Leading Lights

These are business owners from around the country that have shown exceptional leadership, resilience and innovation in 2021, in the view of their Local Enterprise Office.


Let’s meet them!


Learning & Development



Anna Carmody, Little Red Edu

Leading Lights Web 340_Offaly Anna.jpg

Anna Carmody is the founder of Little Red Edu, a learn through play platform for 3-6 year olds to learn English as a second language using speech recognition and augmented reality.

She studied Product Design in the National College of Art and Design and later became an English Language Teacher in Vietnam where the inspiration for her platform derives from.

Anna has previously brought two augmented reality educational products successfully to market and is a a passionate Entrepreneur and Musician.

Website www.littlerededu.com
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/annacarmodylittlerededu/
Twitter https://twitter.com/LittleRedEdu

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LittleRedEdu


Spellings for me

Leading Lights Web 340_Tipperary Emma.jpg

Spellings for Me was established by Emma Doherty and her partner in April 2019. The product is an Educational Application that assists teachers in the teaching of English Spellings. The product focuses on differentiation of spellings as each child will receive a different set of spellings that will be based on the appropriate level for them.

The spellings are selected by the computer from spellings spelt incorrectly in a test taken by the child on a computer using headphones while typing in their answer. The computer will then proceed to printing the child’s lists of spellings for that week and following weeks depending on the number of spellings spelt incorrectly in that timeframe spent testing. These words are then stuck into our Spellings for Me workbook and the child will have their own individualised spelling programme. 


Blue Heron Coaching

Leading Lights Web 340_Sligo Lilly.jpg

Blue Heron Coaching was established by Lily Murphy in 2005 and empowers women to harness their innate ambition, self-determination and wisdom so that they succeed personally and professionally.

In particular BlueHeron supports ambitious women in public service to achieve positive change in their organisations and communities while retaining their sense of fun and perspective. Using a unique combination of self-awareness, self-reflection and action orientated activities BlueHeron clients identify ambitious goals, overcome internal and external obstacles to success and take the necessary steps to become powerful leaders


Tech Sector


Caroline Dunlea - Core Optimisation

Leading Lights Web 340_Clare Caroline.jpg

Core Optimisation Ltd was founded in 2015 by Caroline Dunlea along with David Brett and has quickly grown to be one of Ireland’s leading Digital Transformation agencies, focusing on digital transformation strategy, search engine optimisation, paid search, paid social and conversion optimisation.

Caroline is CEO and co-founder of Core Optimisation and a 2019 winner of the Entrepreneur Award at Women in Tech awards. Caroline has worked across a number of industries and businesses prior to setting up Core. Starting her career initially in the freight business Caroline worked within various companies ranging from SME’s to large multinationals until she came upon the Digital World in 2009.

Having supported the hospitality Industry growing online revenue for 8 years she spotted an opportunity to create a digital agency supporting Industries in a very dynamic and fast paced environment. Her straight talking approach to digital marketing and online revenue results saw the companies client portfolio grow. Caroline has always had a passion for exceptional customer service and is keen to ensure that the team of digital experts show the same passion for results and relationships as the company scales.

Website www.coreoptimisation.com

LinkedIn https://ie.linkedin.com/company/core-optimisation

Twitter @CoreOptimise
Instagram @coreoptimisation
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/coreoptimisation/


WorkJuggle

LEO Fingal Image 1.jpgWorkJuggle is a curated, digital Recruitment platform that connects highly skilled professionals with flexible, remote and contract roles.

Founded by Ciara Garvan in 2017 WorkJuggle was initially a scrappy startup started with little in the way of seed capital. Since then it has been named as one of Silicon Republic top Irish Start-Ups and is now an Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Up company.

WorkJuggle allows organisations are able to recruit pre-screened professionals and scale expertise up and down to be truly agile in a fast-paced moving environment.

As we move into a post-Covid world the dynamic around work has completely changed. Working trends such as remote working and flexible working have become everyday realities. Alongside this, the companies are increasingly cost-focused and are reimagining talent. Talent is no longer a fixed permanent employee whom you “own” but it can be a talented contractor hired for a specif-ic skill set for a period of time. This is the space within which WorkJuggle operates.

