ORGANICO Shop, Café & Bakery has been awarded funding Enterprise Ireland to expand their online offering.
Run by sisters Hannah and Rachel Dare, and set up 25 years ago by their parents, it is one of only 29 retailers across the country to receive this funding which ranges from €10,000 to €25,000 to help stay competitive in a constantly changing business environment.
Organico is a natural foods SME employing over 30 people in Bantry.
The internet is increasingly important to small independent retailers like Organico, helping them reach new markets and build additional resilience. Currently Organico.ie the highest growth area in the business and they are hoping this will help grow the online business to over 20% of their retail turnover.
Given the limitations in terms of their rural location Organico is now prioritising their website.
When you consider that there are fewer people living in Bantry (2,700) than there are parking spaces in Dundrum Town Centre (3,400) or that The Square in Tallaght has an annual footfall of 22m, you begin to understand the challenges of surviving as a small independent business, say the sisters.
Any SME moving into online retail faces some quite daunting hurdles. Huge international giants compete in this space with enormous budgets for market share acquisition, paying very little in tax and leveraging their scale to access cheap logistics.
Alan Dare, Hannah and Rachel’s father, started the business as a small health food shop, at a time when there was very little demand for natural foods in Ireland.
Since then, Organico has evolved into a vibrant enterprise. It now boasts a busy cafe, a ‘real bread’ bakery, and a fully-stocked shop complete with a zero-waste refill station offering customers the option of bringing their own containers and filling them with over 70 products from liquid handsoap to organic rice, to pasta and loose tea.