It was such a lovely surprise and a privilege to be asked if I'd like to be featured in one of Irelands leading Foodie Business magazines, The Taste.ie. @thetaste.ie
As a result, it caused me to stop and reflect which is such an essential tool and far too underrated. We can easily forget the good times and the shit times! But even from the shit times, you can garner immense knowledge and learnings. It's the stuff you can't learn in a book, it can be the hardest lessons known to man and woman!
I am attaching the article for you to enjoy and don't be afraid to comment or share a snippet of your journey to date.
I once ran an award-winning café that I dreamed about from when I was a little girl when I used to make mud cakes in my back garden- to this day such a fun and vivid memory.
I grew up in a wild house, having three brothers and three sisters! Our house was busy and full of utterly delicious food that was made from scratch by my mother who thought me so much of what I know. Our back garden had plum trees, apple trees, pear trees, gooseberry bushes, strawberries, and tomatoes. So, we ate well always. It was a huge part and is still a huge part of who we are. For my immediate family to get together (without restrictions or global pandemics) it would be a table of 19, our get-togethers are based around honest to goodness homemade deliciousness and luckily it has always been that way.
I always knew I would have a café so as I was just completing four years in Cathal Brugha street Studying Hotel and Catering Management I knew I missed being in the kitchen as my final year was all theory-based and that gap and longing to be back in a kitchen needed to be filled. So, I signed up for a three-month intensive course at the world-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School with my good friend Trish.
What a journey. It was everything I wanted. It was fast-paced and intensive. Living on a farm as a city slicker was definitely a little culture shock but I LOVED every minute.
I set up my dream café with my sister Lavinia. Our customers were beautiful, loyal, and generous. I grew with the needs of my customers and as a result, we were so fortunate to have won many awards.
The recession bit me in the arse and after closely monitoring the business decline over 8-months we knew the footfall was decreasing, the minimum spend per head was dropping, people were suffering all around us and Kilkenny is a small City so we could not sustain the consistent slow decline. We closed the doors with broken hearts, and I returned to my favourite 100-acre organic farm as a Senior Tutor at the cookery school. While there I helped to recipe test and recipe write on multiple cookery books. I taught fabulous students from all over the world. I travelled around Ireland popping up Demos for Darina Allen, Rory O’Connell, and Rachel Allen. I also set-up, ran and trained in the summer Food truck teams who went on to win best food truck 2019. I assisted some of the world’s top chefs- Yotam Ottolenghi, Samuel Scully, Diana Kennedy, Jeremy Lee, Christian Puglisi, Sunil Ghai, David Tannis, Rene Redzepi, Paul Flynn, Claire Ptak, Honey & Co, Fuchsia Dunlop, Madhur Jaffrey, April Bloomfield, Maggie Beer, Claudia Roden, Claire Lattin& Tom Hill, Tomasina Myers, Francis Mallaman, Sandor Katz. What an intensive, rewarding, and busy time.
I now operate as a Food Business Coach. I consult, mentor, guide, teach, recipe writing, create social media imagery, look at operational systems, waste management, menu design. I get to assist businesses at all stages of their development, from start-ups to established. It is a collaboration that ensures sustainable growth. I become their silent business partner who is brutally honest, and solution-focused. The most valuable lesson from COVID-19 is that I can achieve incredible strides with my clients even from a distance.
The Espresso Bar Kilkee
I joined Judi after her first season where I created a bespoke menu that complimented what she set out to achieve- a quirky café. I reviewed and Implemented new systems. Reviewed her food waste and created bespoke solutions that ensured she was no longer binning her profits and as a result saw her profits improve even within the first week. We review her menu and adjust regularly. We create bespoke offerings frequently to ensure Judi stays ahead. I test and write recipes and create social media content to match so she can run campaigns. Judi is a visionary. We are working on the long game and let me tell you ain’t seen nothing yet!
MUSE Butler Gallery Kilkenny
From scratch business where I collaborated with Sharon to create an offering that represented her and her vision. I created systems and SOP’s, fine-tuned food styling and imagery and bespoke seasonal offerings. Sharon is fearless so her enthusiasm and will to create something special is truly energising. And soon her heated glass pods will be open to offer exciting foodie opportunities to Kilkenny locals and soon those further afield, all going well.
Domo’s Emporium at Newbridge Silverware.
Very exciting venture where we created an Irish only Food Hall while COVID-19 was wreaking havoc, so a lot of remote work was carried out. Dominic Doyle, the guy behind Domo’s created such an impressive, finished result but we are not finished yet, we can’t wait to bring even more to the people of Newbridge and when the restrictions are lifted, we can welcome more from further afield, what an exciting thought that is!
I wake up ready to do what I love every day. I listen and help my clients to improve and increase their trade and that reward is immense for me. I now see that I needed someone like me when my first business was struggling, my life lessons have made me into a straight-talking solution-focused fixer! I feel incredibly lucky to do what I do; it is the most rewarding career I have ever had as I am driven by a challenge!
That's it for now. If you would like to know more then simply get in touch, I love to talk :-)
Food Business Coach