There are three people in the business. Danny O’Regan, Paul O’Regan and Anne Marie Collins.
The idea of making yoghurt has been on their minds for over 2 years.
Paul and Anne Marie keep a small herd of goats on their property in Coosheen, just outside the village of Schull. They wanted to do something with the milk and decided to make yoghurt. Danny, who was living in Australia at the time, has a degree in dairy science, and he provided the technical input to Paul and Anne Marie on how to make the yoghurt. After 26 years living abroad, Danny had already decided to return to Ireland, and the goat’s milk yoghurt project was considered an opportunity to enable him to live and work in his home village of Schull.
Paul was aware of the SuperValu Food Academy, registered, and Danny flew back and forth from Australia to attend each module. After attending the first two modules, and taking on board what they heard, it became clear to them that the goat’s milk yoghurt was going to be a seasonal hobby rather than a viable business. Rather than give up on making yoghurt altogether, they decided to make yoghurt from coconut milk. Why coconuts? At the time, Danny was advising an Australian client on how to make yoghurt from coconut milk, so they had the technology, and as coconut was/is trending, and there is no Irish producer of coconut yoghurt, they all agreed that it represented an interesting opportunity.
The Food Academy also taught them the importance of branding and having a story. Our story and our brand, Schull & Crossbones was inspired by the discovery of a shipwreck in Schull harbour in 2012. A maritime archaeologist dived down to the wreck and resurfaced with coconuts. The ship had apparently sailed from the Caribbean in the 1600s with a cargo of coconuts and rum and was bound for England when she was attacked by a Dutch Pirate off the West Cork coast and was sunk in Schull harbour.
The influence and importance of the Food Academy on their business has been substantial
In the first year, Danny will work in the business full-time, while Paul and Anne Marie will work part-time as they have full-time careers elsewhere.
In the second year, in addition to themselves, they anticipate hiring one full-time production person, and one full-time customer service, marketing, general admin person.