Trudy Hodkinson and Paula Latuske were two stay-at-home mums who channelled their energies into building a business when the kids returned to school.

Now their wacky condiments featuring Buckfast Tonic Wine and Prosecco are big business with support from Invest NI and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Food & Drink Programme.

Additionally, they’ve secured distribution channels with Hendersons Foodservice and Musgrave NI.

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons 07778373486

Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons 07778373486

Hollah Preserving offers a growing selection of tantalisingly peculiar condiments toying with the taste buds of Northern Ireland and is one of only 20 companies in Northern Ireland to be accepted onto Invest NI’s growth and export initiative, the Propel Programme.

Taking a hiatus from the hustle and bustle of corporate life to focus on their young, growing families, the women were keen to make their triumphant return to employment – but on their own terms.

The two neighbours channelled their energies, and newly found free time, into developing a recognisable and relatable brand of chutneys, relishes and sauces to market in their local area.

Initially setting up shop in their kitchens, the duo was quickly met by high demand for their range of quirky condiments, all containing Hollah Preserving’s signature chilli kick.

Bucky BBQ sauce

Bucky BBQ sauce

In October 2014 Hollah Preserving Limited officially opened for business and to date have secured in excess of 70 retail stockists, over 20 bars, restaurants and cafes, and established crucial distribution channels with Henderson’s Foodservice and Musgrave NI, where the Hollah range will be available through Supervalu stores.

The businesswomen have since expanded the production of their range with the help of a local manufacturer.

Speaking of the business’ humble beginnings, Paula Latuske, Hollah Preserving Co-founder, said: “It’s strange to think it all began one morning as myself and Trudy waved goodbye to our girls as they were heading to school. We then had some free time and we both wanted to get back into meaningful employment. We had a passion for exploring new tastes and decided to channel this into making our own homemade range of condiments. Hollah Preserving has grown year on year ever since.”

Hollah Preserving’s inventive product range includes ‘Bucky BBQ Sauce’, a sauce infused with Buckfast Tonic Wine, ‘Chilli Strawberry & Prosecco’ and ‘Vodka & Cranberry’ chutney.

Trudy Hodkinson, Hollah Preserving Co-founder and neighbour to business partner Paula, added: “Being accepted onto the Invest NI Propel Programme is a huge boost for us. The £20K investment, ten months of dedicated mentoring and business support will help us increase exports of the Hollah range. To coincide NI’s Year of Food and Drink we have been collaborating with other local businesses, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and have recently begun supplying Fortnum and Mason in London.”

Strawberry and Prosecco

Strawberry and Prosecco chutney

Run by Invest NI, Propel is a programme for those entrepreneurs who have the greatest potential to start up and scale an export focused company, that is innovative and has the potential to become a significant exporter and employer.

The businesswomen have since been accepted on to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Food & Drink Programme. Developed with business growth in mind, the programme provides eligible businesses based in the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council areas with tailored mentoring and business support from a dedicated team within the food and drink sector.

For more information on the Hollah Preserving product range, visit hollahpreserving.com

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