One More Thing: BFree hopes Wimbledon deal will be game changer

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action at Wimbledon. Photograph:  Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action at Wimbledon. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

 

He may have been given one of the best draws in this year’s Wimbledon championships, but world number one and confirmed coeliac Novak Djokovic will still be depending on a good diet to power him all the way to the final.

Watching the Serbian player every volley of the way will be the people at BFree, Ronan McNamee’s gluten-free bakery company that has cleverly landed the role as “exclusive” gluten-free supplier to the tennis championship.

The company started life in April 2011, with McNamee’s past life at the helm of Cuisine de France helping it to win distribution agreements with Dunnes, Tesco and SuperValu for its gluten-free loaves and wraps.


Target market
Alex Murphy, head of sales and marketing at BFree, tells us it is now racking up annual sales of €1 million, with appetite for its products extending well beyond its original coeliac target market. BFree now employs nine people and wants to extend its reach abroad, making Wimbledon a potentially very smart move.

From July 22nd the company will start selling in Asda and also plans to launch with online UK retailer Ocado next month. It will also be supplying the UK food service market through Compass.

Tesco UK is next in the line of targets, though Murphy acknowledges that having a contract with the retailer’s Irish arm is no guarantee of winning one elsewhere.

The most recent accounts for the company show it had a shareholders’ deficit of €153,658 at the end of 2011, after its first eight months in business.