Food the Waterford Way is the county’s up and coming food brand, giving participants an exciting opportunity to experience authentic Waterford cuisine right in the environment and communities from which their meal’s delectable ingredients were sourced.
Through this new County Initiative, Waterford’s artisan food producers have joined to form a sort of assembly of artisans, nominating local restaurants which are in turn encouraged to serve up signature dishes that not only use fresh ingredients from the length and breadth of the county, but also really serve up a sense of what Waterford is all about.
As part of the initiative, special events beyond the restaurants will take you right to the suppliers and producers for a taste of the landscape, weather and heritage that makes all that delicious food possible.
In the run up to the initiative’s launch, TOTEM worked with the Waterford Way committee to design a unique brand identity that really communicates the heritage, environment and unique flavour that Waterford has to offer.
Taking inspiration from the French wine industry, we decided that to really tell the story of ‘Food the Waterford Way’, we had to isolate the elements of this county’s terroir – the physical and environmental qualities that make our food what it is.
There’s a lot of special things about Waterford and the landscape from which these natural culinary treasures are derived: the crashing waves of the Celtic Sea, the sheltered coves, the windswept and impossibly scenic Comeraghs and the patchwork of emerald green pastures and cultivated fields between. These are the places from which our food has been wrought by generations of toil and passion; whether it be succulent lamb, sea-fresh oysters or a pint of craft stout, brewed just down the road.
Doireann, one of our senior designers, distilled this landscape down into its essence, crafting a strong, symbolic and people-centric logo composed of overlapping rings; the outer ring of water, then land, then the sun, with people at the core. For her colour palette, she chose rich earthy tones in homage to the fertile soils that in some way touch all Waterford food production.
Setting this initiative against a backdrop of heritage and history was a big part of our concept too. Waterford City after all was once the medieval wine capital of Ireland, with prized trade routes to sophisticated continental ports, as well as hosting merchants from Bruges to Bordeaux. Similarly so, Coffee House Lane in that very same city was the place where Ireland’s first coffee was brewed, bagged and sold. Even our beloved blaa had some outside inspiration, as it was based on a recipe brought to Waterford by Huguenots settlers. In the here and now however, the tables have turned as the renown of our products spreads far beyond our shores, with local producers exporting to China and elsewhere.
The rest of the team used these brand concepts and stories to put together a package including an informative brochure, with a map of all the food producers, restaurants and markets that make up this initiative, as well as signage, banners and a microsite – all to help Waterford receive some well-deserved recognition as a first-class culinary destination.
Be sure to check out some of the brilliant events that are part of Food the Waterford Way. There’s a very good chance you’ll run into some of us there too. After all, who can resist some honest-to-goodness Waterford cooking?