‘No matter how difficult it appears, you have to persist’

25 Jan 2017 | 11.02 am

‘No matter how difficult it appears, you have to persist’

Businesses can also save money by watching energy costs

25 Jan 2017 | 11.02 am

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In this series, Bord Gáis Energy is sharing details on some of its SME customers and their business successes. This month, we feature Bill Dowling, Managing Director and founder of MAPP Foods in Rathcormac, Co. Cork

How did your business get started?

We process vegetables and supply to the food service sector, with an angle on freshness without the additives. We got our first break in 1987, when Michael Jackson was playing in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. A restaurant was under pressure and gave us a chance to help them out with stock.

Once we got our first opportunity, they trusted us and from there we were able to supply to their chain of 20 locations nationwide. This year, we will celebrate our 30th year in business and we’ve managed to grow every year since we started.

What makes you different?

The objective is to deliver fresh vegetables or salads without additives, so at the point of usage it is as if they were just prepared. Our innovation was breathable films that allow the vegetables to generate their own atmosphere. The technology is really simple; the films control the atmosphere moving in and out of the pack, improving shelf life.

Have you incorporated any energy saving measures?

We spoke to Bord Gáis Energy about a number of elements, including energy efficiency and the electrical usage in our facility, such as lights, motors and heating. We looked at ways of minimising our requirement and improving how we used our energy. Simple things that Bord Gáis Energy advised us on, like consumption patterns in a 24-hour period, helped us find ways to improve our efficiency.

Have you noticed savings since introducing these measures?

In terms of consumption and our usage, we have seen a saving, despite the fact that we were moving towards automating more of our processes, which invariably involves more energy. So it has benefited us to introduce these measures, in addition to the cost structure we have with Bord Gáis Energy as a supplier.

What advice would you give to someone starting a small business today?

You’ve got to be persistent. No matter how difficult it appears to be, you have to persist. There’s a very fine line between knowing when to give up and when to keep going.

You will get advice and you will get support but what you find, in the end, is that you have to make that judgement call yourself and face the consequences. You are going to have to take risks. They don’t have to be excessive, but they have to be risks.

+ To find out more about MAPP Foods and the work it does, visit bgebusinesshub.ie.

+ Visit businessenergy.ie or call 1850 211 907 to find out about the products and services Bord Gáis Energy provides

Photo: Bill Dowling, founder of MAPP Foods

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