Businesswoman of the Week: Clare Colonna – Founder & CEO of The Galway Food Company
Coming from an entrepreneurial background paved the way for Clare Colohan to spot a gap in the market in a difficult industry.
The combination of Clare’s passion for food with the finest Irish ingredients have created something completely unique in The Galway Food Company…..
What sparked the idea for your business?
My father had a number of businesses and I learned about entrepreneurship from him. After studying Business and Marketing, I knew I would start my own company someday. During a career break, I identified a gap in the market for a premium food brand from Galway and established The Galway Food Company in 2015. I wanted to combine my love of baking with the wonderful ingredients that we have in abundance in Galway. We launched to market in November 2015 with our first range of All Butter Irish Shortbread using local, ingredients such as Connemara Seaweed and Galway Bay Lavender.
What is the most difficult aspect of running your own business?
Time management– followed closely by learning to delegate. I also came to the realisation very early in the process that instead of having 7 children, I now have 8 and that the last child – the business – sometimes needs more nurturing and time than the other 7 put together!
What has been the biggest lesson?
There are so many new lessons every day – every event, every tasting, every customer relationship is a learning curve. I have received phenomenal support from so many. I have participated in programmes such as ACORNS, Food Academy and New Frontiers. I am indebted to all of them and hope I have been able to share a little of what I now know with others as well.
What is the plan for 2017 and going forward?
I started with an idea. Today, just over a year since we started trading, we are stocked in over 300 outlets across Ireland and exporting to the UK. Our immediate plan is to consolidate the growth we have already achieved by expanding and building our brand. We will develop our group product portfolio with other innovative food products to eventually create a global brand of locally sourced food products.
Find out more about The Galway Food Company by visiting the website HERE