Irish breads, developed by UK celebrity chef Paul Rankin, will now be on the shelves in LuLu supermarkets in Abu Dhabi.   

Irwin’s Bakery, based in Northern Ireland has signed a six-figure contract with the Gulf-based business, LuLu. The bakery will send soda farls, potato farls and stone-ground wheaten from the bakery, to be stocked in the store within 24 hours.

The range was developed by both Rankin and the bakery, which is based in Portadown in Northern Ireland.

Brendan Lappin, Irwin’s Bakery’s business development manager, said: “This is a very significant contract for us, with one of the biggest and most successful retailers in the Gulf. It gives us a solid platform for further growth in a very dynamic marketplace - a market that we’ve been targeting for some time - and is the result of ongoing discussion over the past 18 months.

“The Rankin Selection range is on sale in an initial eight LuLu supermarkets within 24 hours of leaving the bakery in Portadown - a significant logistics operation involving a distributor in Liverpool. The supermarket asked us if we could provide the bread as fresh as possible and we’ve been able to meet the challenge.

“As well as the Rankin Selection breads, we are providing Jammy Joey and Snowy Joey cakes from our Howell’s handmade subsidiary. Initially all the bread and cakes will be available in eight stores, but these outlets are strategically placed close to LuLu Group headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Our aim is to build the business steadily and to widen the customer base beyond the expatriate community.”

Irwin’s Bakery has been established since 1912.