West Cork student establishes ‘Fastnet Foods’ in Skibbereen

16 June 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Business News

A transition year student has capitalised on school closures and the lockdown to launch a new food company, Fastnet Foods. With baking products in demand during the Covid-19 crisis, 16-year old Tim O’Driscoll seized the opportunity to launch his baking mix business, which provides consumers with a cost-effective, easy and fun way to bake delicious homemade recipes from brown bread to chocolate cupcakes and more.

Based in Skibbereen, West Cork, the concept for Fastnet Foods grew originally from a school Home Economics project, in which O’Driscoll saw the cost and potential waste when buying ingredients for baking recipes. He began working on the business during school holidays and in his free time, conducting market research, testing recipes and engaging with the authorities in relation to health and safety regarding food produce. In recent months, with additional time out of school due to the corona virus, O’Driscoll accelerated his business planning, branding, packaging, product labelling and legal requirements so he could go to market at the ideal time for consumers who want to bake without complicated recipes, ingredient shortages or high costs. Fastnet Foods offers all-in-one baking mixes, with the simple addition of water or butter.

“We sold 1,000 mixes in the first 10 days through a network of SuperValu stores across West Cork whenwe launched,”said Tim O’Driscoll, founder of Fastnet Foods. “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 instore and for everyday convenience also,” he added.

Fastnet Foods is the second food company that young Tim O’Driscoll has founded. When he was ten years old, he established an ice-cream business which operated in West Cork food markets and sporting events in Munster.

Fastnet Food products include Traditional Brown Bread, Delicious Flapjacks, Choc Cupcakes and Choc Butter Icing, Plain White Scones, Crumbly Crumble and Gluten-Free Crumbly Crumble, and can be found in the baking aisles of SuperValu stores and other retailers nationwide retailing from €2.95. Baking mixes can also be purchased in multi-packs online at www.fastnetfoods.com

Fastnet Foods founder, Tim O’Driscoll of Skibbereen, pictured with his baking mix products which are available in Supervalu stores and online at www.fastnetfoods.com. Tim (16 years) launched the food startup during the Covid lockdown in Ireland and has been selling record numbers of baking mixes in stores initially across Munster and now Nationwide. Photograph: Phil Pound
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