Lorraine Heskin, CEO and founder of Gourmet Food Parlour, an Irish restaurant and catering group, partners up with fellow Irish business pioneers, Pat Rigney of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin and Caroline Keeling of Keelings. All three have been finalists in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme, Lorraine is a current finalist, Pat in 2018 and Caroline in 2013. The programme and associated alumni network is hugely important to creating connections amongst those within the Irish business community. All three decided to bring their companies together and create ongoing collaborative activities that will resonate with all of their customers.
Gourmet Food Parlour has been working with Keelings for 13 years, the latter supplying fresh fruit and produce, via their food service business, Keelings Select, to Gourmet Food Parlour restaurants across the country, as well as its thriving catering division. More recently, Gourmet Food Parlour partnered with Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin as part of its beverage programme revamp, seeing the restaurant group put an emphasis on creating world class cocktails, spritzes and aperitifs using Irish ingredients.
Bringing the brands together as a first step in the new beverage programme, Gourmet Food Parlour has created a must-have serve combining the best of Irish produce and spirits, Strawberry Fields. The cocktail combines Irish flavours and brands to create a mouthwatering libation available at Gourmet Food Parlour restaurants nationwide.
Additionally, Gourmet Food Parlour has created a competition calendar with Drumshanbo to showcase one another’s businesses and has begun to develop a collaborative staff training and incentive programme with both Drumshanbo and Keelings to educate their teams about the importance of working alongside Irish producers and partners.
On the collaboration, CEO of Gourmet Food Parlour and EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Lorraine Heskin, said: “Working with Irish suppliers has always been at the core of the Gourmet Food Parlour offering. Over the last 17 years, regardless of the industry landscape I have always believed in the importance of these partnerships and how valued they are by customers. I firmly believe that using local producers has been crucial to the success of Gourmet Food Parlour, because our customers want to know that they are supporting multiple homegrown businesses when they dine with us. Working with partners such as Keelings and Drumshanbo, showcases how Irish businesses can come together to support and uplift one another. We’re excited to kick off the collaboration with the serve created by our in-house mixologists and to continue to develop out a programme of activations together, always showcasing the importance of supporting Irish.”