Irish gluten-free bakery Heron Foods has acquired a second production site in County Cork as demand from customers in Ireland and the UK grows.
The company, which also operates from a site in Knockbrown, Bandon, where non-gluten-free biscuits are produced, will transfer all production of its gluten-free cakes, bread and biscuits to the new site on an industrial estate in Ballingeary, which was previously home to an organic bakery.
Heron formed a new company – Bia Gan Breise Teo – to take over Cistí Gúgán Barra Teo, which previously made organic cookies, cakes and puddings under the Katies brand at the site.
Since taking over the business two months ago, Heron has already more than doubled the seven-strong workforce and plans to increase staff numbers to over 40 people.
Heron produces a range of speciality breads, biscuits and cakes for the Irish, UK, European and world markets. Customers include Musgraves, Wholefoods Wholesale, Asda in the UK, Nutrition et Santé in France and Il Fior di Loto in Italy.
Elizabeth Dawson, co-owner and director of Heron Foods along with husband John, said: “We have seen a huge increase in the demand for our gluten-free products in the past two years. This new facility places us in a position to respond to that demand and will allow us to increase the production and range of products we offer.”
The expansion was supported by regional development agency Údarás na Gaeltachta, which promotes growth in Gaelic-speaking parts of Ireland.