Noa Bakehouse is a sour dough bakery and events house. Since opening in 2013 the business has gone from strength to strength developing from bakery, to coffee house to full scale manufacturer and distributor of bread across the Island.
Noa Bakehouse – My Island
‘I started looking at different avenues to how I could start the business. The great thing about the Isle of Man is there are various grant schemes ready for you. I soon realised that making bread was manufacturing goods and that qualified the business for up to 40% of the capital available to start operating.'
How has the Department supported you with the business?
'It’s really good that you have that support network to check your decisions. Government support allowed me the capital to re-invest and get the business to a place that we wanted a lot sooner. The grants enabled us to do that.
Through the Micro Business Grant Scheme I became aware of the other schemes and crafted my business plans to take into account the government support available. I now write a business plan every year. It’s a really important process and it really became established when I was applying for the grants. It allows me to realise what our focus should be. It enabled me to look at the business more objectively and the grants system helped me learn how to do that.'
How do you manage your time to run a business and have a life?
'I used to go to work about 8 in the morning and come home at 10 at night in my old career. I still work really long hours. In fact when you start a business you find you find yourself working around the clock, you can’t just clock off. But, the way my business works, it allows me to take time out when I need it. I don’t have to spend that time commuting or dealing with the day to day.'
Noa Bakehouse is a twenty hour a day business. There’s always something happening and whilst I want to be here for everything, I have a fantastic team who enable me to take time away. I have the flexibility of working so close to where I live so I feel like I don’t miss out of important events at work and important family moments. Being able to balance work and family life is great.
I have two very young children so I spend most of my time learning how to be a Dad. We have a great network of family and friends. Life on the Island is about enjoying our lives. Even when we first opened I’d do the bake and be on the beach by 3:30pm with my kids. I’m looking forward to spending my summer doing that again. Because I don’t work a nine to five role I can structure my day to allow me to be there for the important parts of life. Right now that’s watching my kids grow up in this safe, fun environment.’
What makes Noa Bakehouse so unique and fresh?
‘I make bread for a living and it’s an honest job. I make a good clean fresh product that people enjoy and I get to do it with a great bunch of people. We realised very early a bakery should be part of the community. We have tried to become part of the community and to build something that people can get involved in. To do this we support local artists and bands who reach out to their fans. It allows us to engage with our customers in a really modern way.
Over 80% of what we use at The Bakehouse is sourced locally. We have a great network of other local business owners forging a new career path. There’s great collaboration between food manufacturers on the Island forging a path in high end food. As The Bakehouse we get to contribute by selling great sour dough bread, but we also get to contribute by buying the great range of products available to us.’
How did you secure the grant?
‘I am really grateful the Government supported me to start this venture. Because of the grants I felt an obligation to government to make the business work. I committed to employing a certain number of people, growing the business and I got a grant based on those predictions. In the end I will put more money back into Government as a business that didn’t exist before through tax and National Insurance - all thanks to the grant assistance.‘