A couple from Enniskillen have turned their life-long dream of running a speciality coffee and toastie café into a reality thanks to the help from the Go For It programme in association with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
The project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.
Sophie and Rossa Mac Aindriu launched The Toastery after travelling to Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Sophie said: “The concept really came from snippets of ideas that we got on our travels and we just kind of honed into it, and that’s when The Toastery came alive.
“We had been thinking about it for years and from being away travelling and then coming home, we just decided that we wanted to get it started sooner rather than later. So, we put our heads together, contacted the Go For It programme and then it just happened.”
The Toastery is a coffee shop which serves artisan grilled cheese toasties using local baker’s bread. They use speciality coffee and serve light bites and sweet treats as well.
Rossa said it felt like a dream had come true when they officially launched in February this year:
“Even now it still feels like a dream – I suppose there’s a real sense of pride. A lot of the renovations were done by us and our families were quite heavily involved, it definitely is a dream come true!
“The feedback that we have been receiving on The Toastery has been fantastic. We have local chefs coming in who love the food and just in general our customers being happy.”
When it came to the setting up of the business Sophie praised the Go For It programme:
She said: “The experts at Go For it helped us massively as we had so many ideas and once we actually got to sit down and speak with someone they were able to fine tune the ideas, make us think a bit more analytical about every aspect of the business as well.
“The business plan helped us a great deal as it made us look at all the avenues of the business, who our target market was, what products we were going to use. It really made us sit down and think about what exactly our product offering was.”
The Go For It programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies. It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.
For anyone thinking about starting their own business, Rossa says definitely ‘Go For It’:
“Really, really understand your product, understand what kind of market you are going into, understand your local area and work hard at it.
Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff said: “I am pleased to see The Toastery opened in the town centre of Enniskillen. Hospitality businesses such as The Toastery are important economic drivers as they encourage increased footfall in our town centres.
“Local entrepreneurs like Sophie and Rossa are important to ensure that our towns and villages remain vibrant, helping to make our district a great place to live, visit, work and invest in.”
GFI Programme Manager at Fermanagh Enterprise, Rodney Malone said: ““We were pleased, through the Go For It Programme, to be able to assist Sophie and Rossa as they established their business.
“It’s great to see ‘The Toastery’ thriving in the heart of Enniskillen and we’d like to wish them continued success in the years ahead.”
To find our more about the Go For It programme please get in touch or ring 0800 027 0639.
Even now it still feels like a dream – I suppose there’s a real sense of pride