Roaring Water Sea Vegetables Co. grew out of the old Roaring Water Seaweed Coop which helped pioneer seaweed farming in Ireland under the auspices of BIM. The production of large quantities of wakame and kombu lead me to research derivative products as it was hard to sell seaweed to Irish people, maybe for the good reason that we are in fact millionaires of it, being such an abundant natural resource.
I set up a smokehouse for a range of smoked sugar kelp, duilleasc and later, sausages. At first, I developed a 'sea burger' - the first real sea veggie burger with 25% wakame, and later I got a sausage machine. The first problem was finding vegan casings until we discovered the fronds themselves make the perfect skin. So I then started selling Ballydehob Sea Pudding. We sold veggie Irish breakfasts in the local community cafe and word got around.
At first, we supplied local health food shops and restaurants and now we are retailing in SuperValu. Many people don’t recognise these products as seaweed and I have offended some vegetarians who thought they contained meat!! My seaweed products have proven particularly popular among the vegan community. Ireland has the perfect climate for seaweed farming with cool clean water aerated by the Atlantic swell but protected by the islands, the environmental impact is actually positive encouraging diversity of fish which take shelter in the canopy.
We hope to expand our limited production of these unique products as a micro enterprise and create employment in an economically deprived area. It would seem only a matter of time before this rich source of nutrition becomes an important future crop for both animals and people in a burgeoning world with great potential for Irish Aquaculture.