Backyard at Blas takes to the road

In 2020 events and planning were well underway for Backyard at Blas when the pandemic struck, and the sessions were moved online. After a two year hiatus from meeting in-person, Backyard at Blas is now back on the road and bringing Blas na hÉireannn’s innovative networking and learning programme to Irish food producers as part of a super charged event on Thursday 27th April in The Naul Village, Co. Dublin.

Designed to bring the country’s food producing community together in a relaxed and informal setting to mingle, share experiences and gather insights into running a business, the day will be split into two sessions and feature a number of leading industry speakers who are passionate about offering support and advice to established  & start up businesses.

The first session will take place from 9.30am at The Séamus Ennis Arts Centre and will focus on strategic positioning, knowing your brand and strategically thinking about the best channel for your product, followed by a deep dive into your sales channels – the challenges involved, from initial meetings with buyers, through to the logistics of expanding your delivery network.

This morning session will also include presentations and panel discussions hosted by Annie Dunne, The Art of Grate Food who brings with her 22 years experience innovating in luxury food retail, including being part of the Food Leadership team, who led the redevelopment of the iconic & world renowned Harrods Food Halls and Malachy O’Connor who runs Food First Consultancy and has extensive experience of retail in Ireland having worked with Dunnes, Superquinn, Spar & Aldi. Also joining the panel is Oonagh Monahan, a consultant and mentor who to date, has mentored over 350 food and drink start-ups, many of which are now on supermarket shelves and specialises in small artisan producers. The session is then followed by lunch.

The afternoon session will cover PR, media and social media and will include presentations and panel discussions with Brian McDermott, an award-winning celebrity chef, author and presenter, Sharon Noonan, a freelance marketing consultant working with food, drink and hospitality businesses and who presents a weekly radio show on West Limerick 102FM discussing food and drink topics. Both will be joined by Vivienne Gleeson who helps businesses grow successfully by telling their stories effectively while communicating key messages to drive sales and customer engagement.

Tickets for one session are priced at €65 (ex VAT) and for the full day are €85 (ex VAT). There are reduced rates for those that attended online Backyard at Blas sessions previously. Tickets are available to buy now at

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