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What's For Pudding?'s Catriona FlahertyBarry Cronin

Producer profile: Catriona Flaherty of the award-winning What's For Pudding?

We chat to Catriona about authenticity, the importance of local suppliers and award-winning partnerships. Brought to you in partnership with Dunnes Stores Simply Better.


In partnership with Dunnes Stores Simply Better 

The Dunnes Stores Simply Better collection has a well-deserved reputation for award-winning food and drink. Behind the scenes it also champions small Irish producers, helping them to grow while doing what they do best.

We spoke to Catriona Flaherty whose family-run baking company, What’s for Pudding? enjoys a gold star partnership with the Simply Better brand.

It was memories of childhood and her family’s love of baking that prompted Catriona to set up her own company five years ago. “I was trying to think of something to do but knew it would be something around good food,” she explains. “My mother was from Belfast and she always referred to pudding. She always used good ingredients in baking and that’s exactly what we do.”

Brian, Catriona and Rory Flaherty (Image by Barry Cronin)
Brian, Catriona and Rory Flaherty (Image by Barry Cronin)

Indeed, What’s For Pudding?’s products are about as close to homemade as you can get. “Everything is made by us and we have constant quality control because we’re there at every stage,” Catriona says.

Clearly they were doing something right from the start because in 2015 the brand’s sticky toffee pudding caught the eye of a member of the Simply Better team at Sheridans Food Fair in Co Meath. A beautiful partnership was born. “You could say we did our apprenticeship with Dunnes Stores and we’ve learned a lot from them too.”

The Simply Better Handmade Sea Salted Toffee Sauce won three stars at this year's Great Taste awards
The Simply Better Handmade Sea Salted Toffee Sauce won three stars at this year's Great Taste awards

Even with growing success the What’s for Pudding? team hasn’t had to change the winning formula. “We’ve always made batches of 54 puddings and we still do. The Simply Better team wants great products too and are prepared to give the producer the scope to make them. We couldn’t do it unless it was a partnership.” 

What’s For Pudding? is very much a family run operation that includes Catriona’s husband, chief trouble-shooter Brian and son Rory. “Rory is in the business full time now,” Catriona explains, “and it has made a really big difference.” That sense of family extends to the committed staff and local producers too. “We have a very good working relationship with our producers but it’s more than that - they support us and we’d be very loyal to them too.”

Just recently the Simply Better products produced by What’s For Pudding? took home five awards at the Great Taste Awards, including three stars for the Handmade Sea Salted Toffee Sauce. It was a rare chance for Catriona and the team to take a moment to enjoy their success. “It really brings home to us that we’re doing something right,” she says.

The future also looks sweet, with an expansion planned over the coming months. “Dunnes Stores’ confidence in small Irish producers has brought us somewhere we would never have been if that person hadn’t bought our sticky toffee pudding in Sheridans Food Fair” Catriona notes. Their confidence and determination are helping us reach our potential.”

For more on Dunnes Stores Simply Better collection go to the website and for more on What's For Pudding? click here.