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Michael Thompson (Biscuit Mike)
Me – Biscuit Mike

I’m Biscuit Mike, and I make shortbread right here in County Down, Northern Ireland. I love my shortbread and hope you will too. I exclusively use butter from the North coast, up past the Giant’s Causeway and West a bit.

It gives my biscuits that local buttery taste that visitors love when they come to Ireland.

2017 BB (Before Biscuits)

Before biscuits I worked in sales, marketing, compliance, underwater photography, web development and a few other colourful jobs. But it was in 2013 when I started looking at creating my own food business. I wanted to stay at home with my then one year old daughter, so I retrained as a chef in the local college part-time and then began recipe development.

Northern Ireland has so many incredible landmarks that weren’t represented in the gift shops and some were even importing their biscuits! I set about to change that and launched my shortbread at market stalls and online.

In 2018 I was preparing to launch the business full time through a partner manufacturer, but they changed their mind at the last moment (“for a bigger client”), then launched their own range of biscuits. My new born son had just arrived so I took a job in a manufacturing company with over 2,000 employees, and started selling my biscuits by day, while making them at home by night. This is where I was to be renamed “Biscuit Mike.”

In 2020, amidst the Covid pandemic, the manufacturing firm closed many of their operations, so I refitted a local disused bakery and went into full time production by myself, selling thousands of biscuits online and into gift shops.
At the end of 2020 the gift shops were forced to close, leaving only the off licenses open, so I moved to selling my biscuits through them, expanding my network of sales into Ireland, as well as online.

It was in 2021 that I met a new production partner and together we increased biscuit production between our two premises. During my time running my own mini factory, I had identified a huge stumbling block for bakeries and food manufacturers trying to grow their business. I set about developing a prototype biscuit packaging machine and in 2022 was one of the winners of a TechStart Proof of Concept grant. This led to an award from Innovate UK (the UK’s national innovation agency) for Transformative Technology and produced the first ever flow wrapper for use at home and in small bakeries.

I still love my shortbread though, so if you’re ordering online, it still comes direct from me, packed and posted with love from here in County Down.

To chat more about biscuits and food packaging, you can connect to me here on LinkedIn.

If you would like to follow the development of the mini flow wrapper, visit Bake & Bag.