Meet three remarkable residents of Lisburn & Castlereagh who've turned their culinary passions into thriving businesses. 

Jack's Fudge 

Jack has great memories of making toffee apples with his nanny. Jack was always making things from a very young age and has fond memories of making toffee apples with his nanny.. inspired by Willy Wonka, he started making fudge as a teenager. 

"I was so obsessed with cooking that when my nanny asked me what I’d like for Christmas I told her I wanted a pot! It was in this pot that I created my first ever batch of fudge. I had stumbled across the recipe from an Irish cookbook and I ended up tweaking the recipe to give the fudge a light, crumbly texture." 

"My mum worked Saturdays in Arcadia Delicatessen, an independent delicatessen based in Belfast, and she suggested that I try to get my fudge sold there to get some pocket money. I remember going into the shop aged fourteen, very nervous, to show the owner my fudge. I was very happy when the owner said - 'just like my mammy used to make it' and that he would sell the fudge." 

Jack's Fudge was awarded two stars in the Great Taste Awards 2018; two stars meaning 'outstanding - above and beyond delicious'. 

You can find Jack and "Jack's Fudge on Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th May at the Lisburn & Castlereagh Stand 48, in the NI Food & Drink Pavilion at the Balmoral Show. 

Iconic Biscuits  

Michael believes, like most of us, that you need something to go with your tea! And for visitors to the area, he felt they were missing a local biscuit that they could try or take home to family and friends. Seeing a gap in the market, Michael started making shortbread biscuits from his home, using local ingredients. 

He created the Iconic Biscuits brand with various iconic landmarks featured on the packaging. Visitors can pick them up a box of biscuits to take home from tourist destinations and shops across Northern Ireland.   

You can meet Michael at the Balmoral Show to try one of his melt in your mouth shortbreads. He will be on the Lisburn & Castlereagh Stand 48 on Friday 17th May in the NI Food & Drink Pavilion. 

Tori's Coffee, Cakes & Bakes: From Hobby to Heartfelt Business

For Tori, baking isn't just a hobby; it's a family tradition she's turned into a thriving venture. We visited her shop in Royal Hillsborough along with Councillor John Laverty BEM,  Chairman of the Regeneration and Growth Committee to see behind the scenes. 

Tori quickly had Councillor Laverty helping her make her chunky cookies. 

She says she still can’t believe that she has her own shop in the village where she grew up, but watching her work in the kitchen and run her team, she was definitely born to be a business owner.  

“My family and friends will tell you that I wanted to have my own bakery or café from a young age, and there are plans in place to develop the bakery further with a sit-in café - watch this space!” 

Tori is always on the lookout for new recipes, and she recently heard about cube croissants. They were so popular that she now makes them every day. She has also brought back classics like School Cake and Cream Buns. 

Tori credits her friends, family and other business owners in the area for helping her get set up and the support of the local markets.  

"At Lisburn & Castlereagh Council, we're passionate about showcasing the incredible culinary talents of our area,” says John Laverty. “It's not just about the food and drink - it's about the people behind them - the dedicated chefs, the skilled bakers and artisan food producers. They are the heart and soul of our culinary scene. 

We're delighted to be able to showcase these producers at the Balmoral Show this year, where you'll be able to try and buy cakes, sweets, biscuits, bagels and more all made right here in Lisburn & Castlereagh. You're welcome to see what we have to offer.” 

Don't miss the chance to meet all these culinary artisans at the Lisburn & Castlereagh Stand 48 in the NI Food & Drink Pavilion at the Balmoral Show, Wednesday 15th - Saturday 18th May.