Friday 19 July 2019

Return home from UK was right move

The new Donegal Service Station run by Sligo couple, Ken and Dorothy Foley
The new Donegal Service Station run by Sligo couple, Ken and Dorothy Foley

Paul Deering

Sixteen years ago Ken and Dorothy Foley were running a pub in England, just like thousands of other emigrants trying to eke out a living there.

Strandhill native Ken, a graduate of the City and Guilds course in Killybegs had thought about returning home often.

The pub he was running in Lancashire for about eight years was serving food and he was developing an interest in this side of business.

"It was always our intention to return home and when we saw an ad from Supermac's offering franchise opportunities we jumped at it," he recalls.

He and his wife, a native of Circular Road, Sligo started their first franchise in Ballina in 2002 and its success convinced the couple they had taken the right decision to come home.

"We spoke with Pat and, as ever, he was very supportive," recalls Ken on his initial contact with Supermac's MD, Pat McDonagh.

The couple opened their second outlet on the Bundoran Road in Sligo seven years ago and it has been proven to be an excellent success.

It also convinced him that there was potentially a strong customer base in Donegal for the Supermac's brand.

"We would have had a lot of Donegal customers pass through our doors in Sligo over the years so we knew that there would be a strong demand," Ken said.

"Good quality, fresh convenient food is what people are looking for and we supply them with that," he added.

Ken and Dorothy have four children, Megan, Sinead, Mathew and Emily and a busy home life has coincided with an increasingly busier business life.

The couple's plans for Donegal came to fruition and this Thursday sees the official opening of their new Donegal Service Station where 60 jobs have been created through the creation of the county's first Supermac's, along with Papa John's and SuperSubs as well as a Londis, Top Oil and Bewley's at the complex at Drumlonagher, outside Donegal Town which also includes a drive-thru facility, a retail convenience store, car and HGV fuelling pumps.

And Ken and Dorothy, whose family home is at Kilglass, Enniscrone, had no problem in undertaking such a huge investment in the North West.

"We are delighted to be the 1st Supermac's outlet in Donegal and like all the Supermac's outlets throughout the country it is important that we are part of the community here.

"The creation of 60 jobs is a part of that and having good staff and a good team around you is one of the key ingredients for success in a business like this.

"Another key ingredient is the positivity that is in the area and there is a great buzz about the North West now that I haven't seen in a while. People are on the move.

"The Wild Atlantic Way has had a huge effect on the tourist trade and there are more people at work," said Ken.

He said the outlet was proving very popular with customers.

"Our customers have told us that the wide variety of services provided in the outlet are a good addition to what is already available in the Donegal Town," Ken said.

Sligo Champion