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About

Learn more about The Business of Food

Blathnaid Bergin

The Business of Food

Blathnaid, a graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management, grew up in a family business, known as a General Merchants. My family were all things to all people in the local community. This included the groceries, telecoms, correspondence, social life – pub; afterlife – undertaking; travel- service station; agricultural – fertilizer, grain, wool, etc and much more.

Having grown up steeped in business, the desire to be self-employed was in the blood. Self-employed from the age of 29 having graduated from the world renowned Shannon College of Hotel Management worked in the hotel industry for a number of years. Totally enthralled by entrepreneurs, I have worked as an advisor to all sectors of the hospitality industry since 1991. It was this experience and ongoing involvement in the industry which prompted me to set up The Business of Food  in 2010- Short focused courses on the business side of food.

The mission is simple – ‘to help those starting a business to get it right and those already in business to make the top and bottom line better. ’.

The Courses which now make up the The Business of Food calendar range from 6 weeks to three days and include ‘The Business of Opening a Restaurant; The Business of Opening a Café; The Business of Staying in Business, The Business of Catering and very popular 10 day course, Business of Food @ The Ballymaloe Cookery School and The Business of Pub Food in Partnership with The Vintners Federation of Ireland.

I am passionate about helping those going into the business to do it right and helping those in the business to do it better.

Career and Education to Date: Download PDF

Meet the Team

Alan Haugh

Alan Haugh

Barrister at Law Library

Alan Haugh is a practicing barrister who specialises in employment, industrial relations and equality law.

Anne Abberton- FIXX Coffee

Anne Abberton- FIXX Coffee

Coffee

A business graduate of GMIT with 20 years experience in the Travel & Hospitality Industries, I have spent much of my working life overseas in coffee growing nations and in countries with strong coffee cultures, so my love for the beverage began organically. Returning to Ireland in 1997, I joined the sales and marketing team for the Jury Doyle Hotel Group. Then in 2004 I set up our coffee company by securing the exclusive distribution rights for all export brands of Cuban coffee for the Irish and the UK markets. The  FIXX brand now features coffees from around the world. Our company has grown with the support of many... our loyal customers, both wholesale and online, our coffee partners who provide the best quality products, our key collaborators in every aspect of the business, many who are now our friends, and of course our employees. We supply • Trade customers such as cafes, hotels, restaurants, offices, showrooms and specialty retail outlets. • Coffee and Tea drinkers who frequent our trade customers’ outlets. • Coffee and Tea drinkers at home via our on line store.

Colm McCan

Colm McCan

Consultant Sommelier

Colm was singled out by the Irish Examiner in their Wine Highlights 2014 as ‘one person that made Ireland a great place to be a wine enthusiast’.

Deirdre Coleman

Deirdre Coleman

Director - Interior Design

Deirdre is passionate about getting the bones of the structure right for your business; the space planning, the flow, the light, the hard surfaces, the fixtures, and prioritising budget accordingly.

Dr. Detta Melia, Guest Lecturer

Dr. Detta Melia, Guest Lecturer

Hospitality Management

Dr. Melia has a wide range of industrial experience in hospitality and tourism predominately in senior management positions in hotels, conference, event and tourism organisations and spent some time as a Bord Failte Inspector.

Elizabeth O’Connell

Elizabeth O’Connell

M.G.L.D.A. Garden Consultancy & Design

Elizabeth has 25 years experience in commercial horticulture and garden design. She is passionate about the creation of gardens from the tiny window box garden to the large private garden spaces and commercial projects.

James Lawless, LL.B., LL.M.

James Lawless, LL.B., LL.M.

UCD School of Law. UCD Institute of Food & Health

James is an expert in food law and is currently undertaking doctoral research in the area of European food safety regulation, examining the standards applied to beef and beef products.

Jenny Coghlan – Interior Design

Jenny Coghlan – Interior Design

Jenny has practiced as an Interior Designer for over 20 years. During this time she has gained extensive design, practical and professional experience in the commercial and hospitality sector.

Kevin Prendergast

Kevin Prendergast

Corporate Compliance Manager

Kevin is responsible for their education and outreach programmes, as well as producing information on changes and developments in company law.

Marc Thornton – DTA Marketing

Marc Thornton – DTA Marketing

Marketing

Marc is a Marketer, Trainer, Coach and Mentor . He is a marketing consultant to professional firms, small and medium sized companies and undertakes marketing projects for large multinationals. He works with other marketing agencies like design, direct marketing, advertising to deliver a one stop marketing solution to clients. He trains over 2,000 people annually in marketing, selling and customer care with emphasis on the service sector and hospitality and retail. Specialties: branding, design, logos, research, marketing action plans, marketing strategy, selling tactics, customer relationship management and customer care Marc is a qualified Personal and Business Coach and a Council Member of the Irish Hotels Federation