Food Guides Recipes Buy The Guides Feed Back Food News 100 Best Search Bridgestone Food Guides Bridgestone Guides - details about food lovers and 100 best books

29 April 2010

When the going gets tough...

It was just a simple enquiry to Sarah Nic Lochlainn, of Ardee's Fuchsia House Restaurant – “How's business holding up?”, that provoked the following, inspiring, reply. If you would like to hear more from this brilliant restaurateur, then Sarah is one of four local businesswomen talking on Wednesday May 5th on LMFM at 2.15 pm about how to think outside the box and get through tough times.
For the meantime, I found this reply to be genuinely moving and inspirational. A backpacker's manifesto!

Hi John,
Business is quite good. We've had a rough couple of years like everyone put we've gone back to 80hr weeks and are constantly trying to think outside the box and it worked out quite well for us.
This year we had a good Valentine's weekend, then we had Tom Doorley here doing his "Dine with Doorley" evening at the end of Feb. That went down a treat. Tom was very charming, informative and entertaining.
In March we were reviewed by Paolo Tullio. Of course in a town this size word got around that he had been before we even appeared in the Indo and that created a buzz. He also gave us a plug on "Today with Pat Kenny" for our value menu.
Following on from those two big names we've received a lot of local press including a feature interview on LMFM, the local radio station.
Although times are very tough, we feel more comfortable in this new-old Ireland. We find that people appreciate hard graft, value for money, a sense of humour, contribution to community and many of the old values have come back into fashion.
We never felt comfortable in the designer label Ireland of the 90s and 00s as like yourselves, we started out as backpackers and still see ourselves as such!
We both worked (very!) hard in our parents' businesses growing up and want to teach our children the value of hard work.
Through the very rough times of the past two years, we've stayed focussed on the fact that our children will grow up in a nicer society as a result of what's happening to us.
On the flip-side people appreciate our positivity and optimism. We made it house policy not to discuss doom and gloom with our customers. They come to us to get away from their own reality for the evening. When someone starts going down that route during a conversation at a table, we tell them we can hear the bell dinging in the kitchen and exit!
We have diversified into home cooking sauces and also do catering in homes and workplaces in response to people's new need and that has worked out well for us. It just entails SO MUCH extra work to set up a new enterprise as you know.
We hope to be at Bloom this year, so please watch out for us. Our sauces are called Aruna and we'll be under that banner. We look forward to seeing you there.
Best regard,