Hot Orange Hampers: Ken Madden of The Lismore Food Company

Posted 6 months ago in Food & Drink Features

DDF 2021 – Desktop

“To put the kettle on and have something nice and luxurious for yourself as a sort of a comfort is lovely.”

In recent years the Lismore Food Company has elevated the familiar ritual of a cuppa and a biscuit to a whole new level with their signature hand rolled, baked biscuits, snacks and confectionary. Now Waterford’s artisan bakers have upped their game even further, with the addition of fifteen gorgeous new products and an elegant new hamper range celebrating the art of afternoon tea.

Like many Irish businesses, they took some time over the past few months to consider where they wanted to go to next. Co-founder Ken Madden observes that, “Those few months from March on, allowed us an opportunity to put our heads down and become really creative, which is part of the joy of our business.”

While online sales were good as people treated themselves and others to some affordable luxuries, the company was keen to broaden their product range. “This is the first time that we’ve brought out a Lismore hamper, so we wanted to create something really special. For us, taste comes first, so alongside our existing products we’ve got some good, solid, flavours with things like tea and coffee, rich hot chocolate, blonde chocolate bars with cacao nibs and some lovely jams and preserves. All the products have a very strong provenance. Our raw honey is made locally and pretty much everything is from Ireland.”

As ever, this artisanal creativity extends beyond the food to the packaging. As Ken puts it, “We wanted to create that “Wow!” moment, so we’ve come up with the most beautiful hot orange hat boxes with lovely ribbon, reflecting the hot orange and gold circle of the original biscuit tube.”

Such exacting design considerations carry through to their new website, where they teamed up with photographer Simon Watson to create some exciting new imagery. “We all have a love of art, colour and texture and we thought, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could create a dark, moody Vermeer type image with the products on a feasting table? We’re delighted that Simon really helped us nail that shot.”

In a nod to the history of Lismore, the names of each hamper reference those who have come and gone before, including Lady Louisa, one of the Lismore Castle set and author William Thackeray, who regarded Lismore as one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen.

While it’s a big leap forward for such a small company to increase their product range so substantially, Ken believes that people will love the range. “Hopefully people will be filled with an abundance of joy when they open the hamper, take the products out and taste them.”

Image Credit:  Simon Watson

Simon Watson’s new book, The Lives of Others: Sublime Interiors of Extraordinary People is published by Rizzoli.


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