Wednesday 24 January 2018

THE READY BUSINESS PODCAST: 'When the going gets tough, you never, ever give up' Howth Cuisine’s Nicole Dunne

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Owing €37,000, becoming pregnant with no car and no way to pay the rent, 99% of people would have thrown in the towel.

But for Nicole Dunne, who as a trained chef had built up a gastropub business franchising kitchens in pubs to serve restaurant-quality food, despite the writing on the wall it was tough to give up.

“I just didn’t want to let it go,” she tells Brian Purcell on this week’s Ready Business podcast.

Accountants and advisors were telling Nicola to give it up and start again and finally she admitted she had to and moved back in with her parents during her pregnancy.

She wasn’t long resting on her laurels however and Nicole would work through the night until 4am to develop her Howth Cuisine products. 

The debt was still there but she kept working and chipping away at it. It might only have been €50 or €100 a week but her local suppliers all appreciated it and by 2013 she was finally debt-free and able to fully concentrate on Howth Cuisine to where it has grown and is now sold in SuperValu and Dunne Stores.

“Nobody wants to burn a creditor but there is a real importance to being able to draw a line under a debt and walk away,” says accountant Robert Mehigan who also joined Nicole on the show along with Allan Shine, CEO of the Kildare Chamber of Commerce.

“Nicole’s story is one of pure guts. It’s seven days a week and the competition is huge. It’s a testing time for family life with enormous stress and is an extremely lonely place,” says Shine.

“Just don’t give up,” Dunne advises other entrepreneurs. “I felt like such a failure but I sing a song with my kids at night, ‘Never, ever, give up’ and there’s some little voice in there that says no matter what, keep going. Usually you find when you want to give up, a few days later there’s a turn for the good so just hold on.”

Don’t miss Nicole's Ready Business Success Tips to help business owners thrive and succeed.

The Ready Business show, in association with Vodafone, is available via iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher or subscribe to the RSS feed of the Ready Business Podcast using your favourite podcatcher.

You can check out the full Ready Business Podcast series here.

In association with: Vodafone

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