Blog and Events
Happy International Women's Day to all you 'amazing' women and especially to those strong women gone before us. I was chuffed to have my story included in Humans of Offaly by Paula Nolan this week and to talk about my granny who was an inspiration to me.
"I absolutely love nature. The first blossoms will be coming out soon on the trees in the garden and I can’t wait. I love organic food and doing my market in Tullamore. Most of us are lucky enough to have at least one person in our lives who make a lasting impression on us and for me, that was my granny Langton. I was one of her eldest grandchildren, which meant that I got to spend more time with her. She lived on a small farm where she foraged and enjoyed the nature around her. Her hens roamed freely and she grew all of her own vegetables. I remember picking wild strawberries from one of the hedges which was full to the brim every year. There was also a damson tree at the front of her house from which she made all of her own jam. Granny’s salad sandwiches were divine!
She was the one person who stirred my interest in crafts. She taught me how to patchwork and helped me with my Home Economics projects, especially the sewing side.
Before Granny got married she worked for the Midland Health Board as their seamstress. She married at 20 in the early 1950s and like all women of that time had to leave her job. She went on to have ten children and she made all of their clothes. Back in the early 70s, because confirmation only happened every three years, she had four children for confirmation. She made all four outfits. My mother clearly remembers getting dressed for her confirmation and absolutely loving her salmon coloured dress complete with a cape that her mother had made for her. With her family reared, granny returned to making things like patchwork quilts, cushion covers and tea cosies. She went on to sell them at the market at the Tullamore Court Hotel at Christmas. She was so proud of her work and had no problem selling it at the price that she felt it deserved. She knew her worth which makes me so proud. She made everything by hand and was not afraid to let consumers know that the price reflected the time that went into making each piece. She was so clearly ahead of her time and a strong saleswoman. I’d like to think I inherited my creativity and entrepreneurialism from her and I know she would be very proud that I am in some way following in her footsteps. After all, she was my inspiration”.
Humans of Offaly ~ Jennifer Doyle
This day last year we launched Millbee!
2 0 1 9 was a busy first year for Millbee. In the 9 months since we launched we packed in a lot! We started with just one product - our beeswax food wraps variety pack which was only available on our website. Soon after, we introduced our bread wrap and lunch pack.
At Millbee, we are focused on sustainability and in particular cutting down on single-use plastic but the amazing bees are also central to what we do. So we launched our raw Irish honey as well as beeswax candles and gift sets for Christmas. Millbee Studio also joined the Irish Pollinator Plan. To learn what you can do to help our bees there's lots of great resources on the Irish Pollinator Plan website.
Behind the scenes, it's mostly me working on Millbee but I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband, family and friends who have supported me. I am also collaborating with some very talented people who have worked with me on everything from product development to branding and content. It is a real team effort! Also, behind the scenes are my two young children - Jane and Matthew. They are both in primary school now which makes it easier to start this new venture but there's lots of juggling as you'd imagine.
Markets and Gifted Christmas Fair
I set up my stall in a good few food markets and events around Ireland as I believe it is so important to get out and speak to customers and gain feedback. Markets are great fun (once it doesn't rain if outdoors!). Aside from meeting new and old customers, I also love to meet the other traders and learn about their products. We ended the year at Gifted in the RDS which was busier than I imagined. We sold out each day and had to work very late into the night to restock. The feedback was amazing and I do hope we will be there next year and meet all our wonderful customers again.
Millbee at Tullamore Food Fayre
One of the highlights of 2019 was to be shortlisted for the National Startup Awards and receive silver in both categories. These prestigious awards included a high standard of Irish startup's. For Millbee, to be recognised at such an early stage of our business is a big boost. We were also delighted to be shortlisted in the Irish made awards from Irish Country Magazine. It was a good first year for awards and recognition!
Millbee win silver in the Social/Sustainable Startup Category - Irish Start Up Awards
Overall 2019 was a great start for Millbee. We are delighted to now have our beeswax food wraps stocked in a number of retailers around Ireland. Our wraps are available in a variety of shops from independent food stores and cafes to gift shops, eco shops and garden centers.
2 0 2 0
In the coming year, we plan to grow our list of stockists. We will have our stall in a number of markets around Ireland and we will also be focused on our growing online community. 2020 is going to be a significant year for change as we try to tackle climate change. We believe that sustainability and cutting down on single-use plastic is a journey for many people as well as for businesses. We will do our best to support you and we also hope to inspire people to start making changes today. On a final note, I would like to thank all of you who have supported Millbee to date. It is much appreciated!
We are delighted to introduce our new lunch pack of beeswax food wraps. This pack includes three large square sizes which are ideal for families or you can rotate your wraps during your week. We have heard many people say they feel guilty using clingfilm for their lunches but it keeps their sandwich fresh! Well, isn't it great we now have a natural and reusable alternative that also keeps your sandwich fresh? Our beeswax wraps are made from organic cotton fabric which is infused with a blend of beeswax, organic jojoba oil and resin. They can last for up to 6 months or longer and have multiple uses. Our lunch sizes are ideal for covering and keeping fresh bowls of your leftover meals of food prepared in advance. I often use this size for wrapping a half soda bread. It seals to itself easily and keeps your sandwich and all its fillings intact.
Cleaning Your Beeswax Wrap
To clean your wrap wash or rinse with cold water and use a gentle eco-friendly washing detergent. If you use pestos or any other oil-based dressing try to keep in the centre of your sandwich to avoid spoiling your wrap. We suggest washing only if needed so your wrap will last longer.
Easily Wrap Up Or Create A Sandwich Pocket
Check out our 'how to' video below!
We are delighted to have a stall at this year's Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. The festival takes place 22nd - 28th October and we will have a stall in the market this Saturday and Sunday.
Savour Kilkenny is now one of Ireland’s leading food festivals. The event celebrates local produce and food culture, local artisan products and a vibrant restaurant and café culture which has seen the area become a leading food destination.
The festival also features the fast-growing brewing and distilling industry locally with a craft beer and spirit tent on the Parade and expert tasting events taking place across the city too.
FOOD WASTE & HOW TO PREVENT IT
Also at the market, you can meet the team of Ireland's National Waste Prevention Programme - FoodWaste.ie and learn how we all can play our part in how we eat, produce and waste food and some of Kilkenny’s Master Composters who have undergone training throughout the year and established a community compost facility.
There will also be workshops, talks and kids events. For more information and to check out the line-up visit Savour Kilkenny. If you are visiting, come and say hello and learn about our beeswax food wraps - the natural, reusable alternative to clingfilm.
Join Jennifer, founder of Millbee Studio for a discussion about cutting down on plastic waste in the home and a demo on using beeswax food wraps (a reusable and natural alternative to clingfilm).
Where: Tullamore Library, O'Connor Square, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland
When: Tuesday 30th July | 6-7pm
Free. Booking essential as spaces are limited.
To Book Contact: Tullamorelibrary@offalycoco.ie or Tel: 057 9346832