Let us introduce our work

Food Consultancy Business GrowthProject Management

We work with individual businesses, agencies and government bodies in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Europe including Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, Rural Development Offices, InterTrade Ireland, EIT Food (Brussels), EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development).

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Food Business Case Studies

Cabot’s developed a range of fresh dips and pestos from scratch. Our role took this business from start up through growth, expansion and diversification.

Kaffa Coffee took part in the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme in 2019. The project included development of a range of CBD oil-infused roasted coffee and non-infused coffee varieties. 

New product development of a range of added value mushrooms products for export to the Middle East. This project was developed in response to the challenges to Brexit which impacted severely on mushroom producers whose export market export was traditionally to the UK. Gold Circle mushrooms looked to farther markets to mitigate their exposure to the UK market.

Oonagh has mentored over 300 individuals in the past 12 years. Many of these have successfully launched their food businesses and can be found on supermarket shelves – Noo Chocolates, Reel Deel Brewery, Dozio Cheese, Raffertys Fine Foods, One Yummy Mummy, Achill Island Sea Salt.

 

South West Mayo Development Company, with funding from the LEADER Food Initiative, engaged Alpha Omega Consultants to develop a strategic plan for the food & drinks sector to 2025, in association with Mayo Local Action Group (LAG) and in conjunction with Mayo Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and Mayo County Council. The strategic plan will be used to help local agencies in informing and developing appropriate supports for current and future food and drink initiatives in the county. 

The work involved: (a) completing the Mayo Food and Drink Audit; as part of an overall (b) Mayo Food and Drink Strategy.

This feasibility study examined the economic viability and feasibility of establishing a Food Hub in Lanesborough, Co. Longford, that would comprise of high quality individual kitchen facilities for up to ten food businesses.  It was also assessed whether the centre could potentially act as a nationwide distribution centre, a training and education centre, food research centre and provide a facility for primary food production. 

The project was undertaken in partnership with Riverwest Management on behalf of Premier Lakelands Food Hub Ltd., a community based interest group comprising of members who share a common goal of advancing the food sector in County Longford.

Testimonials from our Clients

Tiernaneill Mushrooms Ltd. worked with Oonagh Monahan in 2014/2015. We found Oonagh to be a wealth of information and guidance. Her project management skills of time-management, prioritising of tasks, communication and collaboration hugely benefited the project team, and the final outcomes of the project. Oonagh was always generous with her time and knowledge, and has been a valuable part of our business’ development. (5 stars*****)!

I have worked with Oonagh Monahan on many projects since 2008. I have always loved working with her as she added great value to the projects. She is very conscious of deadlines, very attentive to detail, adds to all teams and is a pleasure to work with. Her knowledge of the food sector in Ireland is second to none and her ability to ensure projects get delivered on time means I am always looking for reasons to work with her again. I strongly recommend her.

Oonagh provided outstanding mentor support to us. We would highly recommend her services, Oonaghs 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. 

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

Innovation and Research Project Management

From humble beginnings Linwood’s range of healthy seeds, nuts & berries has grown to include over 15 different premium blends and healthy seed snacks. Today they produce a range of healthy superfood combinations, which are a convenient, easy and quick way to gain a wide range of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in your diet.

Oonagh worked with the Burren Smokehouse on preparing and submitting an application to Inter Trade Ireland for funding under the FUSION programme. The aim of the project was the development of an artisan smoked fish product using ancient methodology, assessing processing parameters and post-processing conditions to optimise product quality, including innovative preservation and packaging technologies. Burren Smokehousewas partnered with CAFRE (College of Agriculture, food and Rural Enterprise) and the FUSION graduate, and facilitated and managed by Oonagh. Following the success of this innovation project, the Burren Smokehouse was subsequently awarded ‘Business Ambassador’ status by Inter Trade Ireland, acknowledging their contribution to enterprise and innovation across the island of Ireland.

FeJuice is a 100% natural and unique drink, developed based on scientific results and is very efficient in fighting anaemia without any side effects. Oonagh was appointed as an Expert Evaluator and Coach / Mentor:

  • evaluation of project proposals submitted by entrepreneurs and startups (Strand 1);
  • 1:1 discussions with shortlisted applicants to determine fit for the funding;
  • to provide short term business coaching support as agreed between the funding recipient and EIT Food;
  • assisting EIT Food by providing opinions and advice in specific cases (ad-hoc tasks).

EIT Food is a consortium of more than 50 partners from leading businesses, research centres and universities across 13 countries that has been selected by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) as the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) in the agrifood sector. As one of the largest public-funded initiatives in the EU agrifood innovation space, the EIT Food KIC acts as a people-centric and resource-smart transformer of the European food system, driving consumer confidence and improving global health.

The Q2 Reuse project is an EPA-funded research project led by the Clean Technology Centre (CTC),undertaken in collaboration with the Rediscovery Centre, Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI), and the Eastern Midlands Waste Region. By developing methodologies for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the sector, it will provide policy makers, stakeholders and practitioners with a crucial overview of the non-waste reuse sector of Ireland – vital information as Europe moves towards a Circular Economy model.

Testimonials from our Clients

The FeJuice team worked extensively with Oonagh in scope of the EIT FOOD mentoring program. Oonagh put great effort into developing our innovative product – nutritional formula for anaemia prevention and treatment. She is are a great mentor, one of the best that we worked with, full of knowledge and real experience – and above all a kind person that is very pleasant to spend time with.

FeJuice team, FeJuice

I worked with Oonagh Monahan on an Innovation and New Product Development project some years ago and found her input very valuable for our project.

Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, Burren Smokehouse Ltd

We have been working with Oonagh for over 4 years. Oonagh has collaborated with our team at PKF-FPM on a variety of different projects and her food and drink industry and sector knowledge has been exceptional. Oonagh’s approach to work has been extremely professional and her work has been completed to the highest standards.

Oonagh has been a great help to us in Western Brand Poultry Products (NI) Ltd., initially as an excellent mentor to our NPD graduate on the Inter Trade Ireland FUSION programme, and more recently in assisting us with our application for R&D Tax credits from HMRC. On both occasions Oonagh has been instrumental in adding to our company’s culture of innovation.

Oonagh has a wealth of knowledge & experience from her many years working within the industry. She has a great understanding of the methods & techniques we use to develop our products, therefore helping us differentiate between product development and R&D.

Giuseppe Fallone, La Dolce Vita

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Oonagh on more than one occasion, but in particular the FUSION innovation program. Oonagh has be instrumental in assisting with the compilation and ultimately successful submission of our funding application. In addition, throughout the process also greatly assisted in the project management and general guidance. I would have no hesitation in recommending Alpha Omega consultants and look forward to working again personally with Oonagh. 

Oonagh was our company’s facilitator for 18 months with Intertrade Ireland’s Fusion programme.  We were delighted to subsequently appoint her as a business mentor.  Oonagh’s wealth of business knowledge and contacts especially across the North West, and her pragmatic approach to running a business, meant she was able to provide us with invaluable guidance to help us successfully grow our business 

Sharon Eastwood & Will Woodrow, Woodrow Sustainable Solutions Ltd.

Oonagh has been providing project management services in the area of innovation for Helix since 2008. During this time we have always found her to be very professional with proven leadership and communication skills. We have every confidence that Oonagh will always do a great job for us and she is very highly respected by our client organisations.

Training & Facilitation

Food Academy is a training programme aimed at supporting and nurturing start-up food businesses. The Local Enterprise Offices have joined forces with Bord Bia and SuperValu on this initiative to provide food marketing knowledge to new and early-stage food business owners. At the end of the training, participants get the chance to pitch at a Meet the Buyer event. Several producers who Oonagh has trained have gone on to be listed with SuperValu, including Cabot’s of Westport, Jack & Eddies, Raffertys Fine Foods, Harvest Moon Foods, Mariko, Achill Island Sea Salt, KooKee, Brehon Brewhouse, Urban Indian, Gannon Eggs and many others.  

Food Starter is a shorter training programme designed to help those with a food idea, or those at a very early stage of starting up a food business (typically the first 24 months). The objective is to provide the participants with a base knowledge of what is involved in setting up a food business. The content is designed to provide information to avoid the pitfalls commonly associated with this journey. The core programme content is developed primarily for food producers, although can be applicable for hospitality businesses. Several producers who Oonagh has trained have gone on to successfully establish their food businesses, including the Little Cheesecake Shop and Ayresome Farm. 

SWIBN is a community of female entrepreneurs and women in business. We bring together women in different stages of business development, from start-up to expansion. Oonagh runs monthly networking events featuring speakers, networking activities and other activities.

The Irish Bread Bakers Association (IBBA) represents the interests of the Irish bread industry. It is affiliated with Food Drink Ireland (FDI), a business sector within Ibec. Members include such household names as Brennan’s Bread, Irish Pride, Johnson Mooney & O’Brien and Pat the Baker. 
Oonagh is the media spokesperson on behalf of the IBBA, and has done many radio interviews (Newstalk, TodayFM and others) as well as appearing in print media. 

Testimonials from our Clients

I met Oonagh through SWIBN a number of years ago. Her enthusiasm and dedication to helping other women develop to their full potential is genuine  contributing in no small way to the success of this networking group.

Teresa Cawley Krebs, Cawley's Hotel

We completed the ‘start your own food business’ with Oonagh through our local enterprise board it was a great help to us with her wealth of information and since then Oonagh has been a great support to us, A pleasure to work with.  
Her online local food directory is brilliant and we have used it many times to buy other local Irish produce.

Noreen & James, Donegal Farmhouse Cheese

I attended the 2020 Food Starter Course through the Roscommon Local Enterprise Office. Despite COVID restrictions forcing the class to meet over Zoom calls, Oonagh’s facilitation made the class interesting and engaging. I especially appreciated her real-world insights and speaking from her own experience. 

Paul Higgins, Windfall Farm

The Food Starter course was excellent, thoroughly comprehensive and informative and you gave me the inspiration to think outside the box and do something different which resulted in Little Cheesecake Shop, and also the courage to enter for Blas, the results of which this year have done fantastic things for our little business and really put us on the map. 

Oonagh is a great tutor/mentor with an amazing wealth of knowledge.

Tim Arnott, Ayresome Farm

As facilitator of Sligo Women in Business Network (SWIBN) Oonagh brings energy, enthusiasm and a genuine interest in the business of each member. What I appreciate most after being a member for many years, is that Oonagh is genuinely committed to each member’s success – therefore she investigates new speakers/topics of interest, she continuously informs herself and us about opportunities for furthering our businesses or accessing funding and she leads the way by developing her own skills and knowledge which she generously shares with the members. I am really grateful for Oonagh’s unwavering positivity and encouragement.

Guest Speaker & MC

  • MC – International Womens Day 2019 
  • Guest Speaker – Brexit event 2019 
  • Sean MacDiarmuida Summer School 2019 

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Innovation and Food Sector Specialists

Get in touch with us today and let’s start growing your business.

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