Heritage

Leah’s Gourmet Foods is a unique combination of Filipino and Irish cultures merging to form one of Ireland’s most exciting artisan food creations. Headed by the entrepreneurial Leah Sweeney (with her husband Billy), we at Leah’s Gourmet Foods are proud to bring you our original and unsurpassed Irish Oriental fusion products with our black pudding & white pudding, Irish farmhouse cheddar cheese.

History – Where It All Began

Leah’s passion for food began from her early days in her native Philippines where black pudding was a local delicacy.

It was only when a pig was slaughtered by a household was black pudding made and enjoyed. The black pudding recipes, spices and ingredients were often unique to each household.

Throughout the years, Leah often made her black pudding recipe to be enjoyed by family and friends, and she was often encouraged to make it commercially to be enjoyed by many.

It finally came to pass in 2011, in conjunction with Billy’s third generation Kerry family recipes and a blend of the finest of both Filipino & Irish Traditions that a new product range was born.

View of the Cashenside About 1900 AD
View of the Cashenside About 1900 AD

Fishing at the Cashen
Fishing at the Cashen

And the food business runs through the veins of the Sweeney family here in Kerry with Billy’s great-grandparents, the Power family from the Cashen, Ballyduff exporting locally caught salmon to the famous Billings Gates Fish Market in London.

William T Sweeney with other students at Graduation of Creamery Managers from Royal College of Science in Dublin circa 1903
William T Sweeney with other students at Graduation of Creamery Managers from Royal College of Science in Dublin circa 1903

Shannon Vale Creamery Letterhead
Shannon Vale Creamery Letterhead

Indeed, his grandfather William T. Sweeney founded Shannon Vale Creamery in the 1900’s and exported both cheese & butter to the United Kingdom while his grandmother Nell, produced her own special recipe black pudding which was sold throughout the area, and indeed Billy’s grandparents on his mother’s side the O’Briens from Ballyduff were quite renowned locally for their black pudding recipes which were handed down to his grandmother Bridget Lawlor who was the local school teacher and she carried on the tradition.

Rory (Bill) Sweeney standing in front of Rattoo Creamery
Rory (Bill) Sweeney standing in front of Rattoo Creamery

Rory (Bill) Sweeney
Rory (Bill) Sweeney

Billy’s father, Rory (Bill), was the General Manager of Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory in Rathmore, Co. Kerry before taking over as General Manager of Rattoo Creamery from his father who died in 1956 which was the tradition at that time. He worked with Rattoo and Kerry Co-op Creameries which were the founders of the present day, world famous Kerry Group.

So all in all, Leah’s Gourmet Foods is steeped in the finest traditions of both Filipino and Irish gourmet food creations and we look forward to maintaining the proud history of our ancestors and forefathers by bringing our unique Irish Oriental fusion taste experience to your table.