Lorraine Heskin, CEO and founder of Gourmet Food Parlour, the independent Irish restaurant and catering group, will partner up with fellow Irish business pioneers Pat Rigney of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin and Caroline Keeling of Keeling’s.
All three have been finalists in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme – Heskin is a current finalist, Rigney was in 2018, and Keeling was in 2013.
Heskin, Rigney and Keeling decided to bring their companies together to create ongoing collaborative activities, which will be developed further in the coming months.
Gourmet Food Parlour has been working with Keeling’s for 13 years, with the latter supplying fresh fruit and produce through its foodservice business – Keeling’s Select – to Gourmet Food Parlour restaurants across the country, as well as its catering division.
Beverage Programme Revamp
Gourmet Food Parlour has also partnered with Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, as part of its beverage programme revamp, seeing the restaurant group put an emphasis on creating cocktails, spritzes and aperitifs using Irish ingredients.
A new cocktail called Strawberry Fields will combine Irish produce with spirits and be made available at Gourmet Food Parlour restaurants nationwide.
Gourmet Food Parlour will create a competition calendar with Drumshanbo to showcase their businesses, and the former has begun to develop a collaborative staff-training and incentive programme with both Drumshanbo and Keeling’s, to educate their teams about the importance of working alongside Irish producers and partners.
“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 home-grown businesses when they dine with us,” said Heskin.
“Working with partners such as Keeling’s 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.”