Re­turn home from UK was right move

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - By 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.

The Fo­ley fam­ily, Emily, Me­gan, Dorothy, Ken and Sinead Fo­ley.

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

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