product moves out of a particular price bracket. In the Irish Gourmet's opinion companies must consider packaging to be an advertising cost and not a product cost for at least the first 2 years as the main advantage to pretty packaging is its ability to position a product in anticipation of future sales.

The other difficult thing to source is Irish wine. We've had the obvious suggestions such as Irish owned vineyards in France or Australia. But we have never gone down that route. In our opinion everybody knows that the Irish and British can't make decent wine at a competitive price, so we use New World Wine from places like Margaret River or the Adelaide Hills. Places which we know make great wine and we don't need to pay a taste testing panel of wine experts to confirm it. Are we making some seriously wrong assumptions?

We'd love to hear from any chocolate producers or wine producers in the UK, Ireland and especially Northern Ireland who can dispel our opinions and hope that somebody reading this can prove that we are clearly mistaken in our beliefs.

The Irish Gourmet

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Balmoral Show May 2009

Irish Gourmet Hampers were presented to two members of the Northern Ireland Assembly at the recent Balmoral Show held in Belfast. Pictured below is Michelle Shirlow of NI Good Food presenting a Taste of Northern Ireland to Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Fein (MP, MLA) who is the Minister for Agriculture & Rural Development in Northern Ireland.

Also receiving a Hamper was Arlene Foster MLA of the Democratic Unionist Party, who is the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

We hope that both minister enjoy their hampers which include award winning products made in Ulster. If you wish to read more about NIgoodfood at the Balmoral Show, please visit

Friday, June 12, 2009

Update on New Irish Gourmet

Hello, we recently found the password for this little blog and decided to resurrect it. Exciting things are happening with this little company as the brand is due to be revamped over the next few months.

Irish Gourmet was set up to compliment our very first web-site which was Basketsgalore. Originally the site was meant to be the create-your-own food hamper division. Thus when people wanted to change our hampers and baskets on Basketsgalore, we would direct them towards Irish Gourmet and they would select their own items.

The concept proved successful and the website grew enormously in popularity.

Over the past 2 years it became increasingly difficult to maintain such a complex website. So many products needed to be updated with regards to imagery and pricing. The Euro/Sterling exchange was in a state of constant fluctuation and the group's priorities lay elsewhere.

However, the site has continued to gradually grow in popularity over the past 2 years, it now fills a niche in the market catering for a mostly domestic clientelle. Existing customers keep returning to us and new ones join our client list through word of mouth recommendation.

We're keen to modernise the experience and offer ever increasing value, so we'll be launching a new version of IrishGourmet shortly and look forwrad to hearing what our customers think.