At the time Edward took over in 1976, he had no interest in making blackpudding and as with other butchers found it more of a chore than anything else. Edward was far more interested in the meat side of the business, and even attempted to stop production of the blackpudding at one stage. However the customers did not agree and when Edward realised the demand, he had no choice but to continue making the blackpudding again.
It was clear how popular blackpudding was. People travelled from all over Munster to buy blackpudding from the butcher shop. Pensioners using their free bus passes would travel on the early bus to Clonakilty from Cork City and beyond to stock up on their blackpudding before getting the return bus in the afternoon. These valuable customers effectively spread the word of the blackpudding. Week by week Clonakilty blackpudding became more and more popular, as word of it spread. Realising the demand, Edward began to understand the value of keeping the recipe a secret. For this very reason, Edward and his wife Colette, were the only people to mix the spice.
The customer base extended outside the local area, but before the blackpudding was sold beyond the butcher shop it was labelled. Even though this was a necessary step for the company, it was important to the Twomey’s to keep close to their values and beliefs. Hence, a local sign writer was asked to design the label for Clonakilty blackpudding which was traditional, and incorporated the heritage of the product.
Tomás Tuipéar, a local sign writer and designer with an interest in local history, considered various different concepts. Tomás was asked to design a label that incorporated all that stood for the blackpudding; tradition, quality, pride in locality and Harrington name and so the Clonakilty blackpudding logo was created.
Realising the potential of the product a van was put on the road delivering from shop to shop throughout the entire Munster region. At this stage the new business had out-grown the butcher shop, and so production moved to Twomey’s farm on the edge of Clonakilty. The company name chosen was Carbery Meats, Carbery being the barony name of the area. A drawing of the farm was included on the Carbery Meats logo.
Clonakilty Blackpudding Co.
The Carbery Meats van mainly carried Clonakilty Blackpudding, but also sold a selection of meats. This slow start enabled the small business, to develop. It soon became clear that Clonakilty Blackpudding was the big seller from the van, so Carbery Meats eventually became the Clonakilty Blackpudding Co. To complement the Clonakilty Blackpudding, Clonakilty Whitepudding and Clonakilty Ispíní sausages were created.
How the brand developed
There was never a set plan. Edward and Colette Twomey wished to make Clonakilty Blackpudding available to all who wanted it from their local shop. Edward’s personality and belief in the product were the PR tools, and what got the pudding the recognition it deserved. T-shirts, hats, bags and aprons made with the logo were produced; the taste of the Blackpudding and word of mouth did the rest. Because the product spoke for itself, articles were written and it was mentioned by press and media personnel.
Not only for Breakfast
At the time there was a trend in the market for traditional home made foods, with no artificial colours or preservatives, ’like our grandmother used to make’. Clonakilty Blackpudding was a premium product which would complement any menu. Some head chefs adopted Clonakilty Blackpudding on their menus as a gourmet starter or to complement a main course.
The Faithful Departed
One chef in particular, the late Michael Clifford (originally from Clonakilty) had a passion for Clonakilty Blackpudding; he loved the unique taste and consistent quality. He saw it had potential; Clonakilty Blackpudding was not like other blackpuddings, it had a different texture and taste and was a indeed an unique product. At that time growth was achieved from a passionate belief in the Blackpudding, and that has not changed to this day.
Pictured left: The Butcher Shop old and new.