At a dinner party in 2003, whilst savouring a glass of Irish whiskey with his host and friend, Tony Reid, Martin Hamilton had an idea. He dreamed of setting up a production facility on his farm to produce Champ, the traditional Ulster dish. After much discussion, determination and hard work, that dream became a reality. A small factory was built and Mash Direct was born. Welcome to our story.
From our fields to your fork
Martin and his wife Tracy had been successfully growing and selling vegetables for over 25 years, Martin himself being a fifth generation son of the soil. They decided to return to the traditional tastes their mothers and grandmothers used to know, now almost lost. Using vegetable varieties grown for taste - not appearance - they developed a small plant on the farm to recreate a traditional cooking style. A number of pieces of equipment were specially built by Tony, including a unique masher and a steam cooker and Mash Direct was ready to begin. The only thing that was left were the potatoes. Martin and his two sons, Lance and Jack, went out to the fields and harvested the first Mash Direct crop.
Ten years later we have grown from our humble beginnings supplying Champ to local butchers and St. George’s Market in Belfast to now supplying over thirty different products across the UK and Ireland and as far as New York and Dubai. We now not only mash but dice, slice, chop, shred, steam and fry to make our multi-award winning range.
Five a day the easy way
We live in a world where families often have multiple wage earners leaving less time for food preparation. ‘Five a day’ has driven a move towards healthier prepared options and this has developed a niche for healthy convenience food. Martin and Tracy spotted this opportunity early, spurred on by the need to diversify the farm.
The real core of the success of Mash Direct is the passion and dedication of the staff at every level: production; administration; technical; product development; marketing and management. The result is a Company which is able to meet its customers’ demands whether large or small. We respond to consumer trends as well as delivering the personal touch – without compromise to the quality of the product.
We are extremely passionate about our products and are perfectionists when it comes to the sourcing and traceability of additional raw materials. All Mash Direct products carry the healthy ‘traffic light’ on the sleeve, as recommended by the Food Standards Agency. Mash Direct follows the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards set by The British Retail Consortium and has recently been awarded grade A+ in this standard for the fourth year in a row – a testament to our commitment. We believe that customer satisfaction and quality are the core values of our success as an innovative and reliable food company.
First Ever Mash Direct Crop Harvested
Martin, Tracy and Lance on the farm
Harvesting beside Strangford Lough
A basket of root veg ready for mashing