New innovator: Cloudberry Bakery
Mother and daughter find sweet success with dessert spreads
Maureen and Sam Harrison of the Cloudberry Bakery: “Customers started asking if they could buy the filling alone, so we decided to jar it and introduced it into our concession shop in the Brown Thomas food emporium in Cork to see the reaction.”
Mother and daughter, Maureen and Sam Harrison, set up the Cloudberry Bakery in 2010 to make top-end wedding cakes. However, the unexpected popularity of their sea salted caramel spread (used to fill their cakes and macaroons) has led to a complete change in direction and launch of a new business producing luxury sweet spreads in Castlemaine, Co Kerry.
“Customers started asking if they could buy the filling alone, so we decided to jar it and introduced it into our concession shop in the Brown Thomas food emporium in Cork to see the reaction,” Sam says.
“It was a big hit and convinced us that this was where the potential lay for the future. My mum is a Swiss-trained master baker and development chef and she began working on creating a range of flavours that are both delicious and decadent!
“The spreads can be used to fill cakes or to spread on bread or scones or over ice-cream. Most spreads and dessert sauces on the market use lots of chemical preservatives and low quality ingredients.
“Our products are made with the best quality, 100 per cent natural ingredients, locally sourced, where possible.”
Cloudberry Bakery launched its spreads at the end of last year and is now selling in selected outlets in Ireland and the UK. The company’s official launch will take place this September at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London where its initial range of five spreads will be unveiled to the retail and foodservice markets.
Cloudberry is currently participating in the Bord Bia Food Works programme which aims to support the development of Irish food entrepreneurs whose products are export focused. “There isn’t a complete range of high quality Irish-made spreads and sauces available here so that’s a clear gap we can fill and there is also an opportunity for us both in Ireland and overseas at the high-end of the foodservice sector,” Sam says.
Necessary fundingEnterprise Ireland
“We found the Bank of Ireland in Tralee very keen to help and very switched on to what we were trying to do,” she says.
“Each of our products has different competitors and our foodservice competitors are generally different to our retail competitors.”
“The only current exception to this is Nutella which is sold into both segments. I suppose they are the real ‘Goliath’ having recently been crowned the most popular spread in the UK, displacing Marmite!
“I have a cupboard of spreads from all over the world ranging in price from €2 to €20 a jar and there is nothing there that worries me. We think there are many opportunities for a top-class product in numerous markets. We are currently employing four people and this will rise in the coming months as we start ramping up for our launch.”