Innovation at Ursa Minor bakery
North coast locals Dara and Ciara O’Hartghaile started Ursa Minor bakery with the desire to supply fresh, delicious produce using local, in season, organic ingredients. They are passionate about real bread using traditional methods without chemical additives. Their aim is to create honest loaves that are unique to the North Coast of Northern Ireland.
After living in New Zealand for a while, co-founder Ciara says that her husband and her struggled to find decent bread in Northern Ireland that matched the quality and taste they experienced abroad. In 2017 they bought their first bakery in Ballycastle and dedicated themselves to bringing something different to the baking industry here.
“We’re most well-known for our sourdough bread. It’s just flour, water and salt, so it’s really good for your gut. By the time the fermentation process is complete most of the gluten is burnt off. If you have intolerance to gluten, this is the bread for you.”
For Ciara and Dara, great texture, fresh quality and unique taste never go out of fashion. All their bread is baked fresh on site just below the bakery shop floor.
“Our sourdough bread has always been our best seller. We always try and find something new and different and offer it to our customers to get them to taste something totally unique. My husband uses innovative ingredients like boundary brewery beers and Irish cheeses to mix up the flavour in our loaves and give people the chance to try something different. We also have a great selection of French patisserie style goods.
“We’ve found the healthy eating trend has really taken off in 2018. I think people are just so much more aware of what they are putting in their bodies today. We are a totally vegetarian café, and this year I’ve noticed a lot more people coming to us with vegan diets that we need to cater for.
“I think people are a lot savvier to using local, reliable produce now too and more prone to go for high quality baking products rather than what’s fast, easy and cheap.
“2019 is exciting. We’re continuing our weekly supper club, and I would love to do a vegetarian cookery class and a children’s cookery class with their parents later this year. Beyond that, I would love to run classes in schools to educate kids on the importance of healthy eating and understanding food better.”