Co. Antrim online bakery finds the recipe for success

A Ballyclare-based bakery has built a successful online business using the power of digital technology.

By Claire Cartmill
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 5:00 pm

Ooh & Aah Cookies, which offers personalised baked goods to customers across the UK and Ireland, has benefitted from Openreach Northern Ireland’s full fibre build across the region.

The award-winning bakery, which is the first of its kind in the UK to offer letterbox-friendly seven-inch cookies, has amassed a loyal social media following of over 35,000 with their unique and personalised products.

Established in 2015, Ooh & Aah Cookies founders Barbara-Anne McMullan and Ruth Armstrong have a team of eight who manage orders, co-ordinate delivery, communicate with customers and promote their products online, making fast and reliable broadband essential to the business’s success.

Ooh Aah Cookies founders Barbara-Anne McMullan and Ruth Armstrong

Having previously relied on a wifi dongle to run their business, Ooh & Aah Cookies moved their premises to Co. Antrim in October 2021 and were upgraded to Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband across the Openreach network.

Ooh & Aah founder Ruth, said: “The difference full fibre broadband has made to our business is outstanding. The speed and reliability we have experienced has improved our efficiency massively and processes that previously took longer due to slow network speed can now be completed much quicker, freeing up staff’s time to be more productive in other areas of the business.”

From monitoring the website to processing orders, ordering stock and communicating with customers, Ooh & Aah’s entire business model is reliant on having access to a decent broadband connection.

Discussing the impact of full fibre on their business, Barbara-Anne explained: “Having a reliable broadband service allows us to directly reach our target audience using online advertising and communicate with them on a personal level, as well as regularly monitor campaign progress.

“Being accessible 24/7 via our website and social media allows us to be found by anyone, anywhere in the world.”

Ruth continued: “Being able to connect with business clients from all over the UK and RoI has allowed us to establish ourselves as a trustworthy market-leading corporate gifting brand.

“Although we currently ship to customers throughout the UK and RoI, we have future plans to ship further afield which will be made possible through the use of full fibre broadband. It is integral to who we are and what we do.”

At the heart of greater digital technology is having robust infrastructure in place that can cope with increasing demands and the continued development of new, data-hungry technologies and Openreach is leading the charge in ensuring the region has a future-proof broadband network capable of meeting these demands - now and for decades to come.

As Northern Ireland’s largest digital infrastructure provider, Openreach is delivering an ambitious network build programme in the region and bringing Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband technology to homes and businesses at pace. As a result, more than 75% of all premises in the region can now access Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband on the Openreach network - that’s broadband which is 10 times faster* and 5 times more reliable than the current national average.

Speaking about the impact of ultrafast full fibre on local businesses, Openreach NI director Garret Kavanagh, added: “We are delighted to hear about the impact Openreach NI’s build programme has had across local businesses in Northern Ireland such as Ooh & Aah Cookies.

“The build has already enabled 75% of NI to access full fibre broadband - this is game-changing for local businesses in allowing them to operate, grow and thrive.”

“I want to commend the Ooh & Aah team for the hard work and time they have dedicated to building the success of their local business and am proud of the small role Openreach NI has played in that success. I wish them all the very best in the future.”

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