Website addresswww.workjuggle.com

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/workjuggle/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/workJuggle
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WorkJuggle
LinkedIn Company Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/workjuggle/


Tracy Cullen Handheld Technologies Ltd

Leading Lights Web 340_Waterford Tracy.jpg

HandHeld Technologies Ltd develops software systems for mobile operatives in the food & beverage production, waste management & medical sectors. We capture & distribute data from handheld devices to track orders, trace ingredients, locate stock & eliminate paper from the entire production to delivery process. We started the business in late 2018 and since then we have developed a cloud based operating system that is sectorally agnostic. This gives us a unique competitive advantage as most businesses in our sector provide bespoke systems that require substantial investment from the client. We also made the software accessible from an android device rather than the expensive rugged handheld devices that our market is sued to. This has allowed clients to reduce the start up costs for our system.

We currently have 5 full time employees and work with a Pakistan based outsourcing company for additional technical development needs. Our recent achievements has been the completion of a new product called ServiceTrack which will allow us to expand into the services market. This is an end to end tracking and tracing tool for businesses that provide regular and ad hoc service and equipment purchases.

We are currently working on a digital marketing strategy to increase our client acquisition for 2021/2022. To date we have focused on having a base client group that we could work with to learn about their needs in order to develop a product that would provide simple, effective solutions. Having completed that development process, we are now ready to expand into the market and increase our revenue intake. We ae also looking at expanding into the European market as we have clients who have operations in other countries and we are working with them to introduce the product in Belgium as a test market before moving onto Poland.


Eva Kelly - ERA Sciences Ltd

Eva Kelly and Andy O’Connor setup ERA Sciences in April 2021 following a trial period of working together onLeading Lights Web 340_Meath Eva.jpg some discrete data integrity solutions for the Life Sciences sector. It was evident that the implementation of new technologies and the upgrade of existing technologies was a major challenge for customers and process and data mapping were key tools to delivering best outcomes. Using collaborative sprint worksessions and investigating business pains and gains has already allowed us to remove stakeholder barriers and ultimately propel the data integrity and system implementation project solutions forward for our initial customers
.
Being able to provide a Data Integrity Governance strategy that recognises people, processes and automation (technology) as key enablers of data integrity compliance is essential, having template solutions that can meet requirements across multiple business sectors has become a differential for ERA Sciences.

ERA Sciences has generated a Training Portfolio for customers to choose from and these can be delivered 1. on-premise 2. remotely 3. can be purchased on a one off basis or repeat basis., Planned for 2022 training can be purchased on a subscription basis where new material will be added on a quarterly basis for site lyte bytes approach.

As Data Integrity continues to evolve it is now a fundamental requirement to fully understand what and where your original GxP records reside – This is something that resonates with me directly as I have spent all my career discussing original records and true copies. If you don’t know what the original is it is very likely you haven’t managed your records and data properly!

At the moment Andy and I are directly employed by ERA sciences and we have contracted a WebSite designer to help us with a Version 1 of our website. Andy has done amazing work in addition to the website designer’s initial build but we will look to get a more interactive user experience with subscription products with hopefully additional grants in the coming years.

We are currently looking at admin and validation roles to be filled within ERA Sciences by early 2022.


Media Cube

Capella are expert partners in Hybrid Working as companies try to manage flexibility of location fLeading Lights Web 340_DLR Criona.jpgor their workforce into the future. Through the use of technology, we provide solutions around productivity, location, liability and safety for staff wherever they work. From WFH software to ensure staff have a safe working environment at home and working time hours are captured, to hot desk booking software for a hassle-free return to the office. With easy apps for staff and real time reporting for managers.... we have your back, whether your team is working from the main office, or their home office. Capella was incorporated in May 2020 and from a standing start achieved a turnover of €150k in its first year. We are a SaaS business and our products use a combination of AI, Computer Vision and Sentiment Analysis to ensure employees are getting the best possible experience in Hybrid Working. We have four employees currently and have plans to achieve 3m in sales in two years, with 15 staff.


We have delivered our software solutions to companies in Ireland, UK, US, Luxembourg and Portugal in our first year, and plan to expand significantly as an international business over the next 12 months.


SERVICE


Lorraine Lynch - Child

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Lorraine Lynch is the CEO and founder of the award-winning Child Psychology Institute (CPI).

