Sea Sugar Handmade Confectionery features on James Martin’s Saturday Morning

An East Antrim business has experienced a boost in sales after making an appearance on a popular ITV cookery show.

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 9:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 9:35 am

Sea Sugar Handmade Confectionery, founded in 2016 by Whitehead woman Linda McGibbon, featured on James Martin’s Saturday Morning.

During the segment, which aired on April 23, TV chef James relates how he came across Linda’s homemade confectionary while filming a programme in 2019.

Linda said: “I’m part of the Naturally North Coast and Glens group, who have a market at the sea front during the Lammas Fair in Ballycastle. James was filming at the fair as part of a series called Islands to Highlands with Paul Rankin.”

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Linda McGibbon from Sea Sugar Handmade Confectionery

The show ended up featuring Linda’s busy stall at the market, in particular as an artisan producer of Yellow Man - the sweet treat mostly closely associated with the centuries-old fair.

In January of this year, ITV production teams got in touch with Linda to let her know that the Yorkshire-born chef was keen to feature her business once more.

She continued: “He also really took an interest in how we’d done, as a small business, during the pandemic. Covid meant I wasn’t able to do a lot of the fairs and events that I usually would have, but I turned my attention to my website and e-commerce, and that’s still where most of the business is focussed now.”

In the latest programme, which is still available on ITV Hub, James shows viewers how to use Linda’s sweets as a topping for homemade cupcakes.

And since the broadcast, sales of Sea Sugar’s artisan treats have seen a significant boost.

“There’s been an incredible reaction; I’ve had to bring in a friend to help with all the extra orders!” Linda added.