Alice from Brambleberry Jams got in touch with us in a couple of years ago as she was looking to use an Irish sea salt in her products. We were delighted to partner with such a great Irish producer and absolutely love her products. The salted caramel sauce is the best we have ever tasted, but be warned these little jars of goodness are very hard to resist and before you know it you have eaten the full jar in one go!
We caught up with Alice to find out more about how she started her business, what inspires her, and why she decided to use Achill Island Sea Salt.
How and why did you start Brambleberry?
Setting up Brambleberry Jams as a business developed naturally from my hobbies of cooking, reading recipe books and gardening. It started with me making homemade jams, chutneys and sauces from my own garden and then selling the jars at school fairs and church hall sales near where I live. I had time to work on my recipes and cook from home when my second child started nursery school in 2013. At the same time, I started a Facebook page where I catalogued all my home cooking and gardening and it just took off from there.
What would you consider your most important core value of the business?
The most important core value of my business is that everything is handmade by me at home, it’s genuinely homemade and done in the most sustainable way possible. Whenever I have to make a decision on a product or packaging, I always choose the most sustainable option, not the cheapest option.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is the freedom, it allows me to make my own decisions about everything, such as new flavours, stockists or events. Running your own business is the only way to get this sense of freedom and control in life. I also love getting the opportunity to eat so much fabulous artisan food from all the independent shops I deliver to all the time.
Can you tell us a bit about your products?
The best seller of all my products is the Sea Salted Caramel Sauce that is salted with the Achill Island Sea Salt. This product started by getting a Great Taste Award Gold Star in 2015 after its first few outings to Christmas fairs in 2014. That gave me the confidence to sell in retail outlets from 2015 onwards. It was then picked up by an artisan ice cream company Glastry Farm Ice Cream and they put it into their Chocolate and Salted Caramel Ice Cream, which is available across Northern Ireland and Aldi in the republic of Ireland. Since then this sauce has also won a Gold Award at the Blás na hEireann food awards in 2017 and a 2 Stars in the Great Taste Awards in 2018. The sauce has also grabbed the attention of BBC2 and was shown in an artisan food show with Tom Kerridge in April 2018 where they filmed me making it at home and talking about how special all the ingredients are. My other products include jams, jellies, chutneys and relishes.
Why did you choose to use Achill Island Sea Salt?
I chose to use Achill Island Sea Salt when I was working on my own recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce and I was hunting for a really tasty sea salt that gave the fresh salty flavour I was after. It started with me flying into London and looked down from the plane into the waters of the North Sea in east Anglia and thinking ‘why am I using sea salt from here?’. I promised myself right then that I had to find an Irish sea salt from the west coast. So, I was delighted when I searched online and found Achill Island Sea Salt had just started selling commercially from home with water taken from the beautiful coastline of County Mayo. They posted me my first batch and I haven’t looked back since. I also use this lovely salt in all my savoury recipes such as my Sweet Chilli Sauce with Lime and Apple Brandy Chutney.
Check out For more info on Brambleberry Jam's website for more info on Alice and her wonderful products.