Since 2007 Janet Drew has been producing an impressive range of ‘free from’ chutneys, relishes, sauces and marinades from her business unit in Kilcoole, at the edge of the Wicklow Mountains.
Made in the traditional way in small batches and using ingredients that are natural, local whenever possible, and additive-free, ‘taste, quality and goodness’ are the qualities that sum up Janet’s Country Fayre.
Unusually, Janet not only oversees production but this former art historian is also responsible for the distinctive design of the hand written labelling which - although now much copied - stands out so stylishly from the crowd, usually on smart square jars.
She also supplies ‘own label’ products to a number of shops and restaurants, but these are no faceless food items, as their origins are proudly stated on the back of the label - delicious examples are Chutney for Cheese and Onion Marmalade produced for Sheridans Cheesemongers and Fig & Apricot Chutney for McGeoughs of Oughterard’s Connemara Fine Foods range.
While some of Janet’s products are very traditional, others are highly original - her Beetroot Blush, for example, which won an Irish Food Writers' Award in 2011, was selected from the range of interesting products because the members “were intrigued that such a rich coloured, delicate flavoured, sweet-sour relish could be made from the humble Irish-grown beetroot and Irish apples.” It is a versatile product and has turned out to be a best seller - and popular for Christmas hampers.
All of the Janet’s Country Fayre products are suitable for vegetarians and are gluten free, dairy free and virtually fat free.
Although a high end product, the range is very fairly priced and widely available in retail outlets throughout the country including the best independent retailers as well as Dunnes, Superquinn, Super Valu and many others.