One of Irelands largest cake
manufacturers, Gateaux Ltd, was bought in
July 1970 in a £300,000 deal by Lyons
Irish Holdings Ltd, the Lyons group
subsidiary in Dublin. Until this time
Lyons Irish Holdings had been concerned,
through its operating subsidiary, Lyons
(Ireland) Ltd, with packing and selling
Lyons teas, coffees and breakfast cereals.
had about 60% of the packaged cake market
in Ireland. The main factory was at
Finglas, Dublin. Established in 1949,
Gateaux had an annual turnover at
acquisition of £2 million, with two
thirds of their sales in the home market
and one third exported. In the UK their
customers included Marks & Spencer.
The Gateaux label was known in 57
countries. One of their famous exports was
the Molly O'Rourke tinned cake, liberally
laced with spirits, it sold well in
Australia and New York where the Macy's
department store was a regular customer.
The cakes sold to Marks & Spencer were
rich fruit with the tops covered in Brazil
nuts and cherries. The big seller in
Jamaica was their deep frozen Swiss
business was built up by members of the
Dacus family and the MD at the time of
takeover was Leslie Dacus. When Lyons took
them over three Lyons Holdings directors
joined the Gateaux board. They were: G. G.
Patterson, P. O. B. Butler and J. F.
had joined Lyons in 1935 from Trinity
College, Dublin, where he had graduated
with a MA. He was appointed a director of
the Irish company and manager of the
Northern Ireland district in 1942. For
four year (1946-50) he worked successfully
as director in charge of sales for Lyons
in South Africa, Rhodesia and Canada. He
rejoined the Irish company in 1950.
had joined the Irish company as a trainee
manager in 1936. He started as a van
salesman, became a caterers' tea
representative and immediately after the
war was appointed assistant manager of
Eire and Northern Ireland. He became
managing director in 1950.
Dublin born like Patterson, studied law
and qualified as a solicitor. He joined
Lyons as a management trainee in 1958 and
started as relief salesman in Olaf Street,
Willesden. He went to Dublin the following
year and joined Lyons there. He was
appointed a director in 1962. Mr Butler
was made joint managing director of
Gateaux with Leslie Dacus.
manufacturing plant of Gateaux closed in
September 1990. At an EGM of shareholders
of Lyons Irish Holdings plc on 20 December
1990, they approved the sale of Gateaux
Limited to J. Lyons & Company Limited.
Being part of the European Bakery Sector,
Gateaux Limited operated as the sales and
distribution company in Ireland.