Lovin' From The Oven

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Founded in 2011, Lovin’ from the Oven is the creation of Caryna Camerino, winner of the Dublin City Enterprise Awards 2023.  Lovin’ from the Oven manufactures high quality delicious cakes and bakery products for supply to wholesale and corporate clients. Located in the Terenure Enterprise Centre, Lovin’ from the Oven employs 7 staff. The business supplies a diverse range of products that includes cakes, brownies, and cookies, to over 32 independently owned cafes and restaurants across Dublin city.

A Backpacking Trip that Led to a Change in Direction

Caryna, who hails from Canada, visited Ireland on a backpacking trip. She fell in love with the country and a 3 day stop turned into 22 years- and counting!

“I studied Communications in University I first worked in temp jobs and ended up in an Engineering company. I was sponsored and eventually became the HR Manager there. When the recession hit my job became simply making people redundant day in a day out. To cope with the stress, I started baking and accidentally started a business.”

Becoming Self Employed

Caryna’s journey to self-employment resulted from a coping mechanism to a stressful job.

My job was so stressful that I baked way too much to even share. As a hobby I started a stall at a local farmer’s market and sold my bakes every week. Customers started asking me to supply their business and voila! A wholesale bakery business by accident!”

When she had enough bakery customers and gained her Irish Citizenship, she was ready to take the leap.

A Unique Advantage

Caryna believes that Lovin’ From The Oven’s unique situation of being small enough to be able to adapt to market trends but being big enough to fulfil orders from big companies sets them apart from their competitors.

They offer a diversified range of products that includes cakes, brownies, and cookies, and recently launched their first range of frozen goods. The frozen range helps their commercial customers to control food waste by baking on demand. It offers coffee shops the possibility to have handmade freshly baked products on their premises, without the need to have a kitchen: a small oven would do the job (with the bonus of the lovely smell of freshly baked goods that will spread in the air!).

“Everything we bake is made with personal attention, love for the craft and with the best butter in the world! We sustain our inspiration and passion about the food we create by nurturing mutually supportive relationships in our team and with like-minded food creatives, businesses, and suppliers. Lovin' from the Oven has grown with a dedicated following of engaged customers who have chosen their products because of the excellent quality in food and service.”

Silver Linings- How Challenges Become Opportunities

“We’ve been trading for 12 years and have been through a lot, even a pandemic! Thriving the challenges we get along the way is certainly one of our main strengths.

The current main threat to the business is rising ingredients prices. We have taken steps to lower ingredient prices by purchasing in higher volume. Initial indications suggest that this will reduce costs in some cases by up to 25%. Also, our premises are rented and we’re being forced to move which imposes unexpected costs on the business.”

Even through the challenges, Caryna recognises that there’s a silver lining.

While being forced to move is a challenge, it’s also rushing us into a bigger space, which will allow us to supply more products to more customers.”

From Farmer’s Market to Wholesale B2B

Lovin’ From the Oven started as a farmers’ market stall selling directly to customers. It evolved to become a wholesale business, supplying independently owned cafes and restaurants. Then, 9 years ago Caryna started a separate retail business, Camerino Ltd, which is a retail bakery and coffee shop. Lovin’ from the Oven continues to supply 26 coffee shops around Dublin, 2 of which are their own Camerino Bakery. 

Now, with the new frozen range, they can channel sales through wholesale or to consumer, via Camerino bakery. 

Stand Out Moment

“The business moved to online ordering in January 2020. At the time I was preparing for maternity leave and up to that point, despite all of the support staff, I was holding all the knowledge and responsibility. I had to learn to delegate and organise. I initially resisted digitising some of our processes as I felt it would be impersonal and customer service is very important to Lovin’ from the Oven. Digital ordering, promotional opportunities and delegation were a resounding success. Digital ordering was launched 2 months before my baby was born, giving us time to iron out any bugs before I would be out. Nico was born 2 weeks before the first lockdown. Being digital meant we were ready for what came next - we were set up to work remotely before any of our competitors.”

Winner of the LEO Dublin City Enterprise Awards

“As a business owner, the recognition of your hard work and dedication is something to be proud of and celebrate.

 Winning a business award also brings a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the people who supported me along the way. It is an opportunity to acknowledge and thank my team, customers, partners, mentors, and family for their contributions to our success. 

Winning this award inspires and motivates me to continue striving for excellence in the business. It gives me the confidence to take on new challenges, explore new opportunities, and set higher goals for myself and my business.

It also encourages me to keep learning and growing as a professional and to share my knowledge and experience with others.”

LEO Supports

Caryna has benefitted from a number of different LEO Supports, using the financial and training supports to upskill and support her business, such as;

  • Trading Online Voucher (x2),
  • Business Expansion Grant
  • Covid-19 Business Continuity Support
  • Mentoring
  • Google You’re the Business: Selected December 2022.
  • Dublin Food Chain
  • Driving Growth Through Digitising your Business

 “The LEO’s support in areas such as marketing, finance, and business planning has been instrumental in helping me navigate the challenges of running a business.In addition, the networking opportunities that were provided have been invaluable in helping me establish connections within the local business community. The Local Enterprise Office has been a crucial partner in my business journey, and I am proud to say that your support has been a key factor in the success that my business has achieved.”

The Future

Caryna has big plans for the future of Lovin’ From the Oven & Camerino. The latter has recently taken residence in the courtyard of IMMA, with a coffee truck that sells delicious coffee and freshly baked goods.

“We’ve moved to a larger production kitchen and we’re rolling out our frozen range, first to our wholesale customers and then to consumers. We also have future plans to produce a line of boxed, shelf-stable baking mixes.” Caryna tells us.

Advice for Budding Entrepreneurs

“Invest in the right support. For me, that’s professional bookkeepers that keep me on track (my tendency is to diversify and they encourage efficiency). Numbers bore me and half the work of keeping our paperwork in order was motivating myself to sit down and do it when I’d rather be baking. I review weekly reports and often share them with the supervisors. I zoom every month to review management accounts with the bookkeepers. My advice is that YOU don’t have to do everything that has to be done. Part of your job is to establish the right support.”

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