Business

Comber spud hits the Big Apple as Mash Direct launches in USA

Lance, Martin, Tracy and Jack Hamilton at the family farm in Comber ahead of this week's launch of several Mash Direct products into the US market

FRESH mashed potatoes grown on a farm in Comber will be available in the US for the first time this month when a sixth generation Irish farming family behind Mash Direct brings its range of locally-grown vegetable side dishes to shelves in New York.

Farmed on the shores of Strangford Lough, the traditional Northern Irish foods will be available to purchase in time for St. Patrick's Day at Key Food, Food Emporium, Brooklyn Fare and SuperFresh.

It's the first time the taste of fresh Northern Irish produce will be available for customers to purchase in US grocery stores.

The potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cabbage and more are grown by the Hamiltons, a 6th generation Comber farming family.

Martin Hamilton diversified his farm back in 2004 to create Mash Direct, offering healthy, gluten-free, vegetable side dishes that have the taste and texture of quality, Irish homemade food.

The company has come from humble beginnings of selling traditional mashed potatoes and champ in St. George's Market to exporting its range of over 40 products on a global scale.

Speaking ahead of the US launch, Mash Direct director Jack Hamilton said: “Everybody know Comber is famous for potatoes and for the first time we are able to supply them fresh to New York.

"There is such a great variety of Irish-produced whiskies and stouts across the USA, but no one in the market is bringing fresh Northern Irish dishes to American plates. We wanted to bring the unique richness of Irish soil and six generations of farming knowledge to the shelves."

Eight of Mash Direct's products (including family favourites such as potato croquettes, mashed potato and potato rosti) will be listed to go into Key Food supermarket stores throughout New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania from this week.

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