...Making It Happen

Aisling's Taste of Home

aisling 2024

Entrepreneurs: Aisling & Ciaran O'Toole

Business: Aisling's Taste of Home Ltd.

Location: Doneaney House, Doneaney Cross, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare. W34HT93

Established: May 2023

Famous for: Brown Soda Bread - our first product!

'Our business evolved as a direct result of baking during the 2020 pandemic restrictions. Our eldest child Catherine who has a complex diagnosis of autism, intellectual disability and epilepsy found the sudden loss of her school and any services very challenging to cope with. My background as an Occupational Therapist kicked into gear and we started baking to pass the time. It became our therapy of sorts and the bonus of having lovely end products was welcomed by our family, neighbours and friends. I was encouraged to enter the Aldi Brown Bread Baking competition that year and I was amazed to come in 2nd place. This encouraged us to keep baking and after doing an online Food Safety course, we started supplying a few local cafes around Kildare Town - Firecastle and Agape. The following year I was again encouraged by family and friends to reenter the Brown Bread Competition and in 2021 I came in 1st place. This gave me the opportunity to have my bread on the Aldi shelves for 12 months.'

'When my 12 month reign ended I approached Dunnes Stores who were interested in my product. I embarked on a complete rebranding and successfully launched Aisling's Brown Bread in Dunnes Store Nationwide in May 2023. Thankfully it is going from strength to strength and I am now on the cusp of launching a new product Aisling's Protein Loaf which is both high in protein and fibre with no added sugar.'

'I consider us still very much a start up at the moment. It's a high point every time I walk into a store and see our brown bread on the shelves. There have been some lovely promotional opportunities in the various Dunnes Stores and it's so rewarding to get positive feedback from customers that are not family or friends! The week I launched the bread I had my Dad out shopping in our local Dunnes - it was a great day and he was so delighted to see it there at 89 years.  As the business is evolving there are more and more wonderful opportunities such as the LEO Europe Food and Nutrition event.

Low points are mostly down to my complete lack of business experience. It has been a very steep learning curve to say the least but I've been really well supported by LEO Kildare with excellent relevant mentoring....'


'Our big break through moments?

  • Winning the National Brown Bread Baking Competition 2021
  • Securing a place for our Brown Bread in Dunnes Stores Nationwide in May 2023
  • Developing a new High Protein High Fibre no added sugar product for launch Feb 2024 be continued!'


'LEO Kildare has been a great support so far. My initial meeting with Phyllis Donohue was so encouraging and positive. She gave me the confidence and encouragement  to apply for a Priming Grant. Now I'm looking forward to the Food and Nutrition event as well as showcasing my products to Minister Richmond and elected representatives later this month. I've benefited from some excellent mentoring and enjoyed my first women in business Christmas lunch which was an inspiring event. It is very reassuring to have LEO Kildare as a support going forward as my business develops and grows.'

'The best piece of advice about running a business? This one is from my lovely Dad.

His mantra was always "Tóg go bog é" - Take it easy. 

It's something I try to do in all aspects of my life - with myself and everyone around me. Everyone is doing their best and you never know what people are dealing with. My Dad went to heaven just 2 days after he saw the bread launched in Dunnes but his kind and caring spirit remains with me always.'