Fresh idea a win­ner for Jinny’s Bak­ery

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - FOOD & DRINK IRELAND - JINNY’S BAK­ERY

Sinead Gil­lard and her hus­band Pas­cal Gil­lard, who run the fam­ily busi­ness from her premises in Drumshanbo, have been bak­ing com­mer­cially since 2003.

“Bak­ing has al­ways in­ter­ested me and the fact that I’ve worked in a restau­rant for nearly 30 years cer­tainly means I know my way around a kitchen. I made brown bread for our fam­ily busi­ness ‘ McGuire’s Cot­tages’. The re­ac­tion from our Ir­ish and for­eign vis­i­tors was al­ways very pos­i­tive. My best friend con­vinced me to try sell­ing to lo­cal shops in Drumshanbo and that was the start of our bak­ery busi­ness. The re­sponse from lo­cal peo­ple was so pos­i­tive that I de­cided to try an­other few shops. Now I’m sup­ply­ing over thirty out­lets in Roscom­mon, Sligo, Long­ford, and Leitrim.”

Af­ter a ca­reer in bank­ing, Sinead took the op­por­tu­nity to travel and spent some time in Aus­tralia.

On her re­turn to Ire­land she as­sisted in the run­ning of the fam­ily restau­rant with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the breads and deserts sec­tion of the kitchen.

Due to the sea­son­al­ity of tourism, Sinead started think­ing of what she could do in the win­ter months to sup­ple­ment her in­come.

Cus­tomers of the restau­rant had been ask­ing to buy her bak­ery prod­ucts so she started pro­duc­ing ex­tra prod­ucts to sell di­rectly. Even with this en­dorse­ment as to how good the prod­ucts are Sinead was still ner­vous and there­fore pro­duced the prod­ucts un­der the name Jinny’s Bak­ery.

On ask­ing Sinead where the name came from: “It’s my nick­name given to me by my fam­ily; I thought if the busi­ness went belly up it would only be my fam­ily that knew it was me be­hind the prod­ucts!”

This re­ally is a match made in heaven though, as Pas­cal com­pleted a Mas­ters De­gree in Food Sci­ence be­fore fin­ish­ing his stud­ies. So with the com­bi­na­tion of pas­sion and sci­en­tific knowl­edge the cou­ple have de­vel­oped a range of yeast and sugar free home made brown breads. They car­ried out prod­uct re­search, mar­ket re­search and de­signed a range of dis­tinc­tive pack­ag­ing in or­der to ap­proach lo­cal re­tail­ers to stock the breads.

Pas­cal is cur­rently the Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Man­ager for the Ir­ish Or­gan­ics Farm­ers and Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion but will be leav­ing his post this year to work full time on the busi­ness with Sinead. The prod­ucts are cur­rently avail­able in stores in Leitrim, Sligo, Long­ford and Roscom­mon.

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