Monaghan Street Food Festival

The annual Taste of Monaghan Festival took an exciting new turn with the Monaghan Street Food Festival which took place on Saturday 28th September 2019.  The event took place in the centre of Monaghan Town and was a celebration of the ever-changing food scene in Monaghan.

The event showcased much of the local food produce available in Co Monaghan and the wider region, with over 50 exhibitors on the day.  Even with a few showers of rain on the day it certainly didn’t deter visitors.

There was also a great host of local as well as celebrity chefs taking to the stage of the demo kitchen throughout the day with the tent packed out during every demo.

Future Food Trends Talk

Ballybay Food Hub hosted a talk on future food trends.  The aim of the talk was to bring together food businesses within the region to help them gain an insight into future food trends.

Guest speaker of the evening, Stephane Durand is Director of the Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre based at Queens University Belfast.  He has over 20 years’ experience working in the food industry throughout the EU specialising in new product and process development.

The talk was well attended by both large and small food companies from both the border Region and Northern Ireland.  Stephane gave details of the challenges facing food producers in the coming years and not too distant future which included how we feed 10 billion people by 2050!  He also gave details of the upcoming opportunities in areas such as plant-based products, insects as well as looking at how we produce our dairy and meat products going forward.

Stephane also discussed in great detail the issue of sustainability and the environment in food production.  He concluded that while there are great challenges going forward for global food production there are also great opportunities as well.

Major Investment for Ballybay Enterprise Park

After a competitive tender process, Ballybay Enterprise Park Ltd are delighted to announce the appointment of Rodney Brady Construction for the refurbishment and upgrade of five 1,500 sq ft units into state-of-the-art food grade production units. The LEADER supported project is part of a €400,000 plus investment in the park to create a Food Hub in the area for artisan and start up food businesses. It will build upon the county’s long food heritage in an industry that already has a turnover of over €1bn within the county and accounts for approximately 60% of its employment.

The refurbished Ballybay Food Hub will allow new business access to purpose-built food grade units. These will complement the existing food kitchen at the site which is regularly used by local food producers as well as regional training organisations. Finbarr Daly, CEO of Enterprising Monaghan which is one of the partner organisations involved in the project says that these units will be a great asset to the area supporting both new food projects and employment for Ballybay and its environs. He added that the support of LEADER is crucial to this phase of the project. The construction work which will start in the coming weeks is expected to be finished before Christmas this year with some tenants planning to move in early in 2020.

For more information visit:

Group photo: Rodney Brady (R. Brady Construction); Peter McGonigle (Craft Studio Architects); Finbarr Daly (Enterprise Monaghan); Siobhan Sherry – Food Hub Manager; Finbarr Dunwoody (FJD Quantity Surveyors)


Note to Editor:

For more information, please contact Finbarr Daly, CEO Enterprising Monaghan.


T: 047 75255

Enterprising Monaghan – launch Remote Working Training Programme

Remote working is one of the fastest growing work areas in Ireland. It is where employees have the opportunity to work remotely, full time or part-time, from home or a local hot desk facility. Employers are recognising the benefit of this flexible work arrangement from both a productivity and the quality of the life perspective.

The advent of smart new technologies and suitable hotdesking facilities near home means that many people and their companies are benefiting from this new way of working. Jobs in this area include IT, customer sales and service as well as accountancy and bookkeeping roles. Employers in the area include traditional companies such as the banks and consultancy firms in Dublin as well as new economy firms like Shopify and Wayfair.

With this in mind, Enterprising Monaghan, Monaghan County Council and The Monaghan Town Team have joined forces to deliver a remote working training programme at Enterprising Monaghan’s hot desk facility in M:Tek 1. The programme which recently started aims to train aspirant remote workers in the processes and procedures that they will need for careers in the area. Finbarr Daly, CEO of Enterprising Monaghan, as well as welcoming the programme participants was delighted to introduce Tracy Keogh, co-founder of Grow Remote to the workshop. Tracy is passionate about making sure that people know that there are great opportunities through this approach to work – literally at home on your laptop!

For more information visit:


  • Group photo: Some of the Grow Remote Training Participants with Tracy Keogh, Co-Founder of Grow Remote and Finbarr Daly, CEO Enterprising Monaghan
  • Second Photo: Grow Remote attendee, Egan Maxton who is originally from South Africa but is now living on Monaghan arriving for the training on his uni-cycle.


Note to Editor:

For more information, please contact Finbarr Daly, CEO Enterprising Monaghan.
T: 047 75255


Top Foodie Destinations in Ireland 2019

For the fourth time in a row Monaghan/Glaslough have made it to the top 10 of Foodie Destinations Ireland sponsored by FBD Insurance.

The judges selected for the Monaghan/Glaslough area were Deirdre McGlone, former owner of Harveys Point and Anthony O’Toole, Food Blogger and writer.

The judges descended upon Monaghan on Tuesday 13th August and were treated to a Greenway Bike ride kindly organised by Paddy Mc Quaid of Drumlin Trails Bike Hire in Glaslough. They were then greeted at Rossmore Park with a Giant Breakfast and a producer showcase overlooking the lake and the Giants of Rossmore.

