IF the key to success for any business is knowing the market and captialising on it, then Pappy’s Bakery has got it right.
The Dunloy-based shop has been trading for a quarter of a century and has grown literally from small beginnings to employing some 20 full time and part time staff.
Supplying good quality products and keeping abreast with modern developments has been the hallmark of the business and this allied to the fact that the majority of employees are members of the O’Kane family has undoubtedly brought loyalty and commitment.
It all began on May 1, 1987 when Tommy and his late mother, Maureen, set up shop at Molloy’s old friut shop in the village having purchased two cookers.
Things took a slight turn for the worse when one of the cookers caught fire and was unable to be used. Undeterred, Tommy made use of his mother’s equipment at home and, for a period, it was a case of tooing and frooing to keep up with the demand.
In 1994 Tommy purchased larger premises on the corner of Main Street and six months after extensive renovations, the shop was officially opened on August 31.
The location provided a higher profile and very soon business expanded sufficiently for more employees to be taken on.
Today, Pappy’s Bakery produce can be seen in shops around Loughgiel, Rasharkin, Armoy, Kilrea, Garvagh, to name but a few with the demand often exceeding supply.
“We have more business than we can cope with,” Tommy told the Times, “we could supply more shops, but we have enough on our plate at present.”
Early mornings in Dunloy are characterised by the presence of builders’ vans with workers queuing up for the famous filled soda bread that sets them up for the rest of the day.
A special anniversary dinner is being held this Saturday night to celebrate the 25 years and it will provide Tommy with an opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to a local business, employing local people and supported by village residents.
With Tommy are his daughter, Jolene and son, Dean, who like their uncle, Paul, are up at the crack of dawn preparing cakes, scones, etc for delivery and the shop.
Tommy has acknowledged their contribution along with his neice Shannan, wife, Linda and his sister, Sally, who has been with him for almost the 25 years.
Tommy’s late sisters, Dolores (Dottie) and Rosie as well as his later brother, Jamie, also played their part in making Pappy’s Bakery one of the biggest employers in Dunloy.
Tommy has no doubt that because his family had a stake in the business that has contributed greatly to its good standing in Dunloy and beyond.
And as a gesture to his many customers all prices on May 1 will be the same as when the shop first opened. That means a tasty applie pie normally costing £2.80p. will be on sale for £1.40p. Buns, tea scones, cakes and all baked products in the shop will all be halved in price which is sure to keep assistants busy all day!