I’m writing about this journey because I want to share my true, honest experiences about setting up a business from the very beginning and every step along the way. I feel like we hear so many stories of successful businesses starting from nothing but rarely the detail of the immense challenges and emotional highs and lows that go with it. I’m not normally one to be so open and definitely not online (!!) so I’m putting myself out there a bit and hoping you find something in it.
I’ll post something once a week about the previous week’s ride at Alton Towers.
First I’ll give you a really short C.V. but skip this part if you want. My first proper job at 22 was as a marketing/sales rep for a wine company when I came home from travelling. Recession hit and after my sister and I decided we wanted to do our own thing, we came up with feelingfrugal.ie, a high end online forum for deals in the market. We started off well but Groupon came into Ireland about six months later and feelingfrugal was no more. It was bitterly disappointing but it was what got me my next job working on O2 Treats, O2’s loyalty program. Two and a half years later I ended up in Paddy Power marketing online slots, blackjack and roulette! I mean I’ll happily head to the casino at 3 in the morning but I’m not sure how it happened to be my job! I stayed there for two years where I learnt a hell of a lot from great people but the gambling industry wasn’t for me and in July, I took redundancy as a result of the company’s restructure.
About a year before that, I had an idea I thought was good but people have good ideas everyday so I didn’t think twice about it. I was all set to get another job but being presented with this opportunity really made me stop and think. I don’t have kids or a mortgage and I live with an incredibly understanding boyfriend 😉 If I was ever going to do it, now was the time.
I eventually decided to do the research and if there was a niche in the market to go for it. I might as well give it a shot. If I fail, so what, at least I tried.
Everyone tells you it’s tough and as much as you know that (especially having gone through it before), part of you gets caught up in the idea and the dream until you get into the detail of executing it. You know you’ve hit reality when you start struggling.
At this point I should probably tell you what my idea is. I thought of it when I was making meals before hockey training or just had loads of veg and a few eggs in the fridge- ‘Somebody should set up an omelette bar’. They’re tasty, healthy, full of protein, easy to make and would be a great alternative at breakfast lunch or dinner! After a lot of looking around online and some back and forth around the idea, I arrived at a cafe/take out serving egg based foods. Short term focus to provide gourmet omelettes at food markets to test the product and ehh, learn how to run a food business!!
- As you know, super healthy and gluten free is still hugely popular and if it’s possible, growing even more. Jamie Oliver even has a weekly program specifically for superfoods! What better way to be healthy and gluten free than by making eggs the base of your offering.
- Protein is king and eggs have one of the best sources, one for you young gym goers that enjoy pumping muscle. I’ve played sport my whole life and often have an egg as a snack before a hockey match to give myself an energy kick.
- Eggs are quick to cook and inexpensive.
- Most importantly…eggs, to me, are one of those foods that are just so fantastically simple, delicious and incredibly versatile (ooh that is so Jamie!) and I can’t even contemplate all the dishes that would be lost without them. Similarly, I am only tipping the iceberg with the amount of meals they can be the staple of.
- The idea was completely unique in Ireland and Irish people love eggs!! It’s also a great support to know that there are a few places world wide doing something similar and it’s working.
I’m no chef but I have taken to cooking in the last few years since I started actually looking after my body. It developed into a bit of hobby at the weekends since I can’t cope with the relentlessness of the hangovers aged 30 anymore!
And so my journey begins in a whole different world – food. Here goes….