Businessman Geoff Read launched his Ballygowan brand on the
Man with the plan
Businessman Geoff Read launched his Ballygowan brand on the Late Late Show in 1981.
Back then the Late Late was required viewing and water was free. But Read, in a joint venture with Richard Nash, of Nash's Red Lemonade, defied the critics by developing Ballygowan into the country's first successful water brand.
As it grew Ballygowan went through a number of owners, at one stage US beer giant Anheuser Busch had a big stake, which it later sold back to the original partners. In 1993 C&C, the makers of Bulmers Cider bought the company.
Geoff Read went on to become a serial entrepreneur. He set up Grape Expectations (Ireland) Ltd, introducing small wine bottles to the pub trade, and served as chairman of the London Irish Rugby Club.
Today he works as a consultant helping other entrepreneurs navigate the process of selling their companies on to bigger operators with UK based Mulberry Value Practitioners.