In Dingle 2022 we celebrated a return to in person events and it was a true celebration of the people all across Ireland who passionately make the very best Irish food and drinks. One of the most special experiences for the Blas team was seeing the reaction of the producers as they celebrated their success and one of the biggest cheers on the day came from a small but passionate crew there to support Shane from Little Red’s Sauces
At Blas the awards are based on blind tasting, our judges review solely on the food they are tasting, they don’t know who has made it or where it is coming from. This blind element is a key part of our judging to allow a level playing field for all. However, once the judging is done we love nothing more than learning all about the producers just like Shane from Little Red’s Sauces
Named in honour of Shane’s Dad Big Red Little Reds Sauces brought home a Gold award to Dublin in 2022 and this strong support network for this one many show really shone through on the weekend of Blas 2022. Seeing the smiles and hearing the cheers is one of our team highlights!
When & why did you start your business? – I originally launched it in 2020 but due to Covid it delayed the launch. We hit the shelves in SuperValu last April.
Who is your food inspiration? – Definitely my Dad (Big Red), he’s always encouraged and inspired me when it comes to cooking, which is why I named the company after him. Cheers Big Red!
What do you love about your job? Getting to see people’s reaction when they try our products, when they like them, it really is a feeling like no other. We also get to spend a lot of time going across the city meeting new people which is always amazing. There are definitely worse things we could be doing with our day!
What is your typical day? The typical day revolves around checking in with vendors, working on marketing content, sales outreach, general admin and of course – hitting the production line. Some weeks can have a few curveballs thrown in but sure that wouldn’t be the nature of the game if there aren’t a few!
What was your best day since you started your business? – Probably winning the Gold at Blas na hÉireann last year. I never imagined one of our sauces would win a Blas award, never mind the Gold in our first year of entering it. The entire weekend was one I will never forget. From meeting so many incredible people, producers and the amazing Blas team, it really is one of the best weekends on our island!
Where do your ingredients come from? We source our ingredients locally when possible and work with Dole Fruits (Formerly Total Produce) to ensure we use the freshest, all natural ingredients.
Tell us about the people you work with? Little Red’s Sauces is currently a one-man company, but I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for the love and support from my family & friends. They’ve all been a god send over the last couple of years, from putting up with me pepper spraying the house, to long nights on the labelling line, they have been instrumental in my success. Thank you to all of them.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself/your business? Made In Ireland.
What do you think is the key to success? I’m still trying to figure that out! But I do believe how you treat others and your word play massive parts in success. Especially in the food or hospitality industry, your word is your bond and your reputation can be destroyed quicker than it can be built up. A strong work ethic is definitely helpful as well as having a strong support network around you.
Has there been one single moment which has changed how you look at your business? I think after winning the Gold Award last year it really hit home that my “weird hobby” has actually grown into an actual company with an Award-Winning product. It’s still a bit surreal if I’m being honest but it did make change the way I looked at my business, for the better of course.