A TRALEE businesswoman has swapped the world of real estate and property for the restaurant business after she spotted a gap in the market providing tasty, homecooked meals for celiacs.
Doireann Barrett, who spent the last ten years working at North's Auctioneers in Tralee, recently set up The Gluten-Free Kitchen Company which makes a range of gluten-free foods, including breads, meals and desserts for local cafes.
When the business, which is based at Unit 3 Ivy Terrace began to take off, and Doireann started receiving personal orders from celiacs all over Kerry, she took the logical step decided to expand the business.
Last week she opened a pop up cafe at Ivy Terrace and the demand has proved so great she's decided to keep the cafe and restaurant open on a permanent basis.
Doireann, from Caherslee in Tralee, said that given the demand she'd seen for her products, opening a cafe was the obvious next step for her fledgling firm.
"I've always been a keen cook and in April I opened up the kitchen at Ivy Terrace. At first I was just selling products to local cafes but it took off quickly. To provide gluten-free foods, restaurants have to have a separate kitchen which most can't afford to do, so they have to buy in. My Kitchen is totally HSE approved for celiacs so I was able to fill that demand," said Doireann.
"Within a few weeks I had people making personal orders and turning up at the door of the kitchen looking for our products. When I saw the demand we decided to open a cafe. We opened a pop up cafe during the festival and business was so good we've now decided to stay open permanently," said Doireann.
"We offer a full gluten-free menu and we'll be open from Wednesday to Saturday to begin with, obviously we'll look at expanding our hours if the demand is there. So far the response has been great and we've had a lot of non-celiacs in who said they loved the food."