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29/10/19 Wild Fuschia Bakehouse aiming to be ‘in the mix’ for lucrative US Market

Wild Fuschia 1

Sian McCann of the The Wild Fuschia Bakehouse one of seven businesses participating in the North West Trade and Investment Mission to the US in November.


The Wild Fuschia Bakehouse are hoping their offering of a taste of home will prove a winner with the Irish diaspora in the USA.


The Dunfanaghy based bakery’s line of dry bread mixes can bring fresh Donegal baking to kitchen tables around the world by allowing users to bake in their own home.


With around 33 million Americans claiming Irish ancestry, the US market is a potentially lucrative one for Bakehouse proprietor Sian McCann who will travel to Philadelphia and Boston next month as part of a joint trade delegation from the Donegal and Derry / Strabane Councils.


She plans to learn more about the US market by meeting with trade professionals and potential customers and explore the logistics of export.


“We produce fresh breads, tray bakes and cakes for local retail and wholesale markets from March to December,” explained Sian. 


“The bakery is busy during the summer and holiday periods but quiet for the remainder of the year so to help stimulate sales during the winter months we have developed a small number of dry bread mixes.


“While the mixes are meeting an existing demand within our own bakery and other local foodie outlets, a significant number of our customers are the Donegal diaspora who are taking both the bread and the mixes home with them. 


“The mixes replicate the breads made in the bakery, there are a maximum of five natural ingredients and they are free artificial colours and preservatives.”


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The Wild Fuschia Bakehouse hope to bring fresh Donegal baking to kitchen tables around the world as they participate in the North West Trade and Investment Mission to the US in November.


The line of mixes have already proved a hit with the Irish diaspora over the counter in her Main Street shop in Dunfanaghy but Sian has ambitious plans to take her sales to the next level and bring her product to them in the near future.


“Based on my experience of working in the tourism industry for 10 years and in the bakery, I believe the bread mixes appeal to the diaspora as I have been selling them quite successfully from the bakery shop,” she continued. 


“It would, however, be much better if I could go to the market rather than waiting for them to come to me.  


“I would like to be able to research the market and get a feel for where the bread mixes sit in the market place in relation to their competitors. 


“This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with US based professionals and retailers and to discuss the requirements, pit falls and market opportunities.


“I will be able to question my desk research surrounding the customers I am targeting, the needs I am addressing.  


“Also to find out the logistics of export as this is a new area for the business and for me personally.


“I would also take the opportunity to get samples, check out my competitors, check the legal implications for my packaging and labelling and what requirements are needed to work with US distributors including the issue of currency fluctuations etc.”


While much of her strategy for entering the US market will be determined by the connections and information she gathers next month, Sian has a clear vision for the company in the years ahead.


“I want to invest in marketing and develop a fresh, modern on-line presence, exploiting the current social media to include e-sales, a blog and short video clips.


“I believe we can increase sales by generating interest in home baking and encouraging people to give it a go and get over their fear of baking.


“We want to develop a strong brand presence, initially in Donegal and the rest of Ireland and develop export links with the US and Northern Ireland and expand our range of bread mixes, based on the best-selling products from the bakery and market feedback.”


The Trade and Investment Mission will be led by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council.


It will include third level and further education providers and development organisations including the Ulster University, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, the North West Regional College and Donegal ETB.


The mission takes place from 11-15 November and is funded by The Executive Office and the Irish Government.


For more information on the trade mission visit and follow the hashtag #IrelandNW19.


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