A Visit to Lynas Food Outlet Belfast
Lynas Food Outlet Belfast
Neil and I are huge fans of supporting local businesses and buying local produce. Meeting the people behind the scenes and learning of their history, seeing the passion and time they’ve invested in producing quality products, and experiencing overall better customer service. In my opinion, nobody should begrudge paying that little bit extra for a friendly face and the knowledge that your money is staying within the community. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bargains to be had, though. We like to meal plan and do often stock up the freezer when we see items at great prices.
We were therefore thrilled to be invited along to Lynas Food Outlet in Belfast, which opened its Belfast store last April. Located on the Montgomery road, just off the Castlereagh Road, it really wasn’t difficult to locate. The outlet store itself is quite a large building and would be hard to miss.
We were met by our guide for the visit and enjoyed a friendly chat. Following this we grabbed a trolley and headed from the starting point to the baking section. For baking enthusiasts, the range on display here is very good and the prices are excellent. You can buy standard sized bags of flour/sugar cheaper than your regular supermarket, or 1.5kg bags for even better value, especially if you’re an avid baker. Down the next aisle it was the spices that caught our attention. Proper sizeable tubs of spices, rather than those fiddly little jars. At under £5 for a 500g tub, you’re saving money right away.
For a Saturday it wasn’t overly busy, which made for an enjoyable browse around the store without the often hectic feel of a supermarket. The one thing that drives me insane in supermarkets are the narrow aisles; no such concern here as the outlet is spacious. No trolley wars, thank goodness! The trolleys themselves are kept inside, away from the rain and are large enough to accommodate the sizeable items you can buy in here. Which is a good thing, because you are unlikely to leave this store without buying something.
We met up with our guide again, who gave us a tour of the outlet and shared some interesting facts about the history of Lynas. The business itself has been going strong for 70 years and is still family run. The managing director Andrew Lynas is the grandson of Bobby Lynas, who was originally a fishmonger with a small shop in Coleraine, before expanding into the business that exists today. They supply many of Northern Ireland’s hotels, restaurants, cafes and schools. Their main market is the small independent local business, so it is fitting that the vast majority of their products are sourced locally too.
Whilst on our lovely tour, we had a very interesting discussion with our guide about where the meat was sourced from. Causeway Prime is the name of their brand, devoted to locally sourced restaurant quality produce. We picked up a pack of 10 beef sausages for £5.40, a 606g pork fillet for a mere £4.33 and 4 sliced ribeye at £15.40. Try replicating that in one of the big supermarket chains! What helps keep the price down is the minimal packaging. I dislike the wasteful excess of packaging on food items like meat, but here the meat is vacuum packed and you can see it in all its glory. Only their chicken is imported from Holland, which our guide assured us comes from high standard factories.
Another great attribute is the gluten-free options available. Local business ‘Rule of Crumb’ features heavily. The flourishing business that once featured on Dragon’s Den (and the Dragon’s were fools not to invest), promise high quality products – gluten-free goodies that actually taste good! We tried out the two pies: Steak pie and the Goats cheese pie, with pleasing results.
The seafood section is quite good, although we were hoping to see more variety here, like mussels and squid. Our guide informed us that the other outlet had mussels, so I’d imagine it won’t be long until we see the Belfast store stocked up with more options. There was a good selection of prawns and salmon, however. Lynas’ motto is all about providing the best product and best service. I can believe this as I saw it demonstrated in our guide and how she was so keen to hear our feedback, proving that Lynas is a company that listens to its customers.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are noticeably absent in store. Although, as a smoothie lover, I was happy to see they have some frozen fruit in the chilled section such as mangos and raspberries.
There are also non-food items such as take away cups, cartons, kitchen rolls, as well as various types of cleaning products.
This was ashamedly our first visit, but most definitely won’t be our last. We were impressed by the friendly welcome by the staff and the range on offer. Not to mention the free cup of coffee at the entrance! The real pulling power of the outlet is definitely the meat section. We spent what must have equated to over an hour browsing what was on offer and asking our guide questions, which she was more than happy to answer.
Lynas Food Outlet is open everyday 9:00am – 18:00pm except Sundays.
Many thanks to Lynas for the tour and the products we received.
I have a recipe coming up very soon using some of the produce we obtained during our visit.
Update: Recipe right here > Sausage Casserole With Herb Dumplings <