She launched this EdTech software platform as a direct response to the rising numbers of mental health issues in children across the world, including self-harm and suicide in children as young as 5, while access to support services sadly remains up to two years long in most developed countries.

With an educational and clinical background in Health Psychology, she is passionate about educating and empowering parents and those who work with children on topics such as anxiety, trauma and emotional literacy. For overwhelmed teachers & parents who need to understand and support children’s emotions and behaviours, CPI provides education, resources, a supportive community and practical strategies that learners can access from the comfort and privacy of their home.

Unlike other offerings, the Child Psychology Institute platform offers a one-stop-shop and has been informed by real-world issues to offer real-world solutions. Lorraine is also the author of two books and is a contributor across radio, web-based and print media.

Website www.childpsychologyinstitute.iehttps://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainelynch/
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainelynch/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/child_psychology_institute/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/childpsychologyinstitute


Ebb & Flow Yoga

Maeve Ferris is the founder of Ebb & Flow Yoga.  Since March 2020 due to Covid-19, Maeve took her YogaLeading Lights Web 340_Kerry Maeve.jpg live online via Zoom. She also offers a range of Workshops online.  Maeve benefitted hugely from digital marketing mentoring support from the LEO Kerry, having set up an online booking system Maeve saw her bookings increase.

Maeve is a member of Kerry Women’s Business Network and other networking groups. Maeve offers Yoga Breakfast Club courses & Hiking Adventure Days, Yoga & Surf Adventure Days


Health & Beauty


BiaBelle Beaut

Bia Belle Beauty is the definition of a family business with established by Blaithnaid Murphy along with her Leading Lights Web 340_Dublin South Blathnaid.jpgsister Aoibhinn and her mother Susan. They set up in 2017 starting with fake lashes and have continued to add to their range since. Utilising online and social media has been key for the business, with Blaithnaid and Aoibhinn amassing over 150,000 followers online between them.

After their retail presence in Dundrum Town Centre was shut down after House of Fraser shut their doors, the focus increased to their online offering along with their products, now offering fake tan and nails as part of their range. As the company had to pivot like many in 2020 they are now focused on the future with the export market and creating a more sustainable business top of mind for Blathnaid, Aoibhinn and Susan


Charlene Casey Wellness (online)

The Monaghan LEO “Leading Light” for this year’s event is Charlene Casey, Founder and CEO at Charlene Casey Wellness, Castleblayney.

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Charlene began her fitness career in 2006. While studying for her degree in the University of Ulster, Belfast, Charlene spent her evenings and weekends pursuing her passion for fitness through trainings and workshops. What Charlene believed to be her pastime, evolved into her true calling and a most successful, rewarding career.


In 2010, Charlene opened her first fitness studio in her hometown, Castleblayney, County Monaghan offering Spinning, Circuit training, Cardio box, Zumba and Rebounding. After reoccurring injuries, stiffness and repetitive strain, Charlene turned to Yoga & Pilates to help undo the effects of many years of excessive exercise and back to back classes. Charlene discovered that these methods would help improve and maintain fitness while supporting her long term physical health.


Now a fully qualified Pilates & Yoga teacher, Charlene is passionate about correct alignment and technique by maximizing every exercise with proper muscle activation and engagement. Her skilled approach encompasses strength, flexibility & mobility.
When Covid 19 hit face-to-face classes were no longer possible. Charlene had to pivot her business quickly and showed great resilience during a difficult time in business. She has taken steps to drive the business forward and became more adaptable, innovative and successful. Charlene transformed the delivery of her courses and classes to an online platform with the help of the Monaghan Local Enterprise Office using the Trading Online Voucher and now offers a range of programmes to a significantly increased catchment area. She has members from all corners of Ireland and even in the USA!


Check out www.charlenecaseywellness.ie for more information on Charlene’s business and courses.

You can also follow Charlene on

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/charlenecaseywellness

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/charlene_casey_wellness/


Nua Fertility LtdLeading Lights Web 340_Wicklow Deborah.jpg

Deborah Brock is the CEO and Co-Founder of Nua Fertility.  Nua Fertility is a pioneering, Irish, fertility health company. We have developed innovative, scientifically sound, fertility-supporting supplements with a microbiome focus. Nua Fertility was inspired by Deborah’s own experience of infertility. Deborah’s search for solutions, grounded in science, led her to the importance of nutrition for fertility and the amazing world of the microbiome, and how they are a key determinant of our fertility health.


