Brendan Cleary, came into St. Mary’s Edenderry on the 8th October to speak to the Leaving Cert and TY Home Economics students about setting up his food company ‘De Mad Food Co’. Brendan gave a lot of insight to the students as he spoke to us about the ups and downs of how to create your own business. Brendan went into great detail about his previous role with the company Glenisk. He developed many innovations through the company and informed us that they were the first ever company to create goats yoghurt and a pro-biotic yoghurt. Mr. Cleary opened our eyes to the difficulties and stress attached to setting up a new business. The talk was very beneficial to the students as those studying Home Economics were at an advantage as he covered both the Food Studies and Consumer aspects of developing a food business.
Whilst deciding which sector of the food industry to branch into, Brendan realised that his inspiration came from within his own household. This is where Brendan got his idea as he realised that many consumers were enjoying ethnic cuisines like Mexican and Italian and that the prepared consumer foods was a fastest growing sector of the food industry.
He explained to the students that he had to complete Desk and Field Research to find out what brands his product would have to compete with. Brendan went into local supermarkets to see where his product would fit in. When he realised that the pudding industry was quite traditional he knew he could put his spin on it.
Today his food company produces a range of flavoured puddings including Cajun, Chorizo, Vegetarian and Herb. Brendan went through how he got his product produced by Tullamore Meats. He also explained the importance of advertising and how he got exposure and investment when he appeared on ‘Dragons Den’
He had helped the students a great deal within revision on The Irish Food Industry. His visit to the school was informative and enjoyable to us students. He gained a whole new range of consumers by giving each student in the audience a tester of his pudding.
By Kim Mooney
6th Yr Home Economics Student.