Oonagh Monahan

Oonagh Monahan founded Alpha Omega Consultants in 2008 specialising in food business and innovation, and offering consultancy, mentoring and training to the food & drink sector as well as environmental research project management. Alpha Omega has clients in Ireland, Northern Ireland and across Europe, working with them at every stage of development from start-up through growth, implementing innovation and export strategies.

Food

With over 25 years’ experience in the food sector, we work with artisan food and drinks producers, small and medium sized producers, and large multinationals across the island of Ireland and in Europe. Oonagh previously worked for the Kerry Group (Grove Turkeys) and Premier Foods (Manor Bakeries). She was General Manager at the Food Technology Centre in St. Angela’s College, Sligo, where she was responsible for business development of the centre and developing food product development and innovation projects with food producers.

To date Oonagh has mentored over food & drink 300 food start-ups many of whom are now on supermarket shelves of the multiple retailers in Ireland and the UK. Some of these include bakers, brewers, chocolatiers, fermenters, dips and sauce producers, jam-makers and honey harvesters, prepared vegetable producers, drinks, ice-cream, yogurt & cheese makers and many more.

Oonagh is the Technical Consultant to the Irish Bread Bakers Association (Ibec), she provides technical writing and reporting services to PKF-FPM Accountants for R&D tax credit refunds from HMRC and the Irish Revenue, and is an independent expert evaluator of applications from food companies for R&D Tax Credits from the Revenue.

In 2019 Oonagh was awarded the inaugural IQFA Food Hero award and in 2020 the IQFA COVID Frontline Hero – Community Champion award. Oonagh is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science & Technology (UK), a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science & Technology of Ireland.

Her best-selling book “Money for Jam – the Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Food Business, 2nd Edn.”, is published by Oak Tree Press and is widely available.

Innovation

Oonagh also works at the interface of the food industry and Academia, at the forefront of innovation, technology transfer and collaboration. Since 2004, Oonagh has worked on cross-border technology transfer and innovation programmes with SME manufacturing and tradeable services industries across all sectors sector. She has managed government funded and INTERREG cross border programmes for almost 20 years.

Clients to date include Helix Innovation Partnerships; Enterprise Ireland (Business Mentor), InterTrade Ireland (FUSION, Challenge, INNOVA and Elevate programmes); Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Roscommon, Longford, Louth, Leitrim, Westmeath, Monaghan, Mayo and Galway Local Enterprise Offices; Mayo North East Partnership Company, South West Mayo Development, County Wicklow Partnership; ICBAN (Irish Cross Border Area Network), and Líonra (Regional Higher Education Network) among others. In addition, Oonagh lectures part-time in St. Angela’s College in Sligo as a food product development lecturer at St. Angela’s College, working on practical product  development with Home Economics and Food Business under-graduate students and in EU and Irish Food Legislation.

Women in Business

Oonagh appreciates the value of networking, she facilitates female entrepreneurship and understands the particular challenges that are faced by women in business and Alpha Omega Consultants has been the facilitator of the Sligo Women in Business Network since 2009.

Oonagh provided outstanding mentor support to us. We would highly recommend her services, Oonagh’s professional approach & food industry knowledge are second to none which helped us immensely.

Francis & Marek, Kaffa Coffee

I had the pleasure of working with Oonagh during my time on the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Phase 2 programme. She was extremely approachable, professional, and supportive in my new business venture. She guided me through my business plan and was a great sounding board for advice. I’m looking forward to working together again in the near future.

Jolene Cox, One Yummy Mummy

Oonagh has always worked enthusiastically to support local food businesses. She is there to support local start-ups as well as established businesses like ours. She is highly knowledgeable and would be our first port of call if we needed advice about anything food business related.

Jo and Mike, The Edergole Kitchen

Oonagh was a great help to me when I received mentoring from her through the LEO. She helped me identify my brand and what I wanted my customers to see when they picked up my product instore. Really refreshing to work with.

Aine Faughnan, Dromod Boxty

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Oonagh while setting up Noo Chocolates, and as part of the Mayo Food and Drink Strategy. She is extremely knowledgeable about the food sector, with experience covering a wide variety of products. She is also hugely passionate about artisan Irish food, and works really hard to promote it in every way she can. She offers great practical advice to start up food businesses, and I found working with her to be extremely helpful when starting my own business.

Mary Corrigan, Noo Chocolates

I cannot recommend Oonagh highly enough, for her professional advice and business mentoring. She is extremely well read and informed around her subject matter. Oonagh will give you a plan to move forward with your business and give you confidence to move forward. A great resource indeed.

Margaret Sexton, Margaret’s Loaf and National Winner of Aldi Brown Bread Competition 2015

Working with Oonagh on my new venture was so enjoyable. Her valued knowledge and guidance was so informative and really helped me with starting up my new company. I can’t thank her enough for her time and efforts. I would highly recommend Oonagh to anyone looking for simple, knowledgeable guidance on starting up a company in the Food industry.

Alan Duggan, So Sauces

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