Busy Lizzie Business Brain with Aoibheann from Ard Bia

21 Aug

This week we interview the lady behind the brand Ard Bia – Aoibheann…

1.    Why did you decide to start your business?

Because no one would employ me or i could not find a job at all

2.     What have been the biggest challenges and achievements for your business?

Biggest challenge: finding a good accountant, I had 7 terrible ones ..

Achievements: to have a business come back from the brink during the hight of the recession to now having a turnover of over 1.5 million and employing 30 staff.

3.     What are your plans for the future?

Keeping up good quality food, service and continuing to look after our wonderful customers and employing more people.

4.     Who do you look up to in business?

I really admire Aron McMahon from Cafe Rua in Castlebar he is my professional pin-up !

5.     What is your advice for other entrepreneurs?

Do it! But make sure what you are doing is coming from a place a true belief

6.     How are you gaining visibility and promoting the business?

the press love us, so we keep giving them more..

7.       Do you use any Social Media?

Yes heading towards 2500 Facebook friends and very strong on twitter, it’s essential these days

More about Aoibheann and Ard Bia

Aoibheann Mac Namara – studied Art History at University College Dublin followed by a postgraduate degree in Arts Administration at NUI, Galway during which time she worked part-time at (and was fired

from!) the original Nimmo’s. She travelled and worked in art galleries around the world before working in Soho House and Babington House, where her real education began. After a stint cooking in a Buddhist centre in Cavan, Aoibheann opened Ard Bia Café in Donegal in 2001. Two years later she moved the business to Galway, initially to Cross Street, then above Tigh Neachtain on Quay Street and then to the iconic Nimmo’s building under the Spanish Arch. In 2008, Aoibheann had a baby, Önundur (Öni), with whom she sits and watches the sea from where they live and work on The Long Walk.

Aoibheann has started travel writing, which she hopes will see her into a more gentle retirement.

The Ard Bia cook book is now on sale, for your copy try here

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