Owned by Catherine and Richard Cocollos, and located just outside the pretty village of Kinvara – the gateway to the Burren. We are the first snail farm to process snails in Ireland.
The idea to create a snail farm began when my late Uncle gave us some land and always encouraged us to do something with it and so he planted a seed and Celtic Escargot was born.
Celtic Escargot specialise in the production of live edible farm reared free-range snails. The snails have the freedom to roam and forage on wild plants such as rapeseed and radish. They are also fed a dry food, which we have successfully got manufactured in Ireland. We are very proud of the sustainably of our farming method
Following living in France, and of course Richard being French, we saw the demand for this delicacy and on returning home to Ireland in 2013 we researched into the production of snails. We are both passionate about home grown free-range products.
The success of the business is truly due to the expertise of our French Consultants. Mr Louis-Marie Guedon has 25 years’ experience in snail production and he also produces snail mucus which is used in the cosmetic industry. He equally works as a consultant setting up snail farms globally. Also Mr Jean-Claude Bonnet who is now retired after 35 years with INRA (Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique). His research and life work was based on the biology and science of the production of snails.
The farm began early 2015, by importing 300,000 baby snails from France, Aspersa Muller and Aspersa Maxima, also known as Petit Gris and Gros Gris. With the favourable summer drizzle we had a very successful couple of years and we are delighted with the quality. Our key farming philosophy is sustainability.
I have also completed a Female Entrepreneur programme with Acorns and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and got an Award.
10 tonnes of snails can be produced on 1 acre of Land, “we think there are many Irish farmers who would welcome this extra income, and by any standards this is an impressive return”.
We pride ourselves on our free range farming technique and also that ours snail are 100% Irish farmed and fed, which means that we hand rear and feed the snails for 6 months, and then the snails are picked individually, ensuring a high premium product. Celtic Escargot oven ready snails are from our farm to your fork and we are delighted to ensure 100% tractability, freshness and seasonality. Our Oven Ready Celtic Escargot are handmade, and fully processed by us. The entire snail production is hand sorted and cooked in an aromatic bouillon according to a French family recipe.
We are delighted to get this opportunity with SuperValu, and we feel that the Food Academy programme nurtured our business on its journey to get our Celtic Escargot Oven ready snails on Supervalu shelves. The food academy programme really gives small producers like ourselves a massive chance and we have found the Food Academy has been very beneficial to developing our business. SuperValu believes so strongly in local and family businesses, as all SuperValu supermarkets are family owned – like ourselves. We are so honoured to be given this opportunity. We are delighted to be putting our product in SuperValu as they are the biggest supporters of local producers in Ireland.
We would definitely expect our sales to increase by getting this opportunity with SuperValu and we would expect to be employing new staff over the next 12 months.