A Belfast entrepreneur who arrange a bakery enterprise through the pandemic is now supplying a collection of wholesale prospects, because of help from the Go For It programme in affiliation with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Michael Hendron (33) took redundancy from his job operating the kitchen at Established Espresso in Belfast Metropolis Centre to handle his daughters and ended up launching Benchmark Bread from his residence.
Michael and his spouse Rachel have two ladies, five-year-old Iris and two-year outdated Averie, and he started baking whereas he was at residence with them.
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Founding father of Benchmark Bread, Michael Hendron alongside together with his enterprise adviser, Peter Weir
“Simply after the primary lockdown when everybody was going again to work, I made a decision to take redundancy to remain at residence with my daughters and I made a decision to maintain up my expertise within the kitchen with a combination of baking and cooking,” he mentioned.
“I began homing in on the issues that I favored doing and promoting them to family and friends. I used to be making numerous issues like sourdough bread, some pastries, and completely different candy treats. I’d package deal them in a pastry field and ship them out two days every week when individuals have been caught of their houses.”
Formally launched in November 2020, Michael continues to be capable of run the enterprise round household life, though he’s now baking for 5 days every week and has much more prospects.
He continued: “I begin my day at about 4am, and end up round college drop-off time, then I spend one other couple of hours delivering and ending issues off earlier than college pick-up. Now with college and childcare I’m capable of construction my workday a bit higher. I’m operating at most likely about 85% wholesale prospects.”
Michael took redundancy from his job operating the kitchen at Established Espresso in Belfast Metropolis Centre to handle his daughters and ended up launching Benchmark Bread from his residence
Michael says he first received in contact with the Go For It programme after a suggestion from a buddy who had taken half in a start-up scheme: “I utilized on a whim, considering it might be good in the event that they accepted me. It was such an encouragement to go and be capable of have any person available to speak to within the early days of navigating a small enterprise.
“My adviser was known as Peter Weir and he was an excellent ear to bounce concepts off within the early levels. It was good to have any person there who’s conscious of every part that’s occurring on the earth, however a step faraway from the enterprise.
“We might make it possible for I’d been by way of all the sensible particulars and wasn’t getting caught up within the hype of the second and what’s going nicely. He’s a very good sounding board.”
The Go For It programme is delivered freed from cost by a staff of skilled enterprise mentors by way of Northern Eire’s broad community of enterprise companies. It offers professional recommendation and assist with growing a sturdy marketing strategy to assist flip concepts right into a industrial enterprise.
Michael was ready to make use of the Go For It programme to assist with growing a marketing strategy and get assist with the paperwork aspect of the enterprise, enabling him to plan for the longer term.
“It’s good to have every part down on paper when it comes to your mission and official figures and projections as nicely,” he defined.
Benchmark Bread now provides a number of wholesale prospects together with Deanes Group, Shu on the Lisburn Street in Belfast and various espresso outlets which might be retailing meals merchandise. Michael’s new long-term objective is to arrange his personal premises in Whiteabbey village.
“I’ve taken on seven or eight wholesale prospects and in the future every week I hold for the area people, particularly the purchasers I used to be delivering to over lockdown,” he added.
“It’s good to maintain these relationships going with individuals, and I hope that if I ever get premises throughout the village, these are the fellows who will probably be my native prospects.”
Former Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Billy Webb praised the initiative: “I believe it’s essential for individuals like Michael, who, if there may be an concept on the market and somebody needs to return ahead and participate within the Go For It programme, we’re there as a council to help, get companies began and that hopefully will result in employment in our local people.”
Enterprise Adviser, Peter Weir, concluded: “We supplied Michael with a two yr monetary projection and we fed that into the marketing strategy to assist the enterprise develop. I’m completely delighted to see Benchmark Bread up and operating. Michael has made a incredible job of establishing the enterprise and the orders are coming in thick and quick. It’s a actual success story and I believe that Benchmark Bread goes to go from power to power.”