Businesswoman Fiona Maher
Fiona from Kilcullen is the founder of Fiona's Nutterly Nutritious, a healthy range of nut butters.
She is the daughter of Michael and Margaret from Tipperary, proud hurling fanatics! She is the middle child of three, has an older brother Ronan, and sister Elaine. The family lived in Barntown, Wexford before moving to Newcastle, Dublin in 1986. Fiona settled in Kilcullen in 2003, and launched her business in 2016. Her healthy products are crafted in Co. Kildare.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?
My very first memory of Kildare goes way back to when I was a child and still living in Wexford. My dad worked for Gallagher’s at the time and they sponsored the Benson & Hedges Irish Masters Snooker tournament in Goffs. I remember staying in the Keadeen Hotel and thinking how important we must have been to have a car pick us up and drive us to Goffs. It was a great childhood memory, one which I think of quite fondly.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO MOVE TO KILCULLEN?
We were expecting our first child, Emma, in 2003 when we happened upon the quaint village on a lazy Sunday drive. I was instantly drawn to its charm, the people and of course Nolan’s Butchers. Being a foodie that was such a big plus for me. I think the draw for us was that Kilcullen offered country living with all the modern amenities in which to raise a family and with so many great spots to eat and drink, we settled in quite easily! We always said our first house would be a “five year house” and move on, but when Niamh was born in 2006 our house became our home and we simply loved where we were.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT KILDARE?
Apart from the people, I guess having some of the most amazing local eateries and foodie outlets in the country. There are too many to mention, but suffice to say I’ve quite possibly eaten in every one of them!
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL DAY OUT IN THE COUNTY?
That’s easy..we go to The Curragh with a picnic and a football/yoga mat in the Spring/Summer and in Autumn/Winter there is nowhere nicer to be on a crisp morning to go walking and refocus the mind.
WHAT GAVE YOU THE IDEA TO START UP YOUR BUSINESS?
In 2014 I had a minor health issue to deal with and it was during that time I played around with several different health food ideas and thus discovered the many health benefits associated with eating nut butter. I tried all of the well know brands but felt I could offer something different in terms of variety, taste and texture and there was a definite gap in the market for premium quality, free from Irish health products. What I came up with was so good (according to my customers at Naas Farmer’s Market) I thought why not share this with everyone and I launched Fiona’s Nutterly Nutritious into the Retail market in September 2016 through Musgrave’s Supervalu Food Academy Programme locally and in high end stores nationwide like Avoca, Ardkeen QFS in Waterford, Fresh in Dublin, URRU in Bandon to name a few. I received tremendous support from the team in LEO Kildare when starting out and more recently from Enterprise Ireland through their New Frontiers Programme.
HOW IS BUSINESS?
I’m delighted to say that business is going from strength to strength. In 2017 we were finalists in the “Emerging Startup” Category in the BOI Start-Up Awards and in November we were delighted to reach the final of the North Kildare Chamber “Startup of the Year” Awards. It’s been a tremendous boost to the business, and in September 2017 we moved to a new production premises in Link Business Park, Kilcullen. Our business strategy in terms of job creation over the next 3 years is to employ locally with positions across all sectors of the business. So, in a nutshell, there’s lots going on and the future is looking very positive!