The recession revived Ireland's food culture, insists Itsa's Peaches Kemp 3 years ago

The recession revived Ireland's food culture, insists Itsa's Peaches Kemp

Itsa's Co-Founder Peaches Kemp is our guest this week on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™.

Peaches and Domini Kemp's Itsa has grown from humble beginnings to become one of Ireland's most popular lunchtime options, with its popular bagels as the cornerstone of the business.

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Speaking to host Tadhg Enright on The Architects of Business, Peaches - a 2011 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Finalist with her sister Domini - feels that the only thing that could kill off Ireland's blossoming food industry is complacency.

"When things are good in the economy, people take it for granted that people are going to come in and eat with them," she said.

"It's like the rising tide and that just doesn't work, people will vote with their feet and if you do something poorly they won't come back into your premises.

"We need to be very careful not to run away with ourselves."

Peaches also explained how the recession of a decade ago was directly responsible for the rebirth of Ireland's restaurant and café culture.

"It's because property became accessible at that stage. Landlords were stuck with empty premises so it became very easy (to start a new food business)."

Listen to the full episode here

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"What you also had were people who couldn't get jobs in the sectors in which they had specialised, or trained, or been educated in. And suddenly they took a different path and there are a number of them who did that and who've opened up absolutely amazing restaurants.

"(These restaurants are) very small, not with huge trimmings, of furniture, done on a shoestring budget and that's where we've seen the café culture and the restaurant culture change. And it's fantastic."

While she believes that - with an improving economy - the industry needs to be wary of over saturation and the dilution of quality, Peaches believes Ireland is big enough to keep the burgeoning food culture thriving.

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