We have teamed up with Tesco Taste Bud to bring you the best new Irish food producers, and tell you all about their products. Today, on Focus Friday we talk to Catherine Buggy creator of Boutique Bake.
Dublin based Boutique Bake was founded by Catherine Buggy in 2013. Spotting a gap in the market for baking mixes without artificial flavours, additives or preservatives, she started selling cake and bread mixes in farmers’ markets. In 2014 Boutique Bake joined the local level of the Tesco Taste Bud programme with Bord Bia and started selling in 11 Tesco stores in Dublin and Wicklow. Boutique Bake produces gourmet baking mixes including ‘The Zingy One’, lemon drizzle cake mix, ‘The Rustic One, seeded brown bread mix, ‘The Cheeky One’, carrot cake mix, ‘The Gooey One’, Belgian chocolate brownie mix and ‘The Chewy One’, super seed flapjack mix.
We caught up with Catherine and here is what she had to say:
- Can you tell us a bit about your product?
At Boutique Bake we produce a range of cake & bread mixes, using only the finest ingredients. There are currently 5 products in the range, including:
- Brownie Mix
- Carrot Cake Mix
- Lemon Drizzle Cake Mix
- Bread Mix
- Flapjack Mix
Our range does not contain any artificial flavours, colourings or preservatives, and we never compromise on quality!
- What inspired you to create your product?
I have always been hugely passionate about food, in particular baking and grew up baking in the kitchen from a young age.
In 2012, I saw there was a gap in the market for a high quality, and truly homemade tasting baking mix. So in June 2013, I began trialing our range of baking mixes in local farmers markets, with my friend. The response was amazing, and after two months I received an email from Tesco, so I knew then that I was on to something great!
At Boutique Bake, we want to encourage people to get back baking and have some fun. With our range of baking mixes, our aim is to give people confidence that they can create delicious home baked cakes & bread, with guaranteed results each time!
- How has your product evolved since it has launched?
In terms of the product itself, we still use the same natural formulas we started out with in the farmers markets. We haven’t included any preservatives or stabilisers, so the mixes are still free from artificial additives. In terms of the look of the product range, the packaging was originally a brown paper bag with hand-tied bows! After a few months, this became far too labour intensive as you can imagine!
- Who is your customer?
Large portions of our customers are definitely those with children, or those looking to do a fun activity with children. Our baking mixes are perfect for this, as there is no weighing involved, so everyone can get baking with no hassle and very little mess!
Our range appeals to those who are short on time but who still want to bake something that tastes homemade and does not contain anything artificial.
I definitely think that Boutique Bake is creating new interest in home baking, and one of my aims is to get those who may not have baked before to give it a go!
- What tips would you give to someone who is starting out and wants to launch a food-related product/business?
I definitely think that testing your products at a farmer’s market stall is hugely beneficial, it is a great way to gauge people’s reactions. It is also relatively low cost compared to going straight into commercial kitchen/facility, as the rent is much more affordable.
I would also recommend speaking to your Local Enterprise Office and Bord Bia, as they are both hugely knowledgeable and a great support. In particular, I found the LEO very helpful when it came to writing a business plan, as this was something I had no experience doing. There are also a number of supplier development programmes run by retailers, such as the Tesco Taste Bud Programme, which was hugely beneficial and provided excellent support.
Finally, my top tip would be to just give it a go! There’s never a perfect time to start a new business, but you learn so much once you are up and running. It can be daunting, but if you have a great idea, definitely go for it! It’s a really exciting time to be in the food industry in Ireland!
- Where can you buy this product and how much will it cost?
We are stocked in over 100 stores around the country. For a full list of stockists visit: www.boutiquebake.ie
The sweet range retail for €3.99 and the bread mix retails at €2.99.
- What does the future hold for your business?
My goal for Boutique Bake is to be readily available nationwide. I want our products to be the brand of choice when you need to make a cake/bread quickly, but don’t want to compromise on quality & taste! Once the brand and product range is established in the Irish market, I will focus on exporting and can really see our products working well in the UK and further afield.
In addition to focusing on the retail side of things, I am building up a food blog and also a YouTube channel featuring all things baking!
We also have new products planned for 2016, so it’s going to be an exciting few years ahead for Boutique Bake!
Boutique Bake is one of the nearly 70 Irish food and drink producers that have participated in the Tesco Taste Bud programme in partnership with Bord Bia. To date, Taste Bud producers have recorded over €30 million worth of sales in Tesco stores, with nearly a quarter of this revenue generated in the UK, highlighting the export opportunities realised through the programme.
To find out more about Boutique Bake & Tesco Taste Bud Programme Check Them Out On Social: