M and D Bakery, the well known third generation family bakery was announced as the overall winner of the Waterford City Enterprise Awards and will go on to represent Waterford at the National Enterprise Awards which take place in Dublin Castle in November.
Founded by brothers Dermot and Michael Walsh, the bakery supplies a selection of baked “morning goods” to the households, shops, restaurants and hotels of Waterford. However, M and D Bakery is probably best known for its production of a truly local delicacy, the blaa.
M and D Bakery has been a constant on the baking landscape in Waterford for almost thirty years and produces over 8,000 blaas a day. More recently M and D Bakery spearheaded the drive, along with three local blaa bakers, to have the blaa safeguarded with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). With PGI status the once humble Waterford blaa can anticipate a standing equal to that of Stilton Cheese or the Cornish Pasty.
Speaking of the enterprise award, Dermot Walsh said, “We are delighted and honoured to be acknowledged by Waterford City Enterprise Board. When we started the business almost thirty years ago, our focus was to bring good quality bread products to the city and environs.”
“However, as demand for the blaa grew, particularly outside of Waterford we needed to innovate and invest in ways to make it “travel” friendly. The blaa is simply made from flour, water, yeast and salt with no preservatives or artificial additives, thus it has a very short shelf life.”
“With assistance from Waterford City Enterprise Board we invested in a freezer room which allows us to blast freeze the blaas so we can supply them to the rest of the country, Northern Ireland, Great Britain and now France.”
“Even though it was the French Huguenots who introduced the blaa to Waterford in the 1690’s, we’re sending it back there in 2013!”
Organised by the County and City Enterprise Boards, the National Enterprise Awards recognise outstanding micro enterprises in Ireland. Ciaran Cullen, CEO, Waterford City Enterprise Board is delighted to support M and D Bakery in their pursuit of new export markets.
“Dermot and Michael have shown that there are great opportunities for growth if you explore further afield. The blaa, which was practically unknown outside of Waterford, can now be found in food stores, forecourts and restaurants across Dublin, Belfast, Britain and even as far as Paris.”
“The Walsh brothers are passionate about what they produce and they produce it well. With accolades such as the 2010/11 Good Food Producer award, a Euro Toques Taste Award and Gold at the 2012 Blas na hEireann Awards, they will represent Waterford with pride at next months National Enterprise Awards.”
If you want to find out more about M and D Bakery visit www.manddbakery.ieor call 051 378080. Alternatively if you have a business idea and want to find out more about capital financing, mentoring or start up assistance talk to Waterford City Enterprise Board on 051 852883 or www.waterfordceb.com.