Foodco UK is looking to target Ireland for expansion which general manager Lisa Brook she described as a “huge market”.

Foodco UK, which operates brands Muffin Break and Jamaica Blue in the UK, is exhibiting at The Franchise Show Ireland in the hope of capitalising on the untapped Irish market.

Bakery café group Muffin Break has 250 stores worldwide, 60 in the UK – plus a further ten in the pipeline; while stablemate Jamaica Blue has 150 stores worldwide, with its second UK store opening in Chelmsford in September, and a further three planned.

Lisa Brook said: “We haven’t gone into Ireland yet, which is the reason we’re doing the show. We’ve had a lot of interest and have been contacted by people in Ireland wanting to become franchisees. We’ve earmarked two sites already and we’re very keen for franchisees to take those on. The Irish market is huge, the opportunities are huge.”

Foodco has been targeting the regional hubs like Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland for new stores in shopping centres, hospitals, universities and colleges.

Brook said she believed bakery café group Jamaican Blue could be as big as it is in Australia - but said growth needed to be at the right pace.

“We’re a sustainable growth organisation”, she added. “We don’t make claims we’re going to open 400 500 stores. We base it on finding great franchisees that want to work with us and work at sustainably growing stores that want to work with us.”

The Franchise Show Ireland takes place on September 9-10 at RDS, Dublin.

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