“Necessity is the mother of all invention.” This saying is certainly true of the creation of Happy Days Artisan ice-cream. At the beginning of the economic crisis, the ice cream provider to Little Italy Café in Wilton Shopping Centre (owned by the Byrne family), sadly ceased trading.
Jim Byrne found himself without a source of quality Ice cream, a staple of his cafe business.
After considerable research he found that no suitable alternative product of the desired quality or range of flavours was available in Ireland. Jim was surprised to learn that Ireland is the second highest consumer of ice-cream per capita in Europe, behind Finland, which is surprising given our climate. Despite the fact that Ireland has some of the richest pastureland in Europe, 76% of ice-cream is imported.
Jim saw this gap in the market as both a challenge and an opportunity. Inspiration turned to action, when Jim decided to create Happy Days Artisan Ice Cream with the goal of creating a premium Ice-cream made from local Ingredients and with a wide range of flavours. Jim who owns the family run coffee shop “Little Italy” in Wilton Shopping Centre, headed to Northern Italy to train with master ice-cream makers in Rimini and Bologna.
Fast forward to today, and Happy Days is a successful growing business supplying to about 60 outlets, across Cork. As well as creating jobs in Happy Days Ice Cream, we buy locally as much as possible which helps the local economy. We pride ourselves on offering purely a Cork product using mainly Cork ingredients. Our tempting flavours include vanilla, bubblegum, honeycomb, White chocolate and raspberry, oreo, chocolate, strawberry and mint chocolate.
SuperValu has helped us hugely. During the Food Academy training days, I have learnt so much that I can now apply to our business. We got great feedback and advice on making our product more marketable. They’ve provided great opportunities.