Cathy Fitzgibbon– The Culinary Celt
An experienced media professional with a background in marketing, Cathy has turned her passion for food education into a career. Now, The Culinary Celt amplifies the voices of Irish food producers and actively promotes the areas of wellbeing and sustainability through her food writing and published academic research work.
Claire Keane – Second Street Bakeshop
The founder of Second Street Bakeshop in Carrigaline in Cork first started cooking and selling her homemade caramel squares to fellow students in secondary school, as a means of raising funds for summer trips to visit the United States.
Deirdre Corcoran – First Options Fertility
Deirdre Corcoran set up First Options Fertility in Gorey, Co. Wexford, after noticing a lack of adequate fertility services around the South East region.
Feena McBride – The Arty Fox
Feena McBride, from the village of Kilmacrennan in Co Donegal, found inspiration from the Covid-19 pandemic to start her business, The Arty Fox, in November 2020.
Fiona Young – Milis
From paraffin wax to synthetic fragrance oils, Fiona knew from her 20-year career as an oncology nurse the dangers these products posed to people’s health and moved to create a limited range of candles that were vegan, sustainably sourced and carbon free.
Georgia Quealy – Praliné Chocolatiers
Originally from Roscrea in Co Tipperary, Georgia Quealy and her boyfriend/business partner, Daniel Linehan set up their company, Praliné Chocolatiers, in his home town of Athlone, Co Westmeath, in October 2020.
Helena Golden – Helena Golden Willow Woman
Helena Golden had been working in management roles in the food industry and in community and rural development before she decided to branch out on her own with her basket making business.
Nell Stritch – Pressed Flowers by Nell
Pressed Flowers by Nell started with founder Nell Stritch making her wares at her kitchen table. But while online sales were strong in those early stages, she knew there was no substitute for high-street footfall.
Niamh Dooley – BiaSol
A pandemic lockdown project across two continents led Niamh Dooley, from Athlone, Co Westmeath, and her brother Ruairi, to create BiaSol, a business that upcycles spent grain from breweries into healthy food products.
Paula Hawes – The Burren Butcher
The arrival of budget supermarket Aldi to a nearby town in 2017 spelled the end of Neil and Paula Hawes’ retail butcher shop in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. Firm in their commitment to the trade, and backed by local customers hungry for more upmarket fare, the Hawes pivoted and returned to the market in June 2020 with The Burren Butcher.
Sacha Ben Elmansour – Zizo
Originally from Kilmeaden, Co Waterford, Sacha Ben Elmansour chose Dunmore East as the ideal location to start her business and raise her family, after returning from a seven-year stint in Malta, where she worked in data analytics.