Nua Fertility has developed premium fertility supplements, with a microbiome focus, that are designed to support the nutritional needs of men and women when trying to conceive. Working with global manufacturers our proprietary product NuaBiome Women was launched. NuaBiome Women combines fertility supporting vitamins and minerals with a blend of high-quality strains of good bacteria to promote healthy conception, egg health, and foetal development. The friendly bacteria offer three significant benefits: absorption of essential fertility vitamins and nutrients; strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation in the body. A healthy microbiome is essential to optimise fertility.

Nua Fertility's approach in developing their formula and first product, NuaBiome Women, has been driven by science; Nua Fertility® engaged with APC Microbiome Ireland based at UCC and Teagasc to review and evaluate the scientific literature relating to the gut-fertility-microbiome axis and to assist with scoping out an R&D path to science-based product development. Nua Fertility has developed a strong advisory team consisting of experts in the field of fertility health. Working with a global manufacturer, Nua Fertility launched its first product NuaBiome for Women in August 2020, online and is now stocked and selling across pharmacies, health food stores, and Fertility clinic in Ireland and the UK.

Nua Fertility's approach is to have a community at the centre of everything we do. Our education hub is a space where our community can be informed and take an active role in optimising their fertility. 


The company has several innovative products in the pipeline to build on their existing markets and enter new international markets. Nua Fertility is a young, dynamic, and driven Irish business, with global ambitions.

Website addresswww.nuafertility.com

Facebook: @nuafertility
LinkedIn: @ Nua Fertility
Instagram: @nuafertility
Twitter: @nuafertility


Hawthorn Handmade Skincare

While still in London, Elaine Kennedy undertook a business mentoring programme on how to formulate and sell handmade skincare products.   On her return to Ireland at the end of 2015, she began the R&D process. As a Sole Trader, she founded Hawthorn & Rose and started testing the market with a range of natural skincare products. Following extensive market research, she launched Hawthorn Handmade Skincare Ltd in 2018.Leading Lights Web 340_Mayo Elaine.jpg

From the family farm in the heart of Co. Mayo, she makes all of the products by hand using natural ingredients. Production is carried out in-house in her custom-built manufacturing studio. This means that I can control what goes into products and onto my customers skin. Sustainable ingredients such as shea butter, rosehip oil and essential oils are blended to create skin nourishing products. The range is ideal for anyone seeking a natural approach to skincare, She defines natural as being free from synthetic ingredients. Customers normally notice a difference in the texture of their skin after using Hawthorn & Rose bestselling Rejuvenating Face Balm for 3 - 4 weeks. 

Elaine won Best Solo Businesswoman in the Network Mayo Business Woman of the Year Awards 2021!


Holos Skincare

Niamh Hogan is the founder of Holos a  luxurious plant based skincare that nourishes skin health and helps prevent the signs of premature ageing. We create products that fit into YOUR life, to bring vitality to your SKIN, your WELLBEING and your WORLD. Holos bridges the gap betwLeading Lights Web 340_Wexford Niamh.jpgeen natural skincare and cosmeceutical skincare by taking the best of natural skincare - the nutritious plant ingredients and putting them together with the best of cosmeceutical skincare - the scientifically proven plant actives and we do it with sustainability and the environment at fore of all we do. In essence we harmonise NATURE, SCIENCE & CONSCIOUSNESS.

Holos launched in 2014, with the help of Wexford Local Enterprise Office, after 2 years of research and planning. 9 months after launching, Holos won the Bank of Ireland Startup Award in the Best craft business category. Holos has gone on to win over 20 product and brand awards including Image publications “Most Innovative Irish brand in the Business of beauty awards as well as an International Gold award at the Free from Skincare awards.


In 2016 Holos received investment from Enterprise Ireland through the Female Competitive Start Fund and the same year won investment from Eleanor McEvoy of Dragon’s Den. Holos is now sold in Ireland and has partners in Austria, HongKong and the USA. Holos has always had its eye on the E-comm space and was in a good position when Covid hit in March 2020 to channel all its resources into driving the online market. In 2020, 67% of all revenue was online up from only 30% the year before. Revenue increased by 103% The focus for Holos going forward is to continue to grow the domestic e-comm market, partner with like-minded retailers in the B2B space and to grow the US market.


