Episode 104 That Great Business Show - Nicola Kearns, Niks Tea -

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By Conall Ó'Móráin. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

1.00" A shout out for AdvanceCT, Connecticut's version of Enterprise Ireland, where we'll be directing the Fantastic Five companies featured on Episode 103, helping them on their commercial journey through the USA.


3.30" Nicola Kearns, founder of Niks Tea, tells us about her journey from happy flight attendant to delighted tea entrepreneur, growing her ten-year old 'Irish' tea brand from a one person band to employing four and growing. She wants to sell more to more specialists shops, restaurants, hotels...and Kilkenny Design (which stocks only Irish made products - hat tip!). Typical of the true entrepreneur she already had done a lot of pirouettes on the day of the recording...as you do. But where did the idea of a tea business come from. It has something to do with tying up some legal bits and bobs in Spain.

She explains how one setting up in the tea business does it...including 'faking it until you make it'. Her first order was valued at around €1,500 and she had sleepless nights wondering if it all was going to work.


She gets great support from the Dublin Food Chain and she's about to join the 'Love Irish Food' Group. But who do Barry's Tea think about Nik's Tea?? To grow the business she bought a tea bagging machine, one of the few bagging in Ireland. She raised some loans via a company called Swoop. She has worked with the Aldi 'Grow with Aldi' programme thanks to that bagging machine.

Who would she 'hire in a heartbeat'? Paddy McKillen Junior.


29.30" How do sneaky retailers get us to buy more? Well, who better to ask then Mark FitzPatrick, founder of Q-Fitz, who you could say, queues for a living. There's a huge amount of science behind making us spend a couple of Euros more, while we pay for our original purchase. His family used to own the Shopping Basket chain of retail stores. Mark swore he'd never work in retail. And, guess what, he works in retail. And loves it.

He gives a surprise reason for why people buy chewing gum and gives a few insights into what he does and how and why it works. Clients they have include Circle K and they've just signed with Applegreen. DAA is another key client, along with the Aviva Stadium and the Guinness Storehouse. Because the company knows so much about queuing they have a separate division that sells queuing posts (the posts with retractable belts that we have to go around whilst queuing).

The Big Plan, is to break into the UK, maybe via Applegreen. And maybe North America, where Circle K has 14,000 outlets.

His 'hire in a hearbeat'? He'd hire his wife, Aga FitzPatrick. Find out why.


55.00" Branding. TeamGBS recommends the cheap and cheerful route to branding. That route involves two cheap bottles of wine, some friends and a room with a locked door. The door is only unlocked when there's unanimous agreement on a brand name. However, Gerard Tannam of Islandbridge, takes a considerably more scientific approach to his passion project, aka his work, which is branding. Gerrard spent ten years in Hong Kong as an Inspector of Police. He also won a School's Cup soccer medal and he explains that he put that up on LinkedIn to match those who post the same about their schools' rugby achievement. Niall Quinn was part of his team at Drimnagh Castle. He gives a list of 'do's and don'ts' - and he starts by asking 'what does a GREAT customer' for your business look like?

He says that Ryanair is a great brand (he doesn't like them by the way!). He thinks the banks in Ireland are very poor indeed. And if you work for Arramark owned Avoca, you'd better listen good because our expert says your brand is bad.

His 'hire in a heartbeat'. He gives a great answer. Hire a Ukrainian. Gerard explains why.


All these great insights are thanks to our sponsor, De Facto Shaving Oil. www.DeFactoShave.com


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115 episodes