RSVP Businesswoman of the Week: Lorraine Heskin – Managing Director, Gourmet Food Parlour
Lorraine Heskin and business partner, Lorraine Byrne, established Gourmet Food Parlour in 2006.
Their first restaurant in Dún Laoghaire which opened ten years ago, was a huge success leading to them opening five more stand-alone restaurants across Dublin, in addition to a catering and event business….
What sparked the idea for your business?
While working in New York in the food and catering business from 2002 – 2004, I was really inspired by the new style restaurants and trends that were emerging in New York at that time. I was particularly taken with The Garden of Eden which was a quirky fine food market and deli offering fantastic artisan foods with a cool funky design. We were determined to create a unique offering in Dublin combining my experiences from New York with my business partner Lorraine’s ideas for a gourmet style eatery. We opened our first restaurant in Dun Laoghaire in 2006 and we have grown to six locations in Dublin as well as a catering and event business.
What is the most difficult aspect of running your own business?
The most difficult aspect of running your own business is ensuring you are making the best use of your time. There are so many aspects to running your own business, you need to be able to delegate effectively and monitor to sure you can capitalise on efficient time management.
What has been the biggest lesson FOR YOU?
Our biggest lesson over the past ten years has been to focus on our customers wants and needs in an ever-changing consumer society. The food business is fast paced and always evolving so we are constantly looking at new trends and menus to create an exciting food offering for our customer base.
What’s the plan for Gourmet Food Parlour going forward?
Our plans for 2017 is to develop our existing businesses and to keep evolving. We opened a new 100 seater restaurant in Swords in Summer 2016 as well as having expanded our catering and event business during the year. We hope to continue to work on new business development in 2017 and we are always looking at new opportunities so watch this space!
Find out more at www.gourmetfoodparlour.com