Homemade granola business set to join Bord Bia Food Service Academy

By Maurice Garvey

A RATHFARNHAM based homemade granola business, was chosen to join a new collaborative programme, run by Bord Bia and Musgrave Marketplace.

Maria Lucia Bakes, a producer of gourmet gluten, wheat and dairy free granola cereals, will join the first Food Service Academy.

Bus pic - Lucia Maria Bakes FoodService Academy 

It is a new programme which seeks to help ten small Irish food and drink companies develop their business in a part of the foodservice sector commonly referred to as “out of home food market.”

The programme also aims to help companies achieve growth within Musgrave Marketplace’s foodservice business, which works with over 6,000 customers each week ranging from hotels and restaurants to pubs and nursing homes.

Maria Lucia Bakes was established in 2013 and now supplies over 400 stores across Ireland, from a base in Rosedale Lodge, Barton Avenue, Rathfarnham.

Owner Maria Lucia developed a passion for healthy, home baked food, whilst growing up in Glendalough.

She has been making her favourite food - homemade granola – and variations of it for many years, and offers a range of flavours, including products that are gluten free and suitable for most coeliacs.

The Food Service Acadmey will take place over four months, and comprises workshops and mentoring.

Representatives from Musgrave Marketplace will participate in workshops, sharing practical insights and experience to help the companies understand supplier set-up, food safety requirements, distribution, sales and marketing.

Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia’s Foodservice Specialist, said: “Bord Bia is delighted to work with Musgrave MarketPlace for the first time on the inaugural Food Service Academy, looking to grow the sales of small businesses in the market.

“As is evidenced in our recent industry report, the out of home market is now worth €6.37 billion, and this is forecasted to grow to almost €6.9 billion by 2018, so this is an area we are encouraging companies to develop.”

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