The Holos team is made up of 6 women. Holos manufactures everything in-house in Co. Wexford and plans on creating more employment in the area as the company grows.


Suzie O’Neill - AYU Cosmetics

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 AYU is an Irish based, Irish owned Company set up by makeup artist Suzie O’Neill.

The name “AYU” is derived from an Indonesian word meaning “very feminine, beautiful”. We exist to empower women with the tools and knowledge to unlock their full, incredible potential.   At AYU we teach women how to enhance what they already have rather than mask it. Our renowned make up brush & cosmetic line has grown from strength to strength over the past 5 years.

Famous for their luxurious look and how simple and fuss free they are to use, they have become a staple in women’s make up bags worldwide!

Website www.ayu.ie

LinkedIn https://ie.linkedin.com/in/suzie-o-neill-17b9a431

Instagram suzie.ayu
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/suzie.ayumakeup



Craft


 

Kay Lyng  - K Kajoux Jewels

Leading Lights Web 340_Kilkenny Kay.jpg

K Kajoux Jewels (pronounced K- Ka- Jeu) is an independent Irish owned handmade jewellery company where all the pieces are designed and created by hand in Co Kilkenny.

Each piece is designed by Kay Lyng in her studio in the hills of Clomantagh, Co. Kilkenny. The collections fuse the vibrant colour & raw beauty of semi- precious stones with the amazing colour innovation from Swarovksi Crystals.

K Kajoux has a retail & wholesale E- Commerce platform and is stocked in over 30 retail stockists around the country.

Website www.kkajoux.com
Twitter @kkajoux
Instagram @kkajoux
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kkajoux/


Olann

Established in 2017 by Jessica Kavanagh, Olann creates artisan hand dyed, ethically sourced yarns. We can process and dye our own fleece in-house to a considered, curated palette of colour inspired by Irish culture and landscape. We also process alpaca aLeading Lights Web 340_Cavan Jessica.jpgnd other rare breeds fleece for Irish clients.


Currently employing 10 staff, we are an export driven company with 96% of our products shipped overseas. We are planning to launch an in-house fleece to artefact cycle. Jess was a National Runner Up in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur National Final for Best Start Up


Sarah McKenna Ceramics


Sarah McKenna created Sarah McKenna Ceramics and has been creating unique handmade Irish pottery for over 20 years in Bridge Street Studios in Dundalk, Co. Louth.  Sarah studied Ceramics at Duncan of Jordonstone College of ALeading Lights Web 340_Louth Sarah.jpgrt & Design, the University of Dundee, Scotland where I gained a Bachelor of Ceramic Design.

Her work uses layers of messaging, created using patterns, bright colours and text which subtly say little things people want to tell each other without having to say them out loud. Often using inspiring quotes, poetry and sentimental lyrics, her individual pieces convey feelings of joy once known and happy memories.

Sarah has been creating and developing her pottery and homeware since 1999. By 2003, she was attending trade shows and selling to shops throughout Ireland and overseas. In 2013 she set up an e-commerce website which opened up overseas markets to her. 

Her work is stocked in gift shops throughout Ireland and in select gift stores in Europe and North America. She has been commissioned to make bespoke pieces for high profile events and clients including President Michael D Higgins and Leo Varadkar


Rita Oates Artist

Leading Lights Web 340_Roscommon Rita.jpg

Rita Oates created the brand “Rita Oates Artist” which began in 2017 when she identified a gap in the market for a specific art gift. This inspired her mission to produce beautiful, meaningful, and thought-provoking art by combining subtle images with words of encouragement and hope. To bring positivity in creating a quality, Irish made, and sustainable product.

Her goal throughout 2018 was to empower herself with knowledge about every aspect of the design, production and marketing processes. 

The image used in each greeting card and print is from an original piece of art created in her studio in Roscommon. 

Rita's prints are available in four sizes and as a canvas.

