Simply Scones: Handmade, frozen, ready to bake scones made with Irish butter and free range eggs
Cooking and baking have always been part and parcel of my life. I grew up in West Cork in the 70’s where my mother Nancy ran a Farm Guest house. Scones were her signature welcome to all guests, served warm from the oven with homemade jam and copious pots of tea. So it’s not really surprising that this early influence was the origin of my business idea.
The concept behind Simply Scones has been at the back of my mind for many years now, though it was April 2015 when I sold my first packs of frozen scone at the Honest 2 Goodness farmers market in Glasnevin, Dublin. Many years ago I had a stand at a farmers market in Clone where I sold a wide range of home baked goods including sweet and savoury scones. I’d get up at the crack of dawn to have my scones freshly baked for my customers but I was always conscious that many of them wouldn’t be eaten for a day or two when I knew they’d be long past their best. The short shelf life of a scone always challenged me and I wanted my customers to experience a truly fresh and delicious home baked scone. This was when I got the idea of freezing them immediately on making for baking at a later stage.
However my idea was put on hold as I returned to work following a career break. In December 2013 I was offered a voluntary redundancy from the financial institution where I had worked for over 30 years and decided to grasp the opportunity to pursue a career focused on my true passion, food!
The positive feedback I received from customers at H2G confirmed my belief that I could bring my business idea to the next level. Around the same time I got the fantastic opportunity to take part in the Food Academy programme, a training programme aimed at supporting start up food businesses, run collaboratively by SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Office. This was a great experience, meeting other food producers and receiving training and mentoring from experts in the area of food production. The focus of the programme is to support sustained growth for small food producers and this is achieved by allocating stores to producers, at regular intervals. Through the Food Academy I initially got to supply my scones in eight Meath SuperValus and have since expanded my reach to stores in Louth and Westmeath. The SuperValu stores are great for encouraging in store tastings and I find that this is the best way to meet with customers and prospective customers and get feedback on my scones.
People seem to love the convenience my product offers. They can have a freshly baked handmade scone in 20 minutes without the mixing the mess or the fuss!