Sunday 19 May 2019

Happy Pear brothers weigh up taking on an outside investor

Pick of the bunch: Happy Pear’s frontmen David and Stephen Flynn
Pick of the bunch: Happy Pear’s frontmen David and Stephen Flynn
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The 'Happy Pear' healthy-eating brand is evaluating whether to take on outside investment as it looks to boost growth, including in the UK.

Twins Stephen and David Flynn are the public faces of the brand, and share ownership of the business with their brothers Mark and Darragh.

Stephen Flynn told the Irish Independent that they expect revenue to hit €10m this year, a substantial increase on 2017, supported by expansion in the UK market.

He said the brothers are now considering options, including potentially seeking outside funders, to support further expansion.

"I guess we'll have to see. The cost of growth generally is expensive, so we're kind of working it out and trying to see what's most appropriate for where we're at right now."

Twins Stephen and David Flynn are both vegan, famously fit, and have a high profile and a large following on social media. They have been in business for 14 years. The Happy Pear makes its money from, among other things, the sale of pre-prepared meals, and online courses.

The business has three cafes, two in Greystones, Co Wicklow and another in Clondalkin in Dublin 22. Stephen Flynn said the company would "work it out as we go" when deciding on further outlet openings.

Growth is driven by a combination of people becoming vegan, and others who just wanted to eat healthier, he said.

"We're very fortunate in that as we first started our business in Greystones back in 2004, we never labelled our business vegetarian or even vegan because the very nature of those words is binary.

"You're either a vegetarian or a vegan or you're not. And what we wanted to do was just encourage the community to eat more fruit and veg and have a laugh," he said. But recently the term vegan has become nearly fashionable. Every day of the week I meet people who are now aspiring vegans, it's become somewhat fashionable or idealistic to be eating a vegan diet."

The twins are the heart of company's marketing - which can make them a target for criticism.

Mr Flynn said that when he and his brother first started getting media attention, he was "quite sensitive".

"But I guess your skin gets a bit thick... so you kind of get a bit used to it and you just accept it that some people like you and some don't and it's totally cool."

Mr Flynn was speaking ahead of his appearance at the ‘Fresh Resolutions’ health and wellbeing conference in Dublin Castle on January 5.

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