Stephanie captures fresh Atlantic flavours from Portrush in her latest innovation

Atlantic Ocean flavours from Portrush are increasingly being used by chefs in restaurants on the Causeway Coast and by home cooks to create fresh and spicy tastes for diners.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 1:00 pm

Behind the novel flavours is Stephanie Neumann-Flynn, the owner of Partie de Moi, a small food enterprise in Portrush, who recently launched her original Atlantic Everything Seasoning for chefs and also for home cooks through grocery retailers and delis here.

Stephanie, who started her artisan venture during the pandemic and associated lockdowns, has seen it grow from a venture aimed at home cooks into a bulk supplier of spices to local restaurants and cafes. The small company is the outcome of her passion for cooking, entertaining and travelling.

The Atlantic Everything Seasoning, she continues, is based on her experience of holidaying in the US before the pandemic: “I noticed during my stay in the US that home cooks there used a type of seasoning for everything, Everything but the Bagel. I decided to create a similar seasoning here that included the fresh flavours from the Atlantic around Portrush. Included in the ingredients is sea salt harvested from local beaches by Coleraine-based Mussenden Sea Salt, another recently started artisan enterprise, which brings a taste of the Atlantic.

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Atlantic flavours from Stephanie Neumann-Flynn of Atlantic Everything Seasoning from Portrush

“In addition to the Co Antrim sea salt, the seasoning includes toasted white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, peppers, dried onion and dried garlic flakes. It’s created as a versatile savoury seasoning that can be used on virtually everything,”

Stephanie, who quit her full time job earlier in the year, to concentrate all her energies on the small business, explains.

“The seasoning adds a nutty flavour to countless savoury dishes such as popcorn, salads, avocados, roasted vegetables, chips, eggs, sushi and fish,” she adds.

The start-up began life last year with just one product, Pumpkin Spice, and has grown its portfolio in the past 12 months to include other original spice blends such as Artisan Sugar and Spice and Artisan Winter Spice, aimed, in particular, at home cooks.

The newly branded spices for home cooks and chefs

“I’ve benefited enormously from the growth in home cooking during the lockdown in hospitality,” she says. “Shoppers were looking for new tastes and are continuing to do so. I’ve also supported this important trend by featuring my own recipes for dishes on my new website.”

Assisted by local promotion body Taste Causeway in Coleraine and a design agency there, Stephanie has also rebranded the business to build on existing success particularly with local delis. Gone is the original identity of Artisan Pumpkin Spice to be replaced by a more attractive and distinctive Partie de Moi (Part of Me) brand that continues to be focused on an expanded range of fresh packaged spices.

She explains that fresh spices are central to her business offering and will continue to be as she continues to expand her range: “Fresh spice is so much stronger than others which have been on the shelves for months.”

Enthusiastic sole trader Stephanie, a mother of two young boys – Maximilien (9) and Sebastien (2) – is also planning to move from her own home kitchen to a separate production unit that will enable her to meet the growing demand for her expertise.

Atlantic flavours from Stephanie Neumann-Flynn of Atlantic Everything Seasoning from Portrush

“Local chefs, for instance, are now ordering in bulk quantities, and I need greater scope to respond to this exciting opportunity for the business. The new spice was tried by a local chef who liked it and told others in the area. As a result, I am now using my ninth food processor, for example, and it’s the biggest yet. So, it’s time for more scope to expand the business in terms of processing, storage and packaging,” she adds.

Stephanie, who is married to Ciaran, a consultant histopathologist, produced the first pumpkin spice to be ground in Northern Ireland last year.

She has also been advised by the Foodovation, part of the North West Regional College in Londonderry, which has a tremendous record of helping food and drink start-up and smaller enterprises to commercialise smart ideas for consumers here and abroad.

Stephanie’s passion for good food was shaped during her 18 years spent growing up in Brussels, one of Europe’s food hubs, in Belgium She lived there until she was 18 and went to school and college in the city before qualifying for university and a place at Ulster University in Coleraine. Her upbringing in Brussels and experience in the kitchen has also influenced some of the ingredients in her products.

“I’ve used sugar from Belgium, for instance, because it’s malted and made in a way that reduces the sweetness of sugar here,” she explains.

Stephanie, who has family links with Northern Ireland, subsequently graduated with a degree in Leisure and Event Management and began a career here in event management with several local councils including Causeway Coast and Glens.

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