Ryan celebrating four years selling tasty treats

Ryan celebrating four years selling tasty treats

10 April 2019

A TECONNAUGHT man with a talent for baking, who describes himself as a chocaholic, is celebrating four years since he sold his first tray-bake for charity. 

Twenty four year-old Ryan Bogues is no ordinary baker. Since the young entrepreneur began Ryan’s Cookie Box with the help of his mum, Hazel, he has been hitting the headlines. 

Ryan, who has Down’s Syndrome, won an award in his very first year in business. Less than a fortnight ago, he was the proud recipient of a Newry, Mourne and Down Council Civic Award.

In the run-up to Mother’s Day, he raised a whopping £1,000 for two children’s charities with his treats and tray-bakes, which were sold from an honesty box at the bottom of the driveway at his house.

The money, which includes over £300 which he earned from his specially created Tiffany-styled, bow-wrapped Mother’s Day mini-hampers, will be shared between the Children’s Heart Beat Clinic and the Cancer Fund for Children’s facility at Daisy Lodge in Newcastle. 

Mum Hazel described the Friday before Mother’s Day as a “marathon baking day” in which she and Ryan prepared shortbread caramel brownies and chocolate Rice Krispie buns and Fifteens made with Turkish Delights.

“They were all sold in a matter of hours,” she said. “We work together because there is such a demand.

“All you do is stop the car, select what you want from the honesty box which stands at the bottom of our drive and leave the appropriate money.

“We have found the community here is swimming with good will and generosity. And we know of people who come from as far as Ballymena to purchase treats.”

Customers include people driving by in cars and tractors, police, families with buggies, walkers and horse riders — so many riders in fact that the Bogues family have now built a mounting block to help the riders get back in their saddles.

Hazel said: “It helps that Ryan loves food, especially food which has a permeation of chocolate and butter, and he really enjoys baking. It works depending on how much time we have and what ingredients are on special offer. 

“As you can see from our selection on offer, we actively support chocolate. All our profits go to charity, and we will always let the public know the charity of the month, both on Facebook and at the Cookie Box itself.”

Hazel continued: “We ask customers to cover the price of the baking and packaging, and then add a donation.

There is a sheet at the front of the box that explains everything. But basically, we mark each packet on the ingredients sticker with a coloured dot.

Hazel is a nurse at the Marie Curie Hospice, which will receive the proceeds of Easter’s business at Ryan’s Cookie Box.

Much further away — 5,965 miles to be precise — a health centre on the island of Madagascar now stands equipped with a brand new water well thanks to Ryan’s efforts. 

Of course, its not all work and no play for the chocolate-loving duo who have raised an estimated £12,000 over the past 12 months.

Hazel said: “Sometimes we get presents. Just last week we received a family pass for a trip on the Downpatrick railway steam train and we’re chuffed to bits about this one.”