We are continuing our series of ‘Meet the Makers’ this week as we turn the spotlight on Barry Johns Sausages. Set up by Barry Crowe, it is now stocked in his father’s Butcher Shop, Crowes Butchers on Main St, Cavan town. Also, in Supervalu, Centra & Daybreak stores in the region & other independent traditional butcher shops. Come along with us as we explore the remarkable journey that led to the success of Barry Johns Sausages. Discover the hidden insights, hurdles, and victories that have defined this business.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into food/drink production?

The business began almost three decades ago when, at the young age of 13, I began making sausages in my father’s butcher shop, Crowe’s Butchers, which opened in 1970. I was fascinated by the craft and I eventually started making sausages for the butcher shop after school and at the weekends. I entered my first competition when I was just 13, it was at a local agricultural festival where I won first prize. It was at this show that I saw what other butchers were creating and I realised that there could be so much more done with pork sausages. I have always believed that sausages are not given enough credit and have been continuously seen as a breakfast commodity.

When I finished secondary school I completed a Business Studies, Meat Management programme at DIT in Mountjoy Square. When I returned to Cavan, I created the label Barry Johns Sausages, mixing flavours and spices and creating the unique flavoured, gourmet pork sausages for which the brand is now renowned.
We are the only pork-manufacturing business in Ireland to produce such a wide range of flavours, which are loved by all ages. Our unique and quirky flavours include Caramelised Red Onion, Chip Shop Curry, Spice Bag, Chocolate Chip & Honeycomb, Bacon, Mushroom & Black Pudding, Emmental & Roasted Onion, Crushed Garlic, Leek, Mozzarella & Cracked Black Pepper, Country Relish, Pepperoni Pizza, and Cheddar Cheese & Chilli Flakes, to name just a few. We have created so many flavours that you could technically enjoy a different flavour each day of the month!

Tell us about where you work in Cavan and your favourite thing about your job.

My factory is located in Rural Cavan. I love every aspect, to be honest. But I suppose the best part is being out at shows meeting our customers. Seeing the expression on consumers’ faces when they read the many unusual labels of flavours we have to offer and when they taste them also. We have great banter at shows with our “Chocolate Chip & Honeycomb” flavour, we usually do a blind tasting on this one to create a bit of fun at the stand.

What is your favourite product to make at work and why?

Sausages!!!

I can’t choose a favourite. I love each of the flavours. But if you were to push me on it, I would probably have to go with Bacon, Mushroom & Black Pudding Flavour. Known as the “full Irish Sausage”. This flavour I created when the Fleadh was in Cavan. For those early morning partygoers who just wanted a breakfast roll in a hurry! It was available all in one! A sizzling Barry Johns Breakfast Sausage.

Tell us about your favourite local produce. And/ or, tell us about the best local produce that you work with.

I have lots of favourites. Cullys in Arva, and Morans Mega Jam to name a few. But, I work closely with Morans Jams from Cavan, another Created in Cavan Member. Kieron and his team create some of the ingredients we use in our sausages, like the Relish we use in our Country Relish Sausages. They make amazing jams and chutneys.

What is your favourite thing about being a part of the Created in Cavan Network?

It’s a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, & connoisseurs who have a passion for creating amazing food & drink products.

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