Finn Ní Fhaolain, gluten-free cook and cookbook author, announced on Instagram that she will open her new gluten-free bakery Milish in Bundoran later this year.

Finn, who is best known for her cookbook Finn’s World, was diagnosed as coeliac when she was 19. The diagnosis, which may have caused dismay to some, inspired Finn to create delicious food free from gluten. As she continued on her coeliac cookery journey, Finn discovered a love for plant-based recipes and sustainability. These experiences have culminated in her achieving her dream of opening a totally gluten free, zero waste bakery by the sea in Bundoran later this year.

Finn's World book cover

Finn's World book cover

Read more: Finn's Coconut and Banana Cake

Speaking to F&W about the announcement, Finn commented:

“I’m so excited to finally be able to announce the plans for Milish! The name comes from the Irish for ‘sweet’ since we’ll be rustling up mainly delicious sweet treats as well as breads, some quick (and healthy!) breakfasts and we have an amazing coffee roaster onboard too. I’ve been quietly working away on it for the last year or so and now it’s time to build, then hopefully we’ll be open for late spring or early summer! I have a fab team lined up with some serious baking and coffee skills.

With my background in environmental sciences and ongoing work as an ambassador for Clean Coasts, it’s also really important to me that Milish be as sustainable as possible: avoiding single-use plastic, serving fair trade seasonal coffee with lots of plant-based options on the menu. We’re doing almost all of the build with reclaimed materials, too! We strive to use the best quality ingredients and are looking forward to championing local producers wherever possible.”

Read more: Wild Garlic Mussels in White Wine & Broth

As well as baking for the public, Finn told us that she will be providing high quality gluten-free baked goods to hotels, restaurants and cafés – having a delicious gluten free option on menus around the country is a key focus for her.

The plan for the bakery is that it will initially open as a boulangerie, with takeaway goods available for purchase and the wholesale business operating from the same location. Later this summer, there will be seating installed in the bakery for eat-in options, plus a calendar of workshops demos and classes for customers to take part in.

Read more: Passionfruit shortbread sandwich cookies

The baked goods that Finn will be offering sound totally delicious: There will be vegan banana bread served toasted and topped with a frozen disk of maple syrup, almond butter and coconut oil that melts in, pecan protein cookies, lemon and turmeric slices and Finn’s signature soda bread, which is also available vegan.

We caught up with Finn again this week to find out more about the progress at Milish Bakery. Read on for an update from Finn.

"We're almost finished the build now and we're so happy with all of the equipment and pieces we got for the place. We did it with all second-hand equipment and actually took most of the contents from a wonderful older bakery that was shutting up shop as the owner was retiring, so it's really nice to be carrying on that legacy. It also meant we got really gorgeous old-style equipment. It reminds me of a bakery in France! 

We have also got most of the pieces in for our Milish branded sustainable items, like coffee cups - created from used coffee grounds - and certified organic cotton bags. We've lots of other bits that we'll be sharing on our instagram once the "Sustainable Shop" wall is built. 

We're using Calendar Coffee in Barna in Galway, which is a wonderful little roastery doing amazing things ethically, sustainably and the coffee is just amazing! 

The interest in the wholesale side of things has been phenomenal, we are in talks with a distributor at the moment and have already had a lot of interest from hotels, restaurants and cafes in Donegal and Sligo (interested companies can get in touch at finn@milishbakery.com).

Menu items we hadn't talked about before include our signature kefir scones served with whey butter and raspberry, vanilla chia jam. We will also be doing lots of little "on the go" pots like the Moroccan Surfer's Breakfast (from Finn's World cookbook) which is made with multicoloured quinoa and cardamom, then topped with homemade coconut yoghurt, fresh fruit and toasted almond flakes. 

Again on our sustainability side, we will be giving out zero plastic to our customers with everything in paper, cardboard or compostable materials and we very much welcome to bring their own containers too."

Milish Bakery logo.

Milish Bakery logo.

We can’t wait to see what Finn has planned for Milish Bakery! Keep an eye on Finn’s website and Instagram, as well as Milish’s Instagram page, to keep up with the bakery’s development.

What do you think of Finn’s plans? Let us know in the comments below.

This article was originally posted February 6th 2019 and updated on May 19th 2019.