Since the opening of the Mountmellick Development Association it has always been a leader in the economic, social and cultural development of the town. Employing a proactive strategy the organisation is always listening to the community’s needs and seeking to leverage advantages in the changing economy. Once the hub for industry illustriously dubbed the Manchester of Ireland, today Mountmellick is repositioning itself as a hub for innovation for start-ups and established businesses in the food sector.

In 2014 with the support of Laois Partnership Company the MDA unveiled its food innovation hub “The Kitchens”. The Food Hub has developed a modern state of the art facility incorporating three kitchens, one bakery and one training/demonstration kitchen. The facilities provide a very necessary service within Laois where a renaissance of food is currently underway spurred on by creative food start ups and established companies with daring new innovations. This was evidenced by the recent Connect2Laois for Food Programme run by Laois County Council in cooperation with Laois Partnership and the Local Enterprise Office, Laois. The kitchens provide a welcome opportunity for aspiring food entrepreneurs to test market their products without the costly provision of building their own commercial kitchen.

The MDA provides flexible rates ranging from long term leases to hourly or daily use making it easy to bring your food business from concept to reality. One of the kitchens is designated for the specific purpose of supporting start-ups that require regular but limited time in the kitchen and is available as a time share facility. In addition there is a product development test kitchen available to new start-ups and expanding companies looking to test out their newest products. The demo kitchen fulfils the need for a training and demonstrating kitchen where workshops can be held for food business training initiatives, culinary skills training, food seminars, product launches and more.

The Mountmellick Food Hub has been a tremendous success helping new and established businesses on to even greater success. A frequent user of the commercial kitchens The Jungle Food Company well known for its range “Flavour Safari Sauces” is now an established business available in Supervalu stores nationwide.

“The Kitchens in the MDA is a fantastic facility. It’s a breath of fresh air because you can use the facility and pay as you go.” Michael Onalimi, the Jungle Food Company.

The Mueller & O’Connell Bakery opened its doors in Abbeyleix last October after perfecting its product range in “The Kitchens”.

“The benefit of the MDA is it is very well organised. It’s easy to start a company as you don’t need a big investment, everything is in place here. You get into business very quick and simple.” Adrian Mueller, Mueller & O’Connell Bakery.

Kildare based company Moodley Manor use the kitchens for the production of their “Moodley Meats” products, a range of 100% vegan meat, plant-based alternatives distributed to markets in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

To find out more on kitchen specifications or booking the facilities please contact the MDA Manager Paddy Buggy on or 057 86  24525

Or click here to view the facilities on the MDA website.

Looking to start your own food business? The 2 day Kickstart Your Food Business Programme starts the 27th of September. For more information click here or book your place now by contacting the Local Enterprise Office,  at or 057 86 61800

For more established food businesses the Lean for Food Businesses Programme starts on the 6th Decemeber with the aim of making your business more efficient and more profitable.

Why not follow us on twitter @connect2laois to stay up to date with the latest news on Economic Development and Business Incentive Schemes in Laois.

Want to learn more about the Business Incentive Schemes we have to offer click here for more information.