Simon goes from dole to dough
Simon Stenson lost his job managing major property developments, and along with it his six-figure salary, in the construction and property crash. He spent two years on the dole.
Then his wife Siobhan gave him a voucher for cookery lessons at Ballymaloe House. He went on to take a three-week intensive course, paid for with a credit union loan. He got top marks, and a job as a chef in his hometown in Mayo. There, he and Siobhan started their own business supplying a local supermarket with artisan breads.
Now he runs Cherry Blossom Bakery. He employs 12 people and supplies bread to more than 100 outlets. Yesterday Taoiseach Enda Kenny opened a new premises for him, in which he expects to employ another 15 people.