BallaKarran Meat Company - Out of the box thinking and family inspiration
Janette and Will Qualtrough may have launched the BallaKarran brand in 2013 but its roots go much deeper. Will left school with a passion to farm instilled in him by his late uncle, Stanley Karran, and started out with a small flock of sheep on his uncle’s fields at Cregneash. From the outset, Will aimed to produce and sell his own pasture-reared lamb: a sustainable, ethical product that would be completely traceable ‘from farm to fork’. He chose BallaKarran as the name for his business in tribute to his uncle Stanley.
Hard work and determination kept Will’s dream on course and now BallaKarran has grown into a strong, successful company, supplying 100% Manx lamb – as well as pork and beef – to customers across the Isle of Man.
“We’re a true family-run business whose guiding beliefs have been consistent since the very beginning: we’re passionate about the Manx countryside and making a contribution to our community through sustainable practice.
BallaKarran are committed to high welfare standards in farming, too. All our lambs are, as nature intended, raised outdoors and reared on clover, grass and ewe’s milk. There is a direct link between the quality of this upbringing and the quality of the product their customers enjoy.
Innovative ideas and creative thinking guaranteed the BallaKarran team strived to move forward and in 2016, in light of the continued growth of the business, Will and Janette sought the assistance of Conister Bank. With their help, they converted a commercial van into a bespoke butchery and farm shop.
The van, which sells 100% Manx produce is a mobile farm shop and butchery, it allows the team to be in the right place at the right time, serving customers in Peel, Port St Mary, St John’s, Glen Vine and the Isle of Man Business Park.
BallaKarran’s mobile service initially ran for one day per week, swiftly progressing to three days by January 2017. Will and Janette aim to extend to five trading days per week within the next six months. They also have plans for a butchery on their farm.
Will comments, “Having the Conister team on board has been amazing. We’ve dealt with other banks in the past where, unfortunately, bureaucracy took precedence over customer relationships but with Conister on board, we were able to grow the business quickly by talking to real people every step of the way. We share their values: we too believe in giving all our customers the best possible service, value and quality.
“Believing in 100% Manx produce, and championing this, is our passion. The consumer knows where their food is coming from; it's good for the economy; and it helps to ensure that we in the Isle of Man will have food security in the future.
“We see our relationship with Conister as an ongoing journey. With their assistance, and the great team we have, we have confidence that we can plan ahead, providing new jobs and continuing to make a contribution”.