CELEBRATIONS are still going strong in Keohane Seafoods of Bantry since the company was crowned this year’s Southern Star West Cork Business of the Year.
The family-run seafood specialists took the title in the second annual Southern Star West Cork Business and Tourism Awards. They were also awarded Best Small to Medium Enterprise.
The region’s inspirational business people were celebrated at the ceremony, attended by more than 260 people, at Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa last Friday night.
Leading figures from the world of business, politics and tourism attended the stylish event held in association with Cork County Council and AIB, which was MC’d by TV presenter Síle Seoige.
Keohane’s was founded in 2010 by Mike Keohane and sons Colman and Brian. Between their manufacturing bases in Gearhies, Bantry and at Kinsale Road in Cork city, they employ a team of 200.
Mike described their staff as their greatest asset and said celebrations would continue for a while yet.
‘It’s very nice to be recognised in this way. It has rounded off a good year for us,’ he said. Their plans for 2020 include exporting to new markets, including the US and Italy.
The Outstanding Business Ambassador award went to John Field of Field’s SuperValu of Skibbereen.
A hugely popular choice, the respect and admiration for the businessman was palpable on the night.
Outside of his hugely successful store, where he employs 200, he was also instrumental in the Ludgate digital hub being established in Skibbereen, and is also involved in West Cork Distillers.
Ludgate, in fact, were winners in their own right, taking the title of Best Not For Profit Business.
Sean Mahon, managing director of The Southern Star, summed up the event when he said it was all about celebration.
‘If you think about it, every business in this room tonight was once a start-up. But you’re all still going, hopefully growing and building for the future. So tonight is all about celebration. We’re celebrating your business survival and success and everything that’s great about business life in West Cork – innovation, creativity, risk- taking and the most common denominator … sheer hard work!’
Other winners on the night included Fastnet Film Festival (Best West Cork Festival); Skibbereen Heritage Centre (Best Tourism Experience) and James Gale (Young Business Person).
Special Recognition Awards went to Katherine O’Sullivan and Aodh O’Donnell of O’Donnell Design Skibbereen; and Eibhlin and Paddy Keohane, Keohane Readymix.