Yellow Door achieves Northern Ireland ‘first’ in Food Made Good Standard

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A Co Armagh food business is the first in Northern Ireland to achieve a two-star rating in The Sustainable Restaurant Association's Food Made Good Standard.

Yellow Door, based in Portadown, is celebrating the notable milestone which underscores its commitment to sustainability within the hospitality industry.

Operated by the husband-and-wife team Simon and Jilly Dougan, Yellow Door includes a bakery, the Deli Market restaurant in Portadown, and well-known outside catering operations.

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The company employs 70 people across the three operations, plus casual staff for events. Last year, the company had a turnover of £3.6 million.

SImon and Jilly Dougan of Yellow Door. Picture: Darren KiddSImon and Jilly Dougan of Yellow Door. Picture: Darren Kidd
SImon and Jilly Dougan of Yellow Door. Picture: Darren Kidd

Jilly Dougan said the business has always been committed to ethical sourcing and sustainability. She wanted to test if Yellow Door's operations would pass close scrutiny by the organisation, whose president is chef Raymond Blanc.

"The agrifood sector, at the level of artisans and independent businesses, relies on trust and cooperation,” Jilly Dougan said.

"This drives our approach to always seek out the best ingredients, not beating our small suppliers down on price and conducting ourselves in full awareness that we are in a climate crisis. We want to feed people well and make them happy, at the end of the day. While it's one thing to claim to be conscientious and aware, it's another to be closely examined by qualified inspectors. This acknowledgment gives us even more reason to celebrate.”

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The Sustainable Restaurant Association’s Food Made Good Standard follows an extensive assessment process which looks at three key pillars: sourcing, society and environment.

Managing director of The Sustainable Restaurants Association, Juliane Caillouette Noble added: "We are delighted to congratulate Yellow Door Deli on their fantastic two-star result in the Food Made Good Standard, making them the only accredited restaurant in Northern Ireland.

"Social sustainability is an area often overlooked in the hospitality industry, so it was particularly impressive to see their great work in the Society pillar of the Standard. Specifically, we are inspired to see the relationship they have built with the local community in Portadown and love their menus – a true celebration of small-scale and local artisan producers. Well done to Jilly and Simon Dougan and the whole team at Yellow Door."