Maria Betts of “Maria Luca Bakes”
Making It Big in Ireland, UK and Beyond
Six years ago I was standing doing a tasting in Supervalu Kinsale, West Cork when I noticed a relatively new product called Maria Lucia Bakes. What I didn’t know was Maria CEO of Maria Lucia Bakes that producers a wide range of Gluten free Granola and Keto products was about to become a great colleague of mine and six years on we still are, thanks to meeting her that day in Kinsale Supervalu.
As a food producer and running your own food company there are a lot of learning curves and issues to overcome. Maria has done this as her company moves forward with the growth in Ireland and especially into international markets.
Who is Marie Betts?
Maria was born and bred in Glendaloch, County Wicklow, where her family ran a tearooms and antique furniture shop where she used to help her mother with the cooking of the food as a part time job. I dear not ask where she got her love for running her own food company but yet her roots back to helping her mother in the kitchen gave her the love and bug for food.
After leaving school like a lot of our first jobs they don’t necessarily represent our career path and Maria went into retail at a lighting store before she went back to school to do a business performance management coaching cert where Maria excelled at and became a one to one business coach until she started her own food Company.
Maria Lucia Bakes Beginning
Sometimes an innovated idea comes from anywhere but when two friends of Maria’s kept meeting up and cooked homemade food, the discussion between good friends was that Maria should start her own food business.
“I always cooked for my friends whenever we met up, so they always thought that was the way I lived by cooking everything from scratch, which was not the case at all. But when one of your friends is Gluten Free and you start making things taste good then I started thinking maybe there is an opportunity in the food business. I always had a Gluten Free Granola recipe that I use to whip up from years ago so all of a sudden Maria Lucia Bakes was born”.
The Products and the Company Today
Maria Betts started Maria Lucia Bakes from her home kitchen in Rathfarnham, Dublin, over 7 years ago, baking gluten free granola and selling it at her local farmers market. Demand quickly outstripped supply and she realised she had the makings of a successful business.
Today, Maria Lucia Bakes produce a wide range of luxury gluten free cereals and cookies, hand baked in small batches to keep that homemade taste and appearance. Delicious granola, muesli and porridge is made with the finest all natural ingredients including :gluten free oats, nuts, seeds, spices, honey and vanilla as well as a low carbohydrate version ideally suited to coeliacs, diabetics and health conscious people.
The Company has won several awards for taste and innovation, being adaptable to trends and demands from customers, for example introducing a no added sugar granola without artificial sweetener, ancient grains granola made with quinoa, buckwheat and millet instead of oats.
One of the most successful product launches has been their low carbohydrate Macadamia and coconut keto granola, grain free and unsweetened that doesn’t spike the blood sugar making it an ideal cereal for diabetics.
Maria Lucia Bakes cereal range is available in selected supermarkets such as SuperValu and Tesco as well as independent retailers nationwide, online from www.marialuciabakes.com and from Amazon UK. The Company is also exporting to a number of markets including Finland, Germany, Qatar, Middle East, Singapore and Italy.
Years on from a young girl in a tea rooms with her Mum in Glendaloch to now a successful international Irish food company, I have to smile and congratulate Maria. The pain and the let downs sometimes are so tough you want to give up but she just keeps getting back up and selling her products if it’s in local stores in Ireland or around Europe. Perhaps a niche market is appropriate for her products and company but neither the less her products and company are doing great. Perhaps her niche market is not in Ireland its somewhere else like Italy but whatever happens in the future I can bet she will concur other markets in other new countries very shortly.
If you would like to get in touch with Matthew or The Skibbereen Food Company please go to the following links: