Fresh idea a winner for 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.