A small family business making natural whole foods
I first learnt cooking while sitting as a baby on the black and white kitchen tiles of our house, watching my mum cook around us. She rarely used recipes. We would go to the local shops and buy what looked good, was fresh, or was recommended. It was all brought home then, and dinner made around what was available. Granny, Penny’s mum, was war generation, and ‘waste not want not’. When I went shopping with mum she always bought was fresh and best, and then took it home to make a meal out of it. Not going out with pre-conceived recipes etc. Food was seasonal and fresh, coming in waves from whatever the producers would bring through the door.
If a food is not fresh, it is not giving you the nutritional building blocks it is meant to.
I have been involved in food all my life. At home you either helped with the cooking or did the washing up. I worked in kitchens washing, cutting, preparing, cooking, serving customers out front. In 2002 I opened Westport’s first dedicated wine shop and served lovely artisan foods.
In 2008 I opened CABOTS Source restaurant, specialising in local, organic, and seasonal foods. We entered into buying agreements with local producers where we said ‘just bring us what you have through the front door, we’ll buy it, and make food around it’. Great days. With the boom and bust I started all over again, being asked to join and sell at Westport Country Markets 2010. Then local Kavanagh group Super Valu asked me to sell local produce there, it just grew from there…
In 2010 I got married, ended restaurant, became a father, and in 2012 started selling handmade sauces and dips in the local Country Markets in and around Westport, Mayo.
I never expected I would sell food as a business, but such is life. And as the business grows my greatest challenge is to hold on to my integrity and passion for fresh, delicious and nutritional food.