Irish company Boutique Bake was founded by Catherine Buggy in 2014. We sat down with her to find out how it all began.
What inspired you to start Boutique Bake four years ago?
I always loved baking growing up and I have a really sweet tooth. I noticed a gap in the baking-mix market, as most products contained a lot of artificial flavours and preservatives, and they didn’t taste home-made. I started tinkering around with different recipes and first sold my mixes at farmers’ markets to test them out.
What’s special about your products?
I started with the Classic range, which includes a Belgian Choc Brownie mix, a Cheeky Carrot Cake mix, a Rustic Brown Bread Mix, a Super Seed Flapjack Mix and a Lemon Drizzle Cake Mix. After listening to customer feedback, I developed the Health range, which includes gluten-free and sugar-free products such as a High Protein Pancake mix, an Almond & Cacao Brownie mix, a Cacao Protein Bites Mix and an Oat & Seeds Energy Bar mix. Two of our products are refined-sugar free – we use coconut sugar instead, making them lower-calorie options.
Do you source the ingredients for the various mixes locally from Ireland?
Yes, where we can. Certain ingredients, like cacao, have to be sourced from elsewhere, but things like our oats are Irish. And our manufacturer is just an hour away from Dublin, so I can work closely with the factory and be hands-on with the production – that’s important to me.
Do you have a favourite product?
I love them all! Each one is great for different occasions. Our Cacao Protein Bites mix is great because it’s a no-bake, sugar-free and gluten-free option. The bites are ideal for lunchboxes or as a snack. Our Carrot Cake mix can be used for a cake, a loaf or cupcakes. And I adore our Belgian Choc Brownie as I’m a bit of a chocoholic!
What do you find most rewarding about running your own company?
It sounds like a cliché, but seeing people buy my products in store is still so exciting. I love seeing who my customers are. Also, receiving feedback from customers around the world, or seeing them share images of the baking they’ve done on social media is great.
Are your baking mixes easy for children to make?
They’re definitely child-friendly – as long as kids are supervised. Most of the mixes only require you to use a bowl and a spoon. It’s great to get kids baking and give them confidence in the kitchen.
For more information about the products, please visit boutiquebake.ie or follow @boutique_bake.