Ice Cream Ireland

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The world looks brighter

I was lucky enough to be in Dublin yesterday for Electric Burma – a concert organized by Amnesty International for Aung San Suu Kyi. The concert was wonderful, with performances by Bono, Martin Hayes, Lupe Fiasco, Damien Rice, and Bob Geldof, among others. Seamus Heaney was in the audience, and many celebs read his amazing poems. However, the real high point was to be in the presence of such an amazing, uplifting woman.

Driving back to Dingle after the show, the landscape looked more beautiful, and the world looked brighter. We might have gloomy weather in Ireland, and there are many suffering despair and economic hardship, but if Daw Suu can not only survive but keep her dignity and change a nation, we all have hope…

Chei-zu tin-bar-te.

A Bit of a Facelift…

We’re doing a little bit of a rebrand, and I’d love your feedback – here’s our old and new logo. It’s extremely stressful for us to think about changing it, but we’ve had lots of feedback about our old logo being hard to read, especially in a supermarket context.

What do you think? Is it an improvement?

 

PS. What about the colour?

Fundraising – A Little Way to Go

We’ve been busy in the wintery world of ice cream, trying to tie up a BES scheme to help us expand.

The BES has been set up (and will be managed) by Quintas in Cork, and although we have a fund that approved a chunk of the amount we’re looking for, it was less then we had hoped, so we’re short in terms of getting the BES fully subscribed.

So… if you know anyone who has been grumbling about their taxes and might be interested in an ice cream investment (there’s a sweetener of equity as well as the usual tax relief), please spread the word. :)

I’d be happy to pass on more details if requested.

Seems Ice Cream is Going Nitro

Photo from ft.com

First there was Chin Chin in London, now it looks like a former basketball player is opening shops in New York. Good idea or gimmick? Anyