The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, #ChooseToChallenge, centres around the idea that a challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge by calling out gender bias and inequality. We can also choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.
At Foxpak, we are turning the spotlight on some of the female-led businesses we have the pleasure of working with, celebrating their achievements and highlighting the causes close to them.
Valentine Milanova – Daye
Valentina Milanova founded Daye in 2017 with the intention of waking up a stagnant market by creating new and innovative female health products designed with women in mind. Their first product to hit the market was a newly developed tampon infused with CBD to help tackle period cramps. Daye now offers a range of products including a build your own period care subscription box, self-care kits, proviotics and CBD balm.
Not only is Daye a disruptive brand bringing innovative period care products to the market, but they also use their voice to advocate for pressing social issues including sustainability, BLM, gender and women’s health.
Speaking with Valentina, she says “on International women’s day, we’d like to highlight the gender employment gap by celebrating the work of a really impactful organisation. Working Chance supports women leaving the care and criminal systems by helping them find fair and meaningful employment. At Daye, we’ve made a commitment to hiring our production operators through Working Chance, thus providing employment opportunities to groups, which are typically faced with discrimination”
Sian McCann – Wild Fuschia Bakehouse
Wild Fuschia Bakehouse, located in the picturesque seaside village of Dunfanaghy County Donegal, opened its doors in 2017. The bakery offers a range of delicious homemade bread and baked goods, based on traditional recipes.
In 2018 the owner, Sian McCann, went on to develop a range of bread mixes that are “simple, wholesome and tasty and so easy to make”. Sian further explains that “all of the mixes are designed to be ready in under an hour and help with meal-times to make them easier, tastier and fresher. A busy schedule shouldn’t mean we have to compromise on the good things in life.”
Sian was delighted that the quality of the bread mixes was recognised in 2020 with three awards.
- The Irish Stout Bread Mix won Silver at the 2020 Blas na hEireann
The Irish Soda Bread Mix and the Irish Wheaten Bread Mix received 2 stars from the 2020 Great Taste Awards.
In addition to these awards, the bread mixes now hold “Guaranteed Irish” status, signifying the company’s commitment to the local community and Irish produce. The bread mixes have gone from strength to strength and are now available as part of the SuperValu Food Academy in the Donegal Stores, a number of independent retailers, and on-line from Amazon UK and their newly developed web store at www.wildfuschia.ie
Mari Hughes – Dan & Monstro
Mari created Dan & Monstro in 2015 as a result of trying to give her son Ben a vegetable-rich diet filled with the nutrients he needed. As a full time working mom, more often than not, Mari found herself popping into the local supermarkets to look for sauces that she could use for dinner. When asked about this Mari states “I found that many of the products available had a lot of salt, sugar and contained preservatives. I wanted a healthy, nutritious and convenient product, something that would give Ben the nutrition he needed – as a parent we want to give our family the best.” After exhausting all avenues, Mari resorted to making her own sauces, blending fresh vegetables with her own homemade pasta sauce.
Always wanting to start her own business, Mari decided she would sell her sauces at a local farmers market. Although she received great feedback on her product, the seasonal nature of the market was not sustainable in the long run. Soon after, Mari applied to the Bord Bia food academy and following a successful launch, her original pasta sauce, as well as her new curry sauce, are now listed in selected Supervalu stores and independent retailers nationwide.
Dan & Monstro is an innovative and exciting Irish food brand going from strength to strength. Between 2016 and 2019, Their sauces have received countless awards including Blas na hEireann Gold, Silver and Bronze, Irish Quality Food Awards, Free From Food Awards and the Business Allstar award two years running.
When Covid hit at the start of 2020, Dan & Monstro showed great resilience, partnering with online retailers such as shopinireland.ie making their sauces available for purchase online in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. To find a list of stockists visit the Dan and Monstro website at www.danandmonstro.ie
Thanks for Reading,