Our story begins in the 1800’s in Philip Harrington’s butcher shop in sovereign street Clonakilty. Johanna O’Brien, a farmer’s wife, from Sam’s cross wanted to subsidise the household income making black pudding for Harrington’s butcher shop.
The Secret Recipe
When Johanna retired Philip Harrington continued to make the popular blackpudding. The recipe which included a secret spice mix was faithfully handed down to Philip’s family and for over a century, the blackpudding was made by Dan Harrington, Con O’Callaghan, Paddy Allman.
Not only was it sold from the butcher shop it was sent in parcels to Clonakilty people both at home and abroad.
In 1969, the butcher shop was sold as a going concern to Patrick McSweeny. In 1976 the butcher shop which included the black pudding recipe was bought by his nephew Edward Twomey.
Edward Twomey Butchers
Edward initially had no interest in making blackpudding when he first took over the butcher shop in 1976 and saw it as a chore more than anything else and even attempted to stop production at one stage. However, the customers did not agree and when Edward saw the demand, he had realised it was best to continue making the blackpudding.
It was evident how popular the blackpudding was as people travelled from all over Munster to buy it from the butcher shop including pensioners who used their free bus passes to travel to Clonakilty from Cork City and beyond to stock up. Edward knew the importance of guarding the secret spice recipe for this reason either he or his wife Colette, were the only people to mix the spice.
As the customer base extended beyond the local area, it was decided to label the blackpudding. A local sign writer named Tomás Tuipéar was asked to draw a logo for Clonakilty Blackpudding which would incorporate the heritage and the tradition of the blackpudding and include the Harrington name. Maroon and cream were selected as company colours.
A van displaying the new logo was put on the road delivering blackpudding throughout the entire Munster region. By now the new business had out-grown the butcher shop, and the making was moved to Twomey’s farm on the edge of Clonakilty town. Carbery Meats was the name chosen for the business, Carbery being the barony name of the area.
Clonakilty Food Co.
In 1986 Clonakilty white pudding was created which was soon followed by clonakilty ispini. These along with the blackpudding and a selection of fresh meats were delivered by the Carbery meats van. Later the trading name was changed to Clonakilty Food Co.
The Twomey’s wanted to make Clonakilty Blackpudding available to all who wanted it from their local shop. Edward’s personality and belief in the product helped propel Clonakilty Blackpudding to get the recognition it deserved. It wasn’t long before Clonakilty Blackpudding was being mentioned in the press and media.