The Connacht Busininess Achievers

Woman Led Business – P&G Cards, Roscommon

P&G Cards design, manufacture and distribute greeting cards and stationery products such as wrapping paper and gift bags to the retail industry. P&G Cards was established in 1988 by Pauline Naughton when she spotted a gap in the market for Irish-made greeting cards. From its inception to the present day, P&G Cards has forged strong links throughout Ireland and supplies to major retailers including Supervalu  Centra, Dunnes Stores, Spar and Mace. It also has an online store that offers a next-day delivery service. P&G Cards Ltd currently employs 66 people.  In recent times, P&G Cards has established a market share in European markets such as the UK, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus and has also expanded further afield into Australia, South Africa & Barbados.

Best Business Start-Up – Mixgreens, Galway

Mixgreens is an eco-friendly fast-food franchise committed to impressively-presented healthy -eating creations and excellent customer service.  Established in January 2012, the company now has three franchised outlets in Galway and provides them with key line items from its production kitchen. Its offering includes healthy, nutritious and wholesome soups, hot pots, risottos, pastas, curries and made-to-order tossed salads. The company also produces ready to go meals for the retail sector. Mixgreens is the first Irish owned restaurant to obtain membership of the Sustainable Restaurants Association (SRA) for demonstrating exceptional, all round, sustainability practices.

 Innovation and Emerging Technology – Channel Mechanics, Galway

Channel Mechanics provides software and services solutions that enable manufacturers increase the size and speed of their revenues by effectively using their distributors and channels as they go to market.  The software eliminates operational problems that prevent vendors maximising revenues when they are looking to scale their channel sales.Established in November 2010 with headquarters in NUI Galway and offices in the UK and USA, the product went live with its first major customer, a large global multinational, in September 2012, and now employs 14 people.Channel Mechanics currently operates in the ICT sector but it has developed its products and services with key generic concepts which will allow it to be deployed across sectors such as pharmaceuticals, bio-medical or any manufacturing sector that leverages distribution as a way to market.

Best Established SME – SF Engineering, Sligo

SF Engineering is a leading provider of production line solutions for the food industry in Ireland including fish, meat, poultry, snack, ready meals, fruit and veg, dairy and bakery. Established in 1983 by Seamus Farrell, SF Engineering acquired Opal Food Processing Systems Ltd in the UK in 2009 and works with a number of agency partners to provide a complete processing solution to its customers. Headquartered in Sligo, SF Engineering  has an expanding international portfolio and exports to customers in countries including Poland, Germany, Chile, USA, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Denmark.

Food and Drink – The Foods of Athenry, Galway 

The Foods of Athenry is a family-owned, farm-based bakery that bakes additive-free premium products that are sold nationwide in major retailers, fine food stores and health food shops .Established in 2004 by the Lawless family as a reaction to difficult farming conditions, the company now has two separate bakery units, one for wheat and spelt products, the other for certified  gluten-free products. In June 2011, just after the completion of the gluten free bakery, the entire operation was destroyed in a fire. The bakery closed and began a rebuild, reopening in 2012 with the launch of its gluten free range into 500 stores with a national listing in Tesco Ireland, BWG, Dunnes Stores & 250 Tesco UK stores. The company received a further boost when it began to supply Superquinn and Supervalu stores nationwide from March 2013 as well as  Dean & Deluca in New York and  Selfridges in the UK. The company currently employs 12 people.

Social Enterprise –Ireland West Airport Knock, Mayo

Ireland West Airport Knock is held in trust for the people of the West of Ireland.  From humble beginnings 27 years ago, the airport is now the fastest growing airport in Ireland employing over 145 staff from the region.Contributing over €100m to the regional economy, the company is now serving 25 international destinations and almost 700,000 passengers annually. 2012 was Knock Airport’s busiest year since it opened 27 years ago.  The airport attracted new services from key European tourism markets in Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Milan bringing in an addional 13,000 new tourists to the region and generating an additional €7 million in tourism spend for the West of Ireland region.

International Business – Lifes2good, Galway

Established in 1997 by James Murphy, Lifes2good is a rapidly expanding health and beauty business which markets and distributes exclusive and clinically-proven brands across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.  Lifes2good’s  flagship brand Viviscal is globally recognised as the leading hair-growth dietary supplement.The company sells directly to consumers and also through traditional retail outlets such as Walmart, CVS, Sam McCauleys, Gordon’s Chemist and Hickeys.With 95% of its turnover coming from international markets, Lifes2good is headquartered in Galway and has sales and marketing operations in London, Chicago, Madrid, Lisbon and Paris with newer offices recently opened in Brazil, Mexico and Australia.

Agri-Business – GH Agri - Galway Homeopathics, Galway  

GH Agri - Galway Homeopathics is a family-run business operating in the animal and farm health sector. Based in Tuam, Co. Galway, the company works with up to 10,000 farmers in Ireland to alleviate on-farm and animal health issues.Its unique range of homeopathy based treatments and programs deliver effective results for a range of illnesses and diseases including Mastitis, BVD, Bovine TB and more, all of which can have a detrimental effect to the bottom line of a farm business.





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