Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Retail Intelligence Newsletter
The Authentic New York Bagel! Baked with loving care in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, by Rosie Sheehan (New York City) and her husband Des, Broadway Bagels are now available and offer value and innovation to the frozen food category in Ireland.
Irish consumers have a fast-growing taste for 'Authentic' Bagels and Broadway Bagels offer 4 pre-sliced Bagels that can be toasted from frozen in two great varieties - Poppy and The Works!
The healthy option with less than 2% Fat, no cholesterol, and no additives, Broadway Bagels are simply delicious and such good value at just €3.49 for 4 large Bagels!
The company recently featured on 'The Mentor' television programme on RTE and are being supported by advertising and a national PR campaign. Also, in the New Year, 50% Extra Free promotions packs will be available.
Thursday, November 3, 2005
Business Connections : Vodaphone
Following on from the success of various American and British business-orientated television programmes, a new production arrived on Irish screens earlier this autumn with RTE's 'The Mentor'. Produced by Tyrone Productions, a series of eight self-contained shows, each episode saw business gurus Jay Bourke and Dr Jeanne Bolger guide a different company on their future path to success.
The businesses featured were varied, as were the talents of the two experts who helped. Jay Bourke is joint MD of Sherland Leisure, a successful entrepreneur who invested his own money in a bar and steadily grew the business to include nightclubs, restaurants and more bars around the country. His latest venture is the conversion of the old Bewleys on Grafton Street to something more profitable and contemporary.
Jeanne Bolger is Vice-President of Scientific Licensing with Johnson & Johnson - a very corporate position in a large, multinational conglomerate.
Over the course of each show, we saw the pair study and counsel each of the entrepreneurs who sought expert advice. The challenges were all different and the Mentors introduced participants to specialists who could help with their business issues. "I was impressed by the qualities of determination, commitment and risk-taking displayed by all the companies who participated," comments Jeanne Bolger, in retrospect. "And I was delighted that my background and insights were of potential value to small businesses."
Both Mentors were impressed by the drive exhibited by each of the businesses, and while all were commended, it would be hard not to have favourites. "I was particularly struck by the sheer grit shown by Des and Rosie of Broadway Bagels," says Jeanne. "This couple came into a business about which they knew literally nothing apart from their love of bagels. They had no background in large scale baking, manufacturing, distribution, marketing and I really commend that entrepreneurial spirit."
Both Mentors have learned from the experience themselves. And, just as with life, Jeanne sums it up well by saying "the show reiterated to me that most problems can be tackled with a pragmatic approach, a bit of honesty and an external view." In terms of Irish entrepreneurial spirit, it's safe to say the future's looking bright..
The Mentor was the successful RTE One programme that took Irish businesses across different industries and offered them advice
Monday, April 25, 2005
By Trish Dromey
Dungarvan based couple Des and Rosie Sheehan have set up the country's first dedicated bagel factory and the product is beginning to catch on in a big way, with high hopes for the companies future.
Bringing authentic New York style bagels to Ireland has become something of a mission for Dungarvan-based couple Des and Rosie Sheehan. They have set up the country's first dedicated bagel factory; built up a wholesale business and have launched a retail product at the IFEX show in Dublin. The bagel is beginning to catch on in a big way, but one of the difficulties for the Broadway Bagels company is that many people here don't know how a bagel should taste or how it should be treated.
"Some people here think it's just a hard round bread roll with a hole in the middle but this is not a Bagel. They should be soft and dense and should be eaten within a short time of being baked - not left for hours in a basket to get hard," explains Rosie, who is a native New Yorker. A Dubliner, who went to the States in the '80s in search of work, Des met and married Rosie in New York in the late '90s. In 2000 the couple decided that Ireland was a better place to bring up their children, so they moved the family to Dungarvan.
Rosie's background was in insurance while Des had run his own construction company. "We hadn't decided what we would do in Ireland but we came up with the idea for a bagel company when we found we couldn't get authentic New York-style bagels here," says Rosie. Neither of them had any experience in the food industry or in running a business but they decided to give it a go.
Those who don't know anything about bagels might assume they are easy to make but, according to Rosie, this is anything but the case. "Making a bagel is a bit like a science. You use a mixture of flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water if you get the quantities of any of these wrong it won't work.
In the US where bagels are taken very seriously - bagel recipes are closely guarded secrets and bakeries who make them don't give them away. So when Rosie and Des set out to create an authentic bagel they had their work cut out for them. "We binned thousands of bagels before we got it right. We got, advice from a Jewish bakery in New York - who gave us advice but wouldn't give us his formula - in the US bagel formulas are considered sacred," says Rosie.
After three months they had produced a bagel they were happy with and set up a bagel bar in Dungarvan. While bagel bars are spreading fast around the country this wasn't the case in 2001 and Dungarvan may not have been quite ready for one. At the end of 2002 when the couple's third. child was on the way - they decided to close this and move into the wholesale business, selling frozen bagels to the food service industry. Rosie packed up some samples and set off to Dublin to show them to coffee shops and restaurants.
It went very well. They got a distributor and the business began to grow. "It was a struggle for a few years and it wasn't till we got a contract to supply a supermarket chain in early 2004 - that I knew it was going to work", said Rosie
"We are the only company in the country making authentic New York-style bagels. They are made with natural ingredients, without additives and preservatives of any kind and are blast frozen within an hour of cooling - so that they are soft like a bagel should be - when defrosted," says Rosie, adding that she has high hopes for the firm's future. Broadway Bagels is based at a 2,500 sq ft factory in the Dungarvan Business Park, where it employs five full-time staff and one part-time one. Although nine flavours of Bagel are being served to the food service industry -Broadway Bagels is testing the retail market with its two most popular ones - Poppy and The Works (poppy, sesame, onion and garlic).
The company's retail packs of frozen pre-sliced bagels will be going nationwide next month in some of the smaller supermarket chain"
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Ardkeen Online www.ardkeen.com
How a family's passion have brought sensational bagels to our store.
Christmas 2000 found Des and Rosie Sheehan and family happily settled in Dungarvan, County Waterford. Broadway Bagels was founded two years later. Their goal was to bring to an emerging and discerning society of food lovers a range of authentic New York-style bagels made in Ireland with;
- NO preservatives, NO additives and NO cholesterol.... So far, so good!
- They are made to an authentic, secret New York formula, using only the freshest ingredients- sourced in Ireland.
- They are dairy-free.
- They have less than 2% fat (break out the bikinis-ladies only please!)
- And... it doesn't hurt that Rosie is a real New Yorker who should know from real bagels, because if a real New Yorker doesn't know what a real bagel is, then the universe just doesn't make sense!!
- Because one the Sheehan boys suffers from eczema, it was essential that the bagel formula contained no dreaded 'Es'
What started as a back-room bakery with 2 people producing about 100 bagels a day for a small shop has grown to a 2500 square foot factory producing over 10,000 bagels a day with 7 staff members, with expansion into a purpose-built factory unit. The staff at Broadway Bagels are as enthusiastic about making great bagels as Des and Rosie are... and it shows, because not only do they eat the bagels every day themselves, they put up with Des's dancing on the factory floor, and they politely excuse themselves to laugh out of his earshot.