Northern Irish bakery Our Daily Bread has signed a deal with a food distributor, which enables it to supply customers south of the border.

Simply Wild distributors will now handle produce from the County Antrim-based bakery and distribute it throughout the Republic of Ireland to what the business calls a “very lucrative marketplace”.

The deal follows an agreement with distribution company Hider last year, which allowed it to reach Britain.

Our Daily Bread bakes wheaten loaves, as well as supplying ‘bake in the foil’ breads for customers to bake at home.

Melanie Gilfillan, who set up the company in 2012, said: “I am delighted to have secured business with Simply Wild because this gives me a strong base in the Republic, an immensely important marketplace for our business. The contract with Simply Wild resulted from a meeting with one of their buyers that was brokered by Invest Northern Ireland in Belfast.

“The buyer was attracted by a key feature of my traditional Irish breads, the fact that all the ingredients are provided in a quick cook pack for consumers to bake their own soda-based wheaten bread, among the most popular traditional breads throughout the island of Ireland.”

The small business has also gained a UK Great Taste Award for its wheaten bread, and supplies into a range of delis in Northern Ireland.