After all of that on they went for a Gin tasting Masterclass with Kevin in Andy’s Bar and Restaurant. From there they visited the newly refurbished DV Lounge in the Westenra Hotel. Then it was back to the delightful village of Glaslough were they met with the Glaslough Tidy Towns Team and sampled some ice cream treats in Pocono. They also had the opportunity to visit Patrick Herron in Ambledown Cottage, another unique eatery in the village.

Finally, to wrap it all up, they arrived at Castle Leslie in style on their horse drawn carriage where they had afternoon tea and a tour of the walled gardens.

This great day wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the committee as well as the producers, chefs and everyone who came together to make it a great morning with plenty of sunshine and fun.

Don’t forget to vote on the below link.

Funding for Food Businesses

The Funding for Food Businesses information session took place at the Ballybay Food Hub.  This was collectively organised by the Food Hub, Monaghan Local Enterprise Office and Monaghan Integrated Development.

This was an opportunity to hear what exactly the funding options are available for Micro and SME food businesses.  Presentations were given by Monaghan LEO and LEADER (Monaghan Integrated Development).

Some examples where businesses received support in the past include;

  • Consultancy support in regard to New Product Development.
  • Equipment to support the development of new product categories
  • Expansion of manufacturing facility producing nutrition products aimed at healthy snack market.
  • Processing equipment and storage to support business expansion.
  • Assistance to artisan food producers participating in food festivals.
  • Product design and marketing of premium confectionery products.
  • Technical training for artisan, micro and small food businesses.

Food Photography & Styling for Social Media

The food photography and styling for social media took place some time ago at the Food Hub in Ballybay.  This workshop was run by Monaghan Local Enterprise Office.                The course Trainers were Lens & Larder

The course was aimed at food service businesses to inform them on how important taking photos of their work is for social media.  Attendees had the opportunity to learn from experienced photographers and stylists Imen Mc Donald and Cliodhna Prendergast.

Imen and Cliodhna delivered a masterclass in smartphone food photography and styling for social media. The team introduced participants to essential food photography tips, natural lighting, styling techniques, various shooting styles and photo editing techniques necessary to make mouth-watering food photos for their product or business.


Enterprising Monaghan hosts Instagram for Food Businesses workshop

Instagram for Food businesses took place at the end of June.  This workshop was run by Monaghan Local Enterprise Office and facilitated at the Food Hub in Ballybay.  This was attended by restaurant/hotel owners as well as a broad range of food producers.

The workshop covered all aspects of using Instagram to market a food business large or small, from hospitality to production. It covered in detail the mechanics of the platform itself, including organic content and paid advertising, and the benefits of Stories vs. Feed content vs. IGTV.

Content creation and curation was a key focus of the workshop, with guidance given on what to create and share, as well as how to present it in a way that is appropriate for each business. This included how to develop and foster a tone of voice for the individual brand that works for different social media channels, and how to tailor that tone to each audience.

Enterprising Monaghan Facilitates Level 3 HACCP Course

Brendon Goodrich of Goodrich training conducted the Level 3 HACCP Course at the Ballybay Food Hub over three full days.

The Level 3 HACCP (food safety management) course, is externally certified by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). The course is designed to comply with the requirements of Irish and European hygiene regulations, as well as certification schemes such as BRC.

In attendance were a broad spectrum of individuals from the food sector to include Restaurants, catering businesses, shop and deli owners to name a few.

Contact Details as follows:

Brendon Goodrich

Goodrich Training & Consultancy



Co Cavan

Tel: +00 353 49 4362904

Mobile: +00 353 87 2729918

What it takes for a food business to succeed

Food businesses are looking to diversify their product offering. The agri-food industry in Monaghan is Ireland’s leading producers of eggs, mushrooms and processed meats – to name but a few.

Many of our indigenous entrepreneurs hail from a farming background. so problem-solving and hard work are deeply ingrained. However, it takes a whole lot more to establish a successful food business and there are certain traits I spot time and time again.

Leading food producers satisfy a genuine need or gap in the market. Ireland is a relatively small country and margins are extremely tight, so it pays to think beyond the domestic market. Is there likely be demand for your product elsewhere?

Being canny when it comes to costs, particularly at startup stage, can give food businesses an edge. Using a test kitchen, such as the state-of-the-art facility Enterprising Monaghan manages in Ballybay, allows fledgling businesses to come in and use commercial-grade kitchens for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase their own equipment.

Larger businesses have also made use of the facilities for new product development purposes.

You will eat (literally), sleep and breathe your food business – so passion for your product is a must. If you aren’t 100% happy with the product, how can you expect to sell it to somebody else? Taking the time at the product development stage, to tweak and make absolutely sure you are completely happy, will pay dividends later.

Tastes change, not just in terms of what we eat but also how we eat: successful food businesses are prepared to adapt in response to this. They are also prepared to take risks and to make mistakes.

There are some amazing supports out there for food startups in Ireland. Bord Bia and Local Enterprise Offices offer a range of programmes and courses to help food businesses at all stages. Asking for help and advice is far from a sign of weakness – drawing on the experiences and expertise of peers, can really help to take your business to the next level.

– Siobhan Sherry (pictured) is Marketing and Food Development Officer at Enterprising Monaghan