From small beginnings over 30 years ago to our state of the art, £24 million processing facililty opened by the First Minister, Arlene Foster, in May 2016 ~ follow our unique story to understand why our guiding principals have never changed over the years, contributing not only to the success we have today, but also holding the key to our future...
1985 | The Early Days
Denis Lynn's guiding principal has always been to make a better product than anything else that was available. The foundations for the success of Finnebrogue Artisan started with the discovery of a humble french fry. Partially cooked in the factory, then chilled at 2°C, thet cooked up in just 90 seconds and tasted like fresh chips. Denis quickly became the largest customer of Lord Chips in Europe and was appointed agent for all of Ireland.
1996 | The Birth of Finnebrogue
After buying the Finnebrogue Estate in the early nineties, Denis decided to become a farmer - initially Been - the Venison, welcoming Red Deer to the state. Overnight Finnebrogue became the largest deer farm in the UK and Ireland, This began a journey for a real understanding of what makes meat taste superb and locking down tge guiding principals of 'farm to fork'.
Denis was breeding fantastic pure bred red deer, but somehow the end result, the beautiful lean meat, was not consistent. He knew travel and strange environments caused stress and at that point realised that to ensure perfect venison his deer had to be in their home environment until the very end of their lives. Denis consulted with the world’s experts and created the blueprint for Oisín Venison, that is still followed to the letter today and those strict quality values have been overlaid into everything we do.
2002 | Heston Blumenthal
Finnebrogue Oisín Venison soon attracted critical acclaim amongst some of the world’s best chefs. Over the years the likes of Rick Stein, Raymond Blanc and Paul Rankin have built dishes around our Finnebrogue venison, but when Heston Blumenthal called, we knew he’d be looking for something special.
2003 | M&S Venison
Caring about about an animals welfare for the duration of it’s life, including its end, encouraged us to build the best dear slaughter facility possible in the British Isles ~ and in just 4 months ~ starting a supply chain of Venison to Marks & Spencer still enjoyed today.
2005 | The First Bangers
We produced our first sausages, made to a unique process, locking in succulence and taste that has become our trademark.
Bernard Mense | Food Technologist / Mad Professor
Bernd Mense was, and remains, the perfect mentor and teacher for Finnebrogue. He was fundamental in teaching us to understand and deliver world leading structure and] succulence in all our products every time. Without his guidance we would not have achieved the industry leading quality for which we have become pronounce, and therefore this building would never have existed.
The Bowman family have milled in England since 1847, and supplied us with premium Gluten Free Crumb since making our first sausage.
Karro Food Group
Since sausage production started here at Finnebrogue, Karro Food Group has been our main supplier. As one of the UK’s leading meat processors, Karro source it’s assured pigs from across the UK and Ireland, from the rolling hills of North Yorkshire and Aberdeenshire to the six green counties of Northern Ireland. With their farming partners, Karro supply pork from a variety of production systems including Indoor & Outdoor Bred, Outdoor Reared, RSPCA Approved and Free Range.
2009 | M&S Artisan Sausages
When Marks & Spencer challenged us to make the best premium supermarket pork sausages in the UK, we created an outdoor bred, gluten-free, 97% pork sausage, with unique texture and succulence that surpasses even butchers’ sausages.
The Irish restauranteur, personality, TV chef and friend, known for his creativity and connection to the land. As a champion for artisan producers in Ireland and the UK, Paul Rankin came to us to produce an Irish sausage based on his traditional recipe, which became our first branded product, launching into Waitrose and Tesco.
2010 | The Good Little Company
What would happen if we took everything we knew about food production, animal welfare, sustainable packaging and healthy food and crammed it into meals that we’d be proud to serve our own families, whilst feeding others at the same time? Well, to answer that, The Good Little Company was born ~ great-tasting family sausages with no artificial colours, flavours or other nasties, 85% outdoor bred pork, reduced fat, reduced salt, using recycled cardboard for our packaging and with 50% of the profits helping to reduce poverty.
2011 | M&S Christmas
Our first Christmas with Marks & Spencer was a huge turning point for Finnebrogue Artisan, it’s when we really came into our own. At the time we only employed around 100 people with two operational lines, all hands on deck as we made our first stuffing packs and Venison centrepieces. It was a truly magical Christmas.
Jo Discombe | Meat Specialist and Innovator
Jo’s career in meat has spanned 30 years, from finding the passion for amazing meat as Saturday girl at Baxter’s, the butchers, to scouring the globe for amazing food that we can translate into the UK market. There is nothing she likes better, even now, than standing at the block ensuring that our meat quality is the best it can possibly be, and being creative in the kitchen with thoughtfully sourced and amazing ingredients.
2012 | Giving
The Good Little Company, in partnership with Christian Aid, successfully donated 20 million meals to families in Africa. The ‘Goodness for Everyone’ campaign meant that for every pack of Good Little Company sausages we sold, we gave someone in a developing country the means to grow themselves a meal every day for one week.
2013 | The Posh Dog
An overnight success, Britain’s poshest hot dog ~ an icon.
New and Continued Partnerships
Giving has always been at the heart of what we do at the Good Little Company, and we have chosen to donate specifically to children and young people’s charities at home and abroad partnering with new charities as we continue to grow.
2014 | Asda Extra Special
After months of development work, building a range of Extra Special Sausages for ASDA that we knew ASDA Mum’s would love, we received the news that we had won the business! The team here at Finnebrogue Artisan, with their passion for great food, developed a gluten free sausage full of succulence, each as delicious as the last.
2015 | Awards
Winning validation that the team
makes simply the best sausages.
2016 | The Future
In early 2016, Finnebrogue Artisan made the transition from ‘the factory’ at Finnebrogue Road to our new state of the art food processing facility in Down Business Park. With £24 million worth of investment the business has seen the workforce increase to 320. Our passionate team of foodies were determined to uphold all of our Artisan butchery values and premium sausage making heritage, whilst creating a facility to enable us to become the most efficient meat processors of the 21st century.