Many will remember Bo Peep jam, last seen on the shelves in 1998, not only with fond memories of an iconic brand and thriving jam factory in Drumshanbo but also of great tastes in times gone by. Those who remember her will be chuffed with the good news that she is to return to our shelves with four tasty preserves – Orange Marmalade, Apricot Jam, Rhubarb and Fig Jam and a very tasty Plum and Apple Jam in the coming weeks and months. The return of this iconic brand is all thanks to Leitrim man and jam expert Noel McPartland whose love affair with Bo Peep began over 50 years ago when he worked as sales manager for the Laird Family in Drumshanbo. Noel sold Bo Peep jams not only in Ireland but also in countries throughout Europe and the Middle East as well as the USA and Canada.
At the height of its production, Laird’s jam making factory in Drumshanbo was producing a staggering 30 tonnes of jam and marmalade per each eight hour shift, it had 150 employees on the books and it seemed to be continually growing from strength to strength. The success of the company culminated in 1971 when it was awarded the “Irish Exporters’ Association Award” a highly coveted award which recognised the export growth and potential of this small business In Leitrim. At a time when foreign travel was scarce, not many would have believed that Bo Peep could be the brand leader in such far off places as Saudi Arabia!