Making desserts proved a sweet recipe for business success for Margaret Lynch of Couverture, a contract manufacturer.
A graduate of the bakery school at DIT Kevin Street, she got her first job with Lir Chocolates. She stayed 10 years, learned how to set up and grow a successful food business and made contacts with supermarkets which were to prove invaluable to her when, in 1998, she left to set up Couverture with her sister Geraldine O’Connor. Celine Hayes-English, a partner in the business, joined soon afterwards and looks after sales and marketing.
The company manufactures own brand desserts for, among others, Supervalu, and provides contract catering services to a number of well known food brands.Having seen others succeed in selling her creations, the big question for Lynch has always been whether or not to create a brand of her own.
“It is something we have always struggled with but it would take such an amount of investment to develop a brand that it wouldn’t be worth it,” says Lynch.
“As things stand, we are actually a very well known b2b (business to business) brand and that is what matters to us.”
Couverture has also grown as its supermarket customers have grown. It recently, for example, began exporting to the UK as a result of Musgraves introducing Couverture to its Budgens chain of food stores.
“It’s been a great for us because it has helped us learn about such export issues as logistics and currencies. It has also, more importantly, shown us how competitive we are there pricewise, which has given us great confidence to do more in the UK .”