Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese is the “big cheese”
at Waterford National Enterprise Awards
Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese, a west Waterford company producing a variety of hard-pressed mature farmhouse cheeses has been named as Waterford’s Enterprise Award winner and will go on to represent Waterford at the National Enterprise Awards in Dublin on May 28th.
Eamonn Lonergan, whose parents started farming with just four Kerry cows, now boasts a 150-strong top-class pedigree Friesian milking herd.
Producing farmhouse cheese made in the cheddar style using raw milk, along with red and white cheddars, flavoured with garlic, herbs, black pepper and chives, as well as the famous Oakwood smoked cheddar, Eamonn’s USP is a top-quality cheese, made from raw milk from a single herd.
Investments in state-of-the art equipment to extend and modernise the cheese making facility, along with plans to roll out a new packaging system for all Knockanore’s pre-packed cheeses, signal Eamonn’s intent to future proof his business.
Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford, congratulated Eamonn and his team on enhancing and introducing a traditional product to a new cohort of customers.
“Eamonn has shown great innovation in taking the time-honoured cheddar cheese and creating a range of exciting flavours and fusions. Not content to rest on his laurels, he has been proactive in advancing the business through making improvements to increase productivity and profitability, exploring new export markets, continuing to develop new ranges and educating the public and chefs about the different flavours and textures of artisan cheese.”
Eamonn Lonergan acknowledged the support he received from Local Enterprise Office Waterford. “Over the last thirty years the level of support has been phenomenal. The people we have dealt with have offered us nothing but great support in the form of mentoring and financial assistance. It’s heartening to work with an agency that not only understands your business but wants it to flourish as well.”
Richie Walsh added “The National Enterprise Awards highlight the pioneering work of entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the country. In Waterford we are lucky to have a large collection of inspiring, creative and hard-working individuals who have a vision and make it happen.”
As well as representing Waterford in the National Finals, Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese was presented with a specially commissioned trophy from Copper Coast Woodcrafts. Made from locally sourced Irish Oak with a hand-crafted copper Oak leaf inset, the Oak in the award is symbolic of its strength and durability.
Presenting the award to Eamonn and his wife, Patricia, Mayor of Waterford, Cllr. John Pratt said that Eamonn epitomised the entrepreneurial spirit in Waterford and beyond. “By investing and continuously innovating, Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese has firmly established itself as a market leader and is a great example of how entrepreneurs can turn ideas into great products.”
Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese is among one of the 7,000 companies maintaining 36,000 jobs, supported by the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices, and will represent Waterford in the National Enterprise Awards Final which was established in 1998 to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector.