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In the dough Rugby star McSharry hopes to cash in with lockdown-driven craze for home-baked cookies

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Dave McSharry, former Connacht rugby player, with a couple of samples of his Hot Chip Cookies. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Dave McSharry, former Connacht rugby player, with a couple of samples of his Hot Chip Cookies. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Fergal Phillips

Dave McSharry, former Connacht rugby player, with a couple of samples of his Hot Chip Cookies. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Former Connacht rugby s

tar Dave McSharry achieved rare success on the rugby field – and now he is armed to do the same in the business world.

It takes guts to set up a new business during a pandemic, but McSharry knew lockdown was the right time to launch Hot Chip Dublin.

McSharry identified a gap in the Irish market for superior cookie dough, and now he is on the brink of major supply contracts with two supermarket chains and a growing list of cafes.

But why cookies?

“I studied business management and entrepreneurship, and when I came back from travelling in Australia, I was looking for opportunities.

“It sounds strange to set up a business during a pandemic, but I figured lockdown was an ideal opportunity.

“There were never so many people at home. Everyone was baking and doing more home activities than they wouldn’t normally do.

“The cookie craze hasn’t really caught on yet in Ireland. It was quite big in New York, London and Australia, where there are a lot more options for cookies in comparison to Ireland.

“Doughnuts took off here a few years ago, and it is time for cookies now, I think.

“When I got back from Australia I went to work on a recipe to perfect the style of cookie I really liked.

“I got all my friends and family to sample for me, and I knew I had a good product there.

“The main opportunity I spotted was on the wholesale side for cafes.

“We will make it easy for them to bake fresh cookies every day. We deliver the dough pre-shaped, and it has a good shelf life in the fridge or freezer.”

What was important to McSharry was taste, freshness and accessibility.

“I wanted a cookie that stayed quite soft.

“I visited a lot of places, and I asked what the shelf life was on their cookies and if they bought them in.

“Some places told me they keep cookies for up to five days. I found those cookies to be very crispy and they didn’t taste that fresh.

“With our product, you can throw them on every morning."

McSharry felt the better the cookies looked and tasted the easier marketing would become.

“They are thick, bigger size cookies. They look good, and we are getting a lot of interest on social media.

He believes his rugby career has helped him on the road as a businessman.

“I think a lot of rugby players tend to go on and do well in entrepreneurial ventures because there is this self-drive there.

“When I was playing rugby, it was always in the back of my mind. I wanted to set up a business,” he said.

“Currently we are meeting the demand for all the cafes, but we will be expanding to home delivery over the next few months.

“The thing for me was I wanted to work at something I was passionate about.

"I suppose that stems from rugby. It never felt like a chore going into training.”

Hot Chip Dublin cookies are now available in Bijou in Rathgar and Kerb in Foxrock.

Online Editors


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