Foodpreneurs Event

Promising Future for Kilkenny’s Food Sector

The 13th annual Savour Kilkenny Food Festival kicked-off yesterday (Tuesday 22) with a special event for people interested in starting a food business. ‘Foodpreneurs – Top Tips To Starting A Food Business’ organized by Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny to give people the opportunity to learn from industry leaders and gain insightful information into the sector.

Guest speakers on the day included James Burke, Ireland’s leading advisor in the food sector, Helen Gee of G’s Gourmet Jams, award-winning live yoghurt producer, Nicholas Dunne of Killowen Farm and Margaret Hoctor of Killmullen Lamb.

The afternoon session at the Parade Tower at Kilkenny Castle also included Q&A’s and group mentoring sessions with the guest speakers.  A comprehensive overview of the supports available was presented by Business Advisor, Catherine Hennessy. 

Catherine was really pleased with the success of the event; “There were people there from such diverse backgrounds and interests and the future for the food sector in the city & county is looking bright with some brilliantly talented and innovated people who want to bring something new and exciting to the county.”

Marian Flannery, Savour Kilkenny, Festival Director, says the future of Kilkenny’s food sector is looking bright: “We were delighted when Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny listened to our proposals for this event and came on board with Savour Kilkenny to organize and fund this inspiring afternoon. What a fantastic way to kick-off our 2019 festival, she added. The speakers each shared their own experiences in a very honest and engaging way and left all 45 guests with great enthusiasm and energized to continue on their food business journeys. 

Huge thanks to the Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny for their support on this partnership. It’s vitally important to work together to give budding entrepreneurs the access they need to opinion leaders and industry experts. I’ve no doubt that people left yesterday’s event with helpful tips and advice which they’ll be able to incorporate into their business plans and we'd like to thank the brilliant speakers for their input.”

If anyone is interested in starting a food business, we highly recommend getting in touch with Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny who have some wonderful supports available.”

Adding to this, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Centre, Fiona Deegan said: “We were delighted to work in partnership with Savour Kilkenny on this event and it was great to see such an interest with 45 people in attendance. Savour Kilkenny has had an important role over the last decade, shining a light on local food producers, produce and restaurants, cafes and bistros and the announcement of the Kilkenny Food Vision 2020- 2025 has come at an appropriate time. This vision will look to make Kilkenny Ireland’s strongest local food economy and food culture hub and to increase the amount of local food and beverages on menus and retail shelves in the county.” This strategy, a collaboration between ourselves and LEADER  will be launched on Thursday 25th October 2019.


Savour Kilkenny is well underway and runs until Monday 28th October. This year’s jam-packed festival programme includes a host of events including live cookery demonstrations, talks, workshops, dining events, children and family events and a busting market with over 100 stalls to sip and savour Kilkenny’s local produce. The festival will welcome a host of celebrity chefs and TV personalities including Paul Flynn, Clodagh McKenna, Catherine Fulvio, Rory O’Carroll, Roz Purcell, Darren Kennedy and Kathryn Thomas.  

 Foodpreneurs Press release


Pictured are the Foodpreneurs team at Kilkenny Castle. From left to right are Marian Flannery – Savour Kilkenny, James Burke – James Burke & Associates, Margaret Hoctor – Kilmullen Farm, Helen Gee – G's Gourmet Jams, Nicholas Dunne – Killowen Farm and Catherine Walsh – LEO Kilkenny.