What a difference a Daybreak makes
IF&CR speaks to retailer Luke Mee about his brand new Daybreak store in Knockcroghery, Co Roscommon.
The small historic village of Knockcroghery has been put on the map once again with the opening of a beautiful, brand new Daybreak store and Inver forecourt – the brainchild of retailer Luke Mee and his business partner Pat Igoe.
Knockcroghery may be a small place but it is located between Athlone and Roscommon town, and has one of the closest populations centres to the geographical centre of Ireland. It’s also on a particularly busy traffic route with over 7,000 cars passing the new site each day.
With lengthy experience in the retail and bakery sectors, Luke Mee already owns and runs two outlets in Co. Galway, but this was his first venture in Roscommon.
He wanted to do something different – to make it special, to start from scratch, with a blank page so to speak.
“There was an old shop on the site but it had become dilapidated and run down when we took over the site last year,” Luke told IF&CR.
“We spent some time looking at the different options – and Daybreak just hit all the marks. There was a high volume of traffic passing each day – so a large on-the-move population needing somewhere to stop and shop.”
Luke explained that Daybreak brings all the advantages of partnership with Musgrave, Ireland’s largest retail and foodservice operator on the island of Ireland – with access to a world class supply solution.
It also includes access to Musgrave’s unmatched retail and foodservice expertise, including ongoing business development support – proven to drive retailer profitability.
Start to finish
Luke had a particular vision in mind for the new venture in Knockcroghery. He wanted to take the site and completely transform it into something special – but he also needed to have confidence in his choice of brand – to know that Daybreak would be a supportive yet critical friend, to guide him through the whole process and come up with win/win solutions to the entire enterprise.
From the outset, Luke knew that the Daybreak development team would be by his side, every step of the way.
It is a step-by-step process, and Luke was particularly grateful for Daybreak’s knowledge and expertise.
In the first instance, Daybreak present an offer that is relevant to the store format. Business development managers then create a business plan with performance indicators tailored to the store. The development team project manage everything from end-to-end to ensure that the project is delivered on time and within budget, while minimising disruption to a retailer’s business during the refit. The fresh food team are also on site supporting staff in store, with everything from food safety training to waste and margin management.
One of the main things that attracted Luke to Daybreak was the brand’s new store design, which features a number of exciting brands that are available exclusively from Daybreak. Luke wanted to give the passing traffic compelling reasons to stop, and with the food to go and coffee concepts available in Daybreak he knew he could offer something genuinely differentiating.
“Daybreak was perfect for what we wanted to achieve. The new Daybreak model is extremely comprehensive, with all the different concepts consumers want in one shop” said Luke. The concepts which Luke has featured in his store include the MUNCH & CO deli, 9 GRAMS coffee and LICKETY SPLIT ice-cream.
“Daybreak have perfected the deli offering with MUNCH & CO. We’re able to offer something for everyone, from your tried and trusted deli favourites, to healthier options and on-trend flavours for people who want something different. The offer is also brought together with impactful signage that has real standout in-store.”
Seriously Good Coffee
Luke’s Daybreak also offers shoppers seriously good coffee with the 9 GRAMS brand. This is another exclusive and fully supported concept developed in-house by Musgrave.
The quality 9 GRAMS coffee bean is matched with a distinctive visual design, with brand support elements in-store including a stylish coffee dock, signage, branded coffee cups and travel mugs, as well as loyalty cards that help drive repeat visits.
It’s proving a big hit with customers. “I’ve even got one customer who will drive from Athlone to here for what she calls the perfect cup of coffee!” said Luke.
Before deciding on the Daybreak brand, Luke did his research. Initially, he wasn’t sure about introducing the ice-cream concept but was convinced after visiting other stores. It has proved to be a wise decision and he has been overwhelmed with the success of the ice-cream concept in-store.
LICKETY SPLIT is Daybreak’s own ice-cream brand, with fun flavours that cater for kids and adults alike, and a distinctive design that really draws your attention.
“Since we opened, the ice cream concept LICKETY SPLIT has been working so well and significantly increased footfall. It’s high margin and is in big demand this summer. In the few months since we opened, all three concepts have been out-performing. We are delighted.”
As well as his own staff, Luke Mee is full of praise for the team at Musgrave, who he thanks for making the revamp process as seamless as possible.
“The level of professionalism and integrity from each and every one of their team was just fantastic,” he said.
“Liam Coady the business development manager at Musgrave, was a great help in the development and support of the concept. Philip Kelly, who is the fresh food advisor for Musgrave, spent a lot of time with us introducing elements to our deli from the MUNCH & CO menu.”
“It was a total transformation. Daybreak and Inver did all the groundwork. There was significant planning involved and a lot of work to be done – but took just two months from signing to opening.”
“I chose Daybreak because of the concepts, the branding and the fact that it’s part of a large, long-established company that matched our own vision for the future. I’ve been amazed at how supportive everyone has been. Quite frankly, Daybreak have been fantastic.”
“We really valued the training provided, which is extremely important. It covered everything from portion sizes to how to make the perfect breakfast roll to hygiene.”
“There is a very high yield of traffic – around 7,000 cars per day. That’s the driving force for our store – passing traffic and serving the local population. We have two stores in Galway – but this is our first in Roscommon and our first forecourt venture too.”
“The fresh new look is fantastic and we are also delighted with the Inver forecourt.” Reassuring
“It was the right time to do it all – and to just do it right. Daybreak also gave advice on what we didn’t need to do too.”
“I’ve been in retail since 2005 but before that I was involved in food production, working for Brogan’s Bakery. Then my wife got involved in the retail side of things too with a pub business and the shop that went with it. The second shop is in a small place called Ballymoe in Galway – now this is the third.”
“The family have been great and I’ve good staff. When we started recruiting for staff we just had the good fortune to get the right people – mainly local people, including the deli manager and supervisor.”
Sense of pride
“Covid was a tough time getting everything organised – but I’m proud of the full package – from start to finish with two great partners, Daybreak and Inver” concluded Luke.
“We’ve been extremely lucky and I’m very proud of it all. When I stand outside and look at it, I feel a real sense of pride – it’s all been done to the highest standards.”
Congratulations to Luke Mee and the Daybreak team. See the full article in the July/August edition of IFCR