Ambitious fine food duo hits the ground running
Though already a household name for many, it is less than 18 months since fourth generation master butcher Rick Higgins and business partner Antonio Princigallo launched their Irish artisan pork and beef charcuterie.
The dynamic duo have been friends for years, since Rick first met Antonio, a cured meat expert while travelling in Italy, France and Spain — and worked with him in his family charcuterie.
On Rick’s return to his native Dublin — where, by the way, his family have been butchers since 1880 — he spotted a gap in the market for really good Irish charcuterie.
Three years ago, he convinced Antonio to come to Dublin to set up a charcuterie, and the pair worked hard on formulating their own original recipes.
The company now produces a range of free-range locally-cured beef and pork charcuterie.
“We make the range of products to our own recipes — we carried out a lot of research and all the recipes are ours,” says Rick, who reveals that Forage & Cure is also on the renowned Food Academy Advance Programme with Supervalu. That programme was basically
Step One for Forage & Cure. Step Two, says Rick, has been getting on board the In. gredients’ programme run by Bord Bia and KSG Catering, which, as Rick explains, essentially deals with the food service end of his business.
“You learn how to deal with distributors and chefs. You learn about the logistics of working with a big company like KSG.
“Working with KSG under this programme is a big learning experience for us and will be of benefit to us — it’s teaching us the fundamentals of business and we’re getting a lot of experience interacting with big business.
“They are teaching us, step by step, covering everything from dealing with distributors to on-site visits, to meeting which their chefs. It’s a brilliant opportunity for us.”
After four months on the programme, he says: “What we’re learning is invaluable. We’re looking forward to a bright future making charcuterie in this country.”
“Ireland is home to some of the world’s most iconic brands such as Bailey’s Cream Liqueur, Kerrygold Butter and Guinness. Ireland is the fifth largest net exporter of beef in the world.
Entrepreneurs Rick Higgins Antonio Princigallo, owners and founders of Forage & Cure, the Dublin-based artisan pork and beef charcuterie company; in business just 18 months, they have been invited onto two of Ireland’s top startup programmes.