A few years back, when the import of Irish goods to the U.S. was briefly suspended due to an embargo, two men who know and love Irish products were dismayed to find their one and only supply route cut off.
Bill Colbert and Earle Mulrane loved their Irish breakfasts like the rest of us, replete with all the trimmings – sausages, bacon, black pudding, baked beans, fried eggs, the works. But what do you do when they’re not available? Do you fall back on the not nearly as good U.S. made versions of the products you love, or do you sit around and wait for the real thing to finally arrive?
It was while contemplating this conundrum that inspiration struck. What if, they asked, we import all the genuine Irish seasonings that make for an authentic Irish sausage and we supply the pork ourselves here in the U.S.? Wouldn’t that be the most authentic way to create them to our own taste and satisfaction?
When they opened their first shop in Woodside, Queens, the public demand was off the charts. Here were the most hard to please Irish customers in the country and yet their products were flying off the shelves. That’s when Colbert and Mulrane knew they were on to something.
Soon both men knew it was time to move on to the next level. They sold up shop and invested in bringing their products to a wider U.S. audience via the major distribution routes. Wisely they had identified key markets for Irish products in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. and all that remained now was to introduce their brand.
“Bill’s idea was to beat the system, to bring genuinely Irish seasoning into the U.S. and make the products here,” says their salesman Brendan Keyes.
“That way they were getting the exact same product they were getting at home. The feedback was fantastic. Then he put me on the road and I went into the bars and restaurants in Manhattan and showed them the product. I told them we could bring them this product, make it fresh and sell it at a better price. It was a no-brainer. It went from strength to strength.”
Colbert and Mulrane’s next decision was to source a plant where he could sell the products nationally. To begin with, Tommy Moloney’s produced bacon, sausages, white pudding and black pudding. But now with the market opening up, they sought out a national distributor who would distribute their products in bulk.
“Now we have a distributor in the major markets in the states, which are New York, Boston, San Francisco and Washington DC. But now we are shipping to every state in the union.”
“We are all about quality and tradition. All of our meat products are carefully handcrafted with special detail to authenticity. We are the only company in the US that imports traditional Irish spices and uses traditional Irish recipes that replicate the classic taste of true Irish meats, freshly made in the United States. When you eat our products, you taste the same wonderful flavor you experienced in Ireland,” Keyes adds.
On the website, you can log on from anywhere in the world to send Irish products. It’s not just sausages and bacon, you can order soda bread, cheese, butter, spreads, you name it. If you order a gift basket it will be delivered anywhere in the U.S. within two days.
“You’d be surprised how far the Irish have branched out because we ship to every state in the country. Every day we have people logging in with orders from all over. It’s not just the Irish who buy from us, many tourists who have spent time in Ireland have been knocked out by the produce and they’ll come to our website with orders too. It’s another home run for us, too.”
Tommy Moloney’s products aren’t just available online. Major supermarket chains like ShopRite and Stop and Shop are taking their produce, too.
“We believe that you should give the customer exactly what they were eating back home,” says Keyes. “By importing that seasoning we are giving them exactly what they expect. The feedback from our customers that we’re serving the genuine article puts a smile on our face.”
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?