County Carlow’s latest culinary creations comes in the form of “Cow Girl” Gluten Free products developed by Carlow based entrepreneur Mari-Louise Walsh.
The company is based on O’Brien Road in Carlow and from a standing start 12 months ago now employs 5 people at its manufacturing kitchen. The company is the brainchild of Mari-Louise Walsh, a native of the wide open plains of North Kerry, Mari-Louise Walsh left the Kingdom to pursue a career in the legal profession. Feeling completely unfulfilled and unsatisfied working as a Solicitor, she used to dream of the freedom, creativity and challenges of the entrepreneurial life/path and the prospect of self-sufficiency.
Having diagnosed with a serious yeast allergy by an Immunologist at the age of 21 and grown up with a father who is a Coeliac, Mari-Louise understood the difficulty in being able to purchase satisfying gluten-free dessert products made with natural ingredients. Unfortunately, she suffered a experienced a severe reaction to a gluten-free product which she purchased shortly after her diagnosis, due to xanthan gum, a food additive used extensively in gluten-free products, which is essentially a fermented bacteria and is linked to digestive discomfort. She came up with the idea of creating a range of superior tasting gluten-free confectionery products which tasted like ‘normal’ products which could be enjoyed by all and not just simply by those following a gluten-free diet.; the products ended up also being free from rice flour, xanthan gum, starches and artificial preservatives. All products in the range, which are listed with the Coeliac society of Ireland are made using various wholegrain flours which are higher in protein that those used typically in gluten-free products and which are also higher in fibre.
Speaking about the development of company and its success to date, Mari-Louise said “from taking my personal challenge to developing a product range has been a significant challenge and we are really pleased by the feedback from our customers to date and look forward to showing our product further at Taste of Dublin”. Mari-Louise concluded by saying “our products are trade products available in coffee shops around the country”
The company has been supported by Carlow County Council’s , Local Enterprise Office and Kieran Comerford – Head of Enterprise said “Mari-Louise and her team is a testament to the innovative type of entrepreneurs we have in County Carlow who are constantly innovating new product ranges to come up with solutions for their customers”.