REMARKABLY, almost every scrumptious dessert you enjoy from the country’s leading retailers, each cake you savour or the delicious pudding you’ll devour this Christmas will have begun in Tinryland.
This year, Seerys Bakery, Tinryland, Carlow celebrates 30 years in business, a terrific milestone and a remarkable success story for the family-run business. Seerys began in 1989 in the family kitchen, and three decades later the business now operates in a custom-built 25,000sq ft facility in the Carlow countryside, supplying high-quality cakes, Christmas puddings and dessert puddings to the likes of Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Aldi, Lidl, Asda and Waitrose.
The business was the brainchild of Oliver Seery and his wife Philo, who was a former home economics teacher. Philo’s love of baking and Oliver’s business nous proved the perfect mix. They noticed a lack of good-quality fruit cakes on supermarket shelves and, with Philo’s expertise, they realised that they had great products to offer the Irish bakery market. They secured a listing with Superquinn, as it was known then and, as they say, the rest is history.
Seerys is still very much a family-run business after 30 years. Oliver and Philo’s son Brian is now at the helm, having taken over the role from Oliver in 2017. Brian is very aware of his parents’ dedication over the years and works hard to carry on that work ethic today.
“There have been many challenges over the years, but the ethos of the company remains the same: we aim to produce high-quality products with a home-baked taste on a commercial scale,” said Brian.
The company has gone from strength to strength over the past 30 years, growing from a small cottage industry to Ireland’s largest producer of Christmas puddings. In 2018, almost one million Christmas puddings were produced by Seerys, with the same amount expected to be rolled out in 2019. Not only does the company supply the Irish market but it also exports to the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
“Expanding our European market is definitely a goal for us in the next five years, especially with the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit,” said Brian.
The local Tinryland community have also played a role in Seerys’ success over the years, supporting them as a business and a family.
“The local community have been great over the years. They have been supporting our pop-up Christmas shop since it opened in 2009 and that has grown every year as a result. We are moving the shop to our warehouse in Graiguecullen this year, as we have outgrown the space we have in the factory in Tinryland,” explained Brian.
“We like to think we have supported the community over the years, too, through charitable donations and so forth, so it works both ways,” he added.
There have been many changes since 1989, including personnel, location and customers, but Seerys’ commitment to their customers remains a constant.
Hopefully, this will be what they need to see them through another 30 years.