Rita Oates Artist products are available at www.ritaoatesartist.ie, in her retail outlet ETL Craft & Giftware, Roscommon and 12 retail outlets nationwide including McElhenny’s Donegal; Nook & Cranny, Portlaoise, 


Suzie O’Neill - AYU Cosmetics

Leading Lights Web 340_Kildare Suzie.jpg

 AYU is an Irish based, Irish owned Company set up by makeup artist Suzie O’Neill.

The name “AYU” is derived from an Indonesian word meaning “very feminine, beautiful”. We exist to empower women with the tools and knowledge to unlock their full, incredible potential.   At AYU we teach women how to enhance what they already have rather than mask it. Our renowned make up brush & cosmetic line has grown from strength to strength over the past 5 years.

Famous for their luxurious look and how simple and fuss free they are to use, they have become a staple in women’s make up bags worldwide!

Website www.ayu.ie

LinkedIn https://ie.linkedin.com/in/suzie-o-neill-17b9a431

Instagram suzie.ayu
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/suzie.ayumakeup


Food Sector


 

Aine Faughnan – Dromod Boxty

Leading Lights Web 340_Leitrim Aine.jpgAine became a business woman by circumstance rather than design. In 2015 she returned from New Zealand where she had settled since 2010, to take charge of the family business after her father became ill. With no business experience, Aine had to learn on the job. Not only was it the pressure of running a business, but it was the pressure of running a family business steeped in the tradition of a local favourite food, boxty.

Six years on and Aine is driving the business forward. She has diversified the product range taking into account new trends for the likes of gluten free products and they are now planning on bringing the brand nationwide. The quality of product they are producing has seem them secure Blas na hEireann and Great Taste Awards and they are very much on the up with Aine putting Dromod and Leitrim’s famous boxty on the map.


Website  www.dromodboxty.ie

Instagram: @dromodboxty

Facebook: Dromod Boxty


Aine Gavigan - Uisneach Catering

Leading Lights Web 340_Westmeath Aine.jpg

Uisneach Catering is the market leading catering company in the midlands since 2001, with a reputation for good quality food and service.


We cater for a wide range of events for our private and corporate clients including weddings, Communions, Christenings, birthday parties, hen parties, after-funeral and memorial service hospitality, retirement parties, Christmas parties, business launches, corporate lunches, staff events and catering for sports teams and events.


We focus on superior customer service, from the initial menu planning through to event decor, while maximising the customer's value for money. We work with clients to develop their own unique menu. We use only the finest locally sourced ingredients where possible and always support shop local.


Wendy Roberts - Creative Flavours Ireland

Leading Lights Web 340_Limerick Wendy.jpg

Creative Flavours Ireland was set up to bring cutting edge Flavour products to Irish food and beverage manufacturers.  The flavour of food and beverage products are like their signature, they are very often unique and difficult to get right. We work closely with our customers and get to know their products and processes and can really assist them in fast tracking their NPD.


So now we work closely with our customers and our manufacturers on NPD projects, assisting them to bring their product to market. But it simply doesn’t end there, we ensure consistent reliable supply which is the forefront of the business.  We source our products directly from accredited manufacturers that we have built up trust and respect with. This is so important for our customers as in food manufacturing sometimes the shelf life is short (e.g., baked goods) and, as you can imagine, rejected or late deliveries are a nightmare.  Two years ago we achieved BRC Agents and Brokers accreditation Grade AA. BRC is the British Retail Consortium, which s part of the Global Food Safety Initiative and is the highest accreditation in Food Safety.  We have been growing since the beginning (despite Brexit and the Pandemic) and we have many more exciting ideas and markets to develop in the coming years.


Susan Robbins Fehil -  Wildberry Bakery/The West Cork Brownie Company

Toirtin Ltd was established in 2017. We make very very tasty gluten free cakes. It is a point of pride that our gluten free cakes are virtually indistinguishable from their floury counterparts. This is achieved through the use of a very careful choice of ingLeading Lights Web 340_Cork NW Susan.jpgredient, sourced locally where possible. We provide cakes for the food service, private label and retail markets. We also are very proud of our recently introduced online shop. Our primary focus is on creating loaf cakes and cake slices, as well as our extensive brownie range. We are delighted to include AVOCA, Dunnes Stores Simply Better, Butlers Chocolate Cafes, Cafe Sol, along with 4 and 5 star hotels such as Hayfield Manor and Wineport Lodge to be among our clients. We were also delighted to be a part of the Grow with ALDI 2021 programme, which led to the establishment of the West Cork Brownie Company and a seasonal listing.

