West Cork teen launches food empire

Tim O’Driscoll, a 16-year-old transition year student from Skibbereen, has launched a baking mix business called Fastnet Foods.
West Cork teen launches food empire

Fastnet Foods founder, Tim O'Driscoll of Skibbereen, pictured with his baking mix products which are available in Supervalu stores and online. Photograph: Phil Pound

Fastnet Foods founder, Tim O'Driscoll of Skibbereen, pictured with his baking mix products which are available in Supervalu stores and online. Photograph: Phil Pound

A West Cork teenager has used his time off from school due to the Covid-19 pandemic to launch a new food business.Tim O’Driscoll, a 16-year-old transition year student from Skibbereen, has launched a baking mix business called Fastnet Foods.

Tim's pre-made baking mixes include brown bread, scones, crumble, chocolate cupcakes and flapjacks.

The concept for Fastnet Foods originally came from a school Home Economics project, where Tim saw the cost and potential waste when buying ingredients for baking recipes.

He began working on the business during his school holidays and in his spare time. Tim conducted market research, tested recipes and engaged with the food authorities in relation to health and safety regarding food produce.

In recent months, with additional time out of school due to coronavirus, Tim worked to accelerate his business planning, branding, packaging, product labelling and legal requirements so he could start selling his baking mixes in supermarkets.

Fastnet Foods are now on sale in SuperValu stores and other retailers in Munster, and the mixes just require water or butter to be added to them.

"We sold 1,000 mixes in the first 10 days through a network of SuperValu stores across West Cork when we launched," says Tim.

"It's been a really busy time for the food startup and with customer feedback and demand, we are confident and ready now to scale to meet the national market.

"We are also selling our baking mixes online for those concerned about shopping in-store and for everyday convenience also."

Tim is no stranger to the food business world. When he was ten years old, he established an ice-cream business which operated in West Cork food markets and sporting events in Munster.

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