In the end, the name came to us in a flash.
"Right, so we're focusing on foods from Ireland and Scotland." "Yep." "So it needs to encompass both of those things."
"And what we definitely don't want is anything too heavy on the tartan, or the shamrocks 'n' shillelaghs." "Absolutely. Nothing cheesy. This is a cliché free zone."
"Unique, memorable, and easy to pronounce, no matter where you're from." "As far as possible, anyway."
"How's about Dalriata?" "What now?"
Way, way back in the mists of time, not too long after Hadrian built his wall, a tribe from the southwest of Ireland started migrating its way across the island. Some time later, they arrived in the diagonally opposite corner, in what is now County Antrim, and established a kingdom known as Dál Riata.
Life was pretty good here, but with two other kingdoms on their doorstep, they were feeling a little bit cramped. Having run out of space to move into on their own island, their attentions turned to across the sea. There was land over there, they could see it. Could make for some good pasture.
Gradually, and with much toing and froing, they carved out a territory for themselves from the mostly vacant land they found on the Scottish Mainland and the Western Isles. The geographically fragmented nature of this region lent itself to forming a kind of confederation of tribes, each with their own king, who then paid allegiance to a "king of kings".
Though things were peaceful at first, Eventually Dál Riata found themselves bumping up against the Picts, who were established further inland. These two kingdoms quarrelled on and off for centuries, before eventually being united under King Kenneth MacAlpin in the 9th century. By bringing these two kingdoms together, Scotland was born.
And what happened to the Irish corner of the kingdom? Nobody's really sure. It seems like they lost touch with the Scottish side of the operation. Got left behind. Maybe the Vikings disrupted things beyond repair.
Centuries later, we're naming our business after this ancient kingdom not only for the reasons above, but because it encapsulates where we come from, geographically as well as spiritually. Shrouded in the mists of time as it is, so much of its history is lost to us now, but these were people who roamed, reached out and connected across seas, hills and valleys. And that's what we'd like to do, too.
Plus, they gave the world whisky, so that's pretty neat, isn't it?