Thursday 14 December 2017

Bakers watch dough rise after €1m spend

Beth Ann O'Farrell (7) and Sarah O'Keeffe (11) at the launch of O'Keeffe's Bakery's new product range
Beth Ann O'Farrell (7) and Sarah O'Keeffe (11) at the launch of O'Keeffe's Bakery's new product range

A FAMILY-run Irish bakery is to increase its workforce by 40pc after a research investment helped resolve a 50-year-old problem for pizza-makers worldwide, writes Ralph Riegel.

O'Keeffe's Bakery in Ballincollig, Co Cork, has put its faith – and cash – into research and development by committing over €1m to a five-year programme to develop a pizza dough that can be frozen without destroying the yeast that is critical to its taste.

The firm is now marketing its own range of do-it-yourself pizza kits – which can be used straight from the freezer. Such is the scale of their breakthrough in developing a yeast-friendly frozen pizza dough that they have already been approached by a number of international multiples.

The products are now being stocked by Dunnes, Tesco, SuperValu and Centra.

The online British retailer, Ocado, is to stock the product while the US firm Nickelodeon TV is negotiating for a licensing agreement for DIY pizza kits. These are expected to hit the market under the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' brand.

The firm, which employs 75 staff, is now to recruit 32 more just to keep pace with demand for their product.

Irish Independent

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