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Sir Alan Sugar, Beansprouts and a New Irish Food Venture

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Sir Alan Sugar, Beansprouts and a New Irish Food Venture

Sir Alan Sugar, Beansprouts and a New Irish Food Venture
September 18
14:08 2015

Sacked by Sir Alan Sugar in front of about 10 million people in the semi-final of BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ television show in Autumn 2014, budding food business entrepreneur Roisin Hogan (pictured) has now entered business with a man who used to grow beansprouts in his garage, to launch a new Irish food venture.

An accountant by profession, Roisin Hogan left a promising career with the intention of starting her own food business from scratch. She impressed on The Apprentice and reached the Final Five before being fired for the first time in her life in what was a sobering experience. “Your greatest strength can sometimes be realising your own weaknesses,” she said. Having revisited her original business plan, she found a number of flaws.

“I knew what I wanted in terms of branding and the taste and quality of the products but getting there is another thing,” she added. She also benefited from attending a Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) food business start-up programme.

Business Partnership

Roisin Hogan has since launched HIRO by Roisin, a new fresh and healthy food range, in partnership with Paddy Callaghan, an experienced food entrepreneur and the founder and managing director of Nature’s Best, one of Ireland’s food manufacturing success stories.

AvivaPaddyCallaghanWhile still gainfully employed in a regular engineering career, Paddy Callaghan started growing beansprouts hydroponically in the garage of the family home. This became the incubator and springboard for what has grown to be Nature’s Best. Founded in 1987, Nature’s Best produces a broad range of chilled convenience private label products for major supermarket chains.

Indeed, Paddy Callaghan has helped pioneer the production and growth of produce-based chilled convenience foods and washed leafy salads in Ireland. Still a family owned business, Nature’s Best currently employs 280 people, operates a purpose-built 75,000 sq ft factory at Drogheda and has a turnover of €25 million.

“NPD is at the heart of our business,” he said. The business partnership with Paddy Callaghan has allowed Roisin Hogan to harness the NPD expertise of the Nature’s Best and launch her new range.

Roisin Hogan and Paddy Callaghan were both joint keynote speakers at the second annual Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition held recently at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The theme of this year’s conference and exhibition was ‘How to Scale a Food & Drink Business’.


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