We have won numerous awards over the last four years, and are particularly proud of taking Gold in the IQFA conventional cake categories on two occasions, winning the Christmas Cake and Puddings category as well as the Overall Christmas Q award, which was basically like winning Christmas! We were also fortunate enough to have won the Small Producer of the Year Award on two occasions, once with Tesco and once with Dunnes Stores.

In the near future we will be bringing another four private label products to market, one of which will be a savoury product which could potentially open doors into a completely new market. The West Cork Brownie Co. also opens up a whole new realm of possibilities
in the retail market which we are excited to explore. At the moment we employ six members of staff and hope to increase our numbers by the end of 2021.


Martina Burns - Richmount Cordial Company

We planted 900 elder trees in 2012 and Richmount Cordial Company was formed in 2013. We started proLeading Lights Web 340_Longford Martina.jpgduction initially in an adjacent granny flat, and we began trading in 2014. We moved into a purpose built production unit in 2015. We planted another 1200 elder trees in 2017 to meet growing demand.

Our first and main product is Elderflower Cordial, and following its success, we started producing Elderberry Cordial, for the winter market. Demand followed for a Sparkling Elderflower drink which we now produce in 2 sizes. Our products are premium and targeted at the adult market as an alternative to alcohol. Our stockists are mainly independent retailers, cafes and restaurants. We also sell to other artisan producers for inclusion in ice-cream, cider, jams, etc. We have started exporting to Japan in 2020 and that is going very well for us. We also do some contract bottling for other small producers.

Down through the years, our company and our products have won many awards:
• Bank of Ireland Start-Up award
• Food Writers’ Guild award
• Longford LEO Enterprise Award
• Blás na hEireann
• McKenna Guides Best in Ireland 2021

We employ 8 to 10 local, seasonal workers to harvest the elderflowers and help with bottling and labelling. We feel its important to support our local community by employing local students.

We are verified members of Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme since 2018. We commit to sustainability targets and these are independently examined. Our targets include energy efficiency, reduction in the use of plastic, and sourcing our ingredients locally.


Retail


Sharon Keegan -  Peachylean.com

Leading Lights Web 340_Dublin City Sharon.jpg

Sharon Keegan is the founder and CEO of Peachylean.com, an award winning inclusive active wear brand. Featured on the BBC Dragon’s Den, & British Vogue, Peachylean is on a mission to empower women to love their self, own their story and move for their mind.

Website www.peachylean.com
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharkeegan
Twitter @peachyleanofficial
Instagram @peachyleanofficial
Facebook @peachyleanofficial


Cullen Nurseries


Cullen Nurseris are growers and suppliers of a wide range of native trees and hedging. Robert and Caitriona Cullen are the people behind Cullen Nurseries.  We help our cuLeading Lights Web 340_Carlow Caitriona.jpgstomers choose the right plants for their site, project and planting needs.


Robert has over 25 years experience in the industry after studying Horticulture in Multyfarnham In the late 90’s. The early 2000’s seen Robert focus mainly on landscaping and grounds maintenance. 


SÓMAS

Sómas is an Irish word directly translating to 'Ease' or 'Comfort'Leading Lights Web 340_Cork City Margaret.jpg


Sómas
 - was established by Margaret Urbanowicz in 2019 and came about after a friend of Margaret's gave her a candle making kit as a ‘joke’ when she fell in love with it instantly!  She kept it up as a hobby and learned more about fragrance, candles, and other home and skin products but never thought of it as a business - after completing the CIT course she felt inspired to possibly turn this passion into a business and decided to take the plunge and test the idea. 


Sómas happened and grew very organically. My goal was to create a job for myself I absolutely loved and could put all my creativity into, being able to now grow it into a company is honestly a dream come true.


At Sómas we aspire to capture the magic of the Irish landscape through an array of luxury scents. Every scent in the collection captures personal memories and moments of bliss.  All the products are hand poured with love in Co. Cork.  Our current offering includes candles and room mists but this will expand to soap, lotion, body scrub and body oil in late July.

We work with a number of amazing large and independent retailers across the country to bring the Sómas experience to a wider audience.