A young entrepreneur has found the perfect flavour for success with the launch of his very own delicious and tasty ice cream parlour in the heart of Limavady, thanks to the help from the Go For It programme in association with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
The Go For It programme 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.
Luke Kelly launched Moo Town Creamery in December 2020 – a sit in and take away ice cream parlour specialising in scooped and whipped ice cream, milkshakes, coffees and hot desserts – after identifying a gap in the market to bring a standout ice cream and dessert treat experience to Limavady.
At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the 20-year-old noticed things were changing in terms of social events and he believed ice cream parlours were the new trend.
Luke said: “A few years back I worked in an ice cream parlour, and I saw a gap in the market so I decided to take the calculated risk and see what the reward would be. I opened Moo Town Creamery’s doors late 2020 and it has just grown from there.”
Luke explained the best thing about owning his own business is choosing his own hours: “I love choosing my own hours. I like to work around my personal life as opposed to my personal life working around my business.
“My biggest achievement to date would be the employment of 12 people. I think it’s really good for the local economy, most people that work here are my age or slightly younger and its great to see so many people in employment within the town.”
The 20-year-old approached the Go For It programme to help him progress his business idea into a reality:
“I started the Go For It programme virtually and we traded a lot of emails. Then I went to meet my business adviser Martin Devlin who was a massive help in getting the shop opened and helped me set up my limited company.
“The Go For It programme helped me more in the sense of setting everything up. They created a business plan in case I needed a loan in the future from the bank. They helped me pick my premises and then also get my food and hygiene certificates from the local council. They also helped me set up a forecast of how things would go just in case we would ever need it in the future.”
For anyone considering starting their own business, Luke highly recommends getting in touch with the Go For It programme.
“I think if you have a passion for something you should at least explore it. The Go For It programme is the perfect programme for that.”
The Go For It Programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors across all 11 Council areas of Northern Ireland. It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.
Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Ashleen Schenning said: “We are absolutely delighted to see how well Moo Town Creamery has come on since it was established 14 months ago. We see the queues at the door, we see how it has changed and adapted to what the customer wants. There is a seating area now, new products on sale – it’s just fantastic.
“It is extremely important to have something to aspire to and when we look at how well Luke has done in such a short space of time. I know he was supported by Roe Valley Enterprises but there is maybe 8 to 10 people that go through that programme every few months.
“To see someone who has achieved so much is just an inspiration for those coming up through the programme.”
Martin Devlin, CEO Roe Valley Enterprises, said; “It is a real pleasure to be able to assist anyone in their start up journey, especially young entrepreneurs like Luke who has a real passion and a true commitment to making his business a success.
“Roe Valley Enterprises assisted Luke in the development of his business plan and financial projections and I am delighted to see Moo-town creamery do so well and indeed continue to grow. I have no doubt Luke will go far in business and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him.”
I think if you have a passion for something you should at least explore it. The Go For It programme is the perfect programme for that.