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John Stone Fine Foods, Longford is a finalist in two categories at SFA National Small Business Awards

SFA National Small Business Awards 2021

John Stone Fine Foods, Longford is a finalist in two categories at SFA National Small Business Awards

Allan Morris, CEO John Stone Beef Picture: Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography

Two Longford companies, N & E Precision Engineering and John Stone Fine Foods, are among 43 companies that have been selected as finalists for the SFA National Small Business Awards 2021.

N & E Precision Engineering, Longford is a finalist in the manufacturing category (up to 50 employees), sponsored by NSAI.

John Stone Fine Foods, Longford is a finalist in both the food & drink (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Bord Bia; and Exporter of the Year (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, categories.

About John Stone Fine Foods
Allan Morris is the Managing Director of John Stone Ltd, Ballymahon. Allan started his career at the age of 15 as an apprentice butcher in one of Dublin’s famous market trading areas, Moore Street.

By The age of 19 he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of three butcher shops in Dublin. In 1995 Allan travelled to Jersey in the Channel Islands where he teamed up with John Stone MBE and became the concessions manager for Russell Meats at Le Riche Group operating meat counters in a total of 20 stores across the Channel Islands.

On his return to Ireland Allan became a consultant for several large meat companies and this led to him joining Kepak Group as an Account manager with responsibility for launching Irish Angus Brand to the European marketplace as the first breed specific meat brand at retail level. Allan became the General Manager of Donald Russell International Ltd a joint venture between John Stone MBE and Kepak Group.

The sale of Donald Russell UK to the Vestey Group in 2012 meant that the Irish business would need to be rebranded to John Stone and relaunched to current and new customers alike.

This rebrand allowed the business to grow considerably in Europe and further afield to Asia and the Middle East.

The John Stone Brand of dry aged beef products is currently available in 32 countries globally from three Michelin starred chefs to the finest restaurants globally.

It’s been an interesting last quarter at John Stone owing to the Global pandemic. The uncertainty of the rapid closures and opening has affected business greatly.

Food service has also evolved in that some of John Stone’s wholesale partners have created e commerce platforms for their internal markets.

The other is that restaurants have turned their hands at retail in offering their own branded food products, weekend boxes or dine at home boxes.

This format has seen John Stone further produce branded portioned products for sale so their customers can dine in at home. They also linked up with some Irish celebrity chefs in helping create a cookery book that is selling online. The enhanced fats, Jus will also be available for our Chefs early this year for them to use at their restaurants.

The website has seen considerable sales, from an idea of how to move products that we were unable to sell to foodservice to now a fully profitable business. We have employed two new van drivers and this month a new product manager for the site.

Our use of social media and targeting marketing has taken a brand that not many people in Ireland know to a more recognised brand. Their recently printed ‘John Stone Guide to Meat’ and brand book ‘Meat John Stone’ will be part of their marketing for the year ahead.

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