Cherry Blossom Bakery
Cherry Blossom Bakery was established in December 2010 when the owners Simon and Siobhan Stenson identified a gap in the market for good quality artisan breads and confectionary made with natural ingredients, without additives or preservatives. The bakery also created a range of products specifically for people that are coeliac or have a wheat intolerance.
The bakery received support from South West Mayo Development Company and LEADER grant aid for bakery equipment.
The owners, Simon and Siobhan Stenson
Simon’s background is in Food & Beverage and he worked in construction for a number of years. In the business Simon looks after the innovation of products, and the day to day production.
When Simon lost his job in construction he turned to what he loved, and decided to go to Ballymaloe Cookery School to update his skills. He then used his knowledge gained in Ballymaloe to create tasty additive & preservative free artisan breads and cakes for the supermarket shelves.
Siobhan’s background is in Finance and Siobhan looks after Finance, Sales & Marketing and lets her creative side out by designing their brand and packaging.
From Strength to Strength
The Stensons where approved funding for the Purchase of Equipment for Specialised Artisan Bakery. They started their business in a small premises in Ballyvary, just outside Castlebar. They were approved a grant of €18,355.00, 50% of their costs.
The bakery has enjoyed phenomenal success since Simon and Siobhan started it in late 2010 winning the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award for Connacht in February 2012.
Also, in February this year An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD opened a new bakery in Castlebar that hopes to create up to 15 more jobs, on top of the other workers they still have in their Ballyvary bakery.
Cherry Blossom are also training a social welfare participant (internship) into a baker position, this person when trained will become a paid member of the staff.
Cherry Blossom started off as a niche market supplier but has today developed into a recognised brand name in the west of Ireland supplying over 150 stores with products in nine counties.
Owner Siobhan Stenson says that "The Leader Funding was crucial in our business getting off the ground and the grant enabled us to purchase the main piece of machinery we needed for the business. Without this we would not have been able to get our start up business off the ground".