Healthy snacks and treats sees local bakery flourish

By Mary Dennehy

A SURGE in demand for its healthy snacks and treats has enabled the owners of a Rathcoole bakery to reopen their premises and rehire their nine staff on a full-time basis.

After featuring on RTE Six One News, Absolute Bakery experienced an increase in sales, including a new contract with a national retailer.

Jo Davey Absolute Nutrition compressor

Jo Davey Absolute Nutrition

Following the introduction of restrictions introduced to stem the spread of Covid-19 in March, Joanne and James Davey turned their attention to the business’ online shop.

The online shop was developed with the support of a Trading Online Voucher scheme from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in South Dublin last year.

According to Ms Davey: “We have had some media publicity in the past but the last month has been nuts.

“We have just had ITV over to film a piece too.

“When we started, we could not have imagined we would end up on national news here or in the UK.” 

She added: “We’ve definitely seen an increase in online sales as a result, and the personal messages people have sent us have been so special. 

“We’re delighted to get our staff back into the bakery, it’s keeping us all going through these unusual times.”

She added: “When we started neither James nor I had any experience in business, but the Food Academy Programme with LEO South Dublin gave us everything we needed to get started and it all grew from there.

“In 2018, the Business Expansion Grant helped us to expand, building a new bakery to spec, and 2019 they helped us again to launch the website shop.”

According to Ms Davey, the support of LEO South Dublin has also helped them to adapt and hit the ground running when ‘business as usual’ was stalled by the emergency trading restrictions.

In response to restrictions on business operations, the LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme has been expanded to fund up to €2,500 in costs with co-funding of 10 per cent to support businesses and entrepreneurs to develop website payment facilities and booking systems.

Businesses, such as Absolute Nutrition, which have already availed of the Trading Online Voucher are now eligible to apply for a second voucher to support further upgrades.

The Local Enterprise Office in South Dublin has also moved all scheduled training and mentoring services online to continue supporting clients.

Head of Enterprise at LEO South Dublin, Tom Rooney said that support measures like the Trading Online Voucher will be essential to keeping businesses trading during this time.

“We are delighted to see Absolute Nutrition reopen their doors full-time, their business is a great example of what can be achieved, in unprecedented times such as these, when you have the right support in place”, Mr Rooney said.

In response to current trading restrictions, LEO South Dublin are also providing a Business Continuity Voucher scheme through which business owners and entrepreneurs can access €2,500 from LEO South Dublin to help develop short and long-term strategies.

According to Mr Rooney, over 200 businesses in the South Dublin area have applied for the Business Continuity Voucher so far with thousands of business owners nationwide signing up for virtual Trading Online Voucher workshops being held online over the next week.

For more information on the supports available for business from LEO South Dublin, visit Local Enterprise

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