01 Dec 2021

Laois students turn TY project into a tasty business

Laois students turn TY project into a tasty business

Maeve Kenny and Emma Delaney at their Saturday bake sale in Cullohill, Laois.

What began as a Transition Year 'mini business' for two Laois girls, has grown into a steadily growing business.

Maeve Kenny and Emma Delaney are from Cullohill in south Laois, the childhood home of Irish chefs Darina Allen and Rory O'Connell so they were already off to a good start as food producers.

They are students just over the Kilkenny border in Coláiste Mhuire Johnstown.

On the May Bank Holiday in 2020, just after the onset of the pandemic, the two girls set up a cake stall in the Village Green in Cullohill on Saturday mornings selling their own freshly baked cakes and tasty bites.

A year on and despite the difficulties of remote school studies and Covid restrictions, the girls have kept their stall running, growing loyal customers with their professional tasty bakes.

Emma and Maeve say they were both keen to sample some real business experience before starting Transition Year last September. With the effects of Covid, work experience in the local school, shop or any other business was never an option.

"The bake-sale gave us huge learning and great experience. Planning quantities and baking items each week is key every week while accounting is a skill fast being developed. Ingredients and other items have to be purchased while at the same time trying to ensure a small profit margin," explained Emma.

"Starting during the pandemic created some challenges but possibly also created some opportunities. People are staying local due to travel restrictions so the bake-sale has given a local focus. At the moment we have a small outdoor seating area with the option there to enjoy a coffee, a slice of cake and have a chat, all in keeping with Covid guidelines," Maeve said.

They celebrated their first year in business recently with a special raffle.

The bake-sale has proved hugely popular over the last twelve months.They intend to continue with their weekly Saturday morning slot.  The stall runs every Saturday morning 10.30 – 12.30.

See more of their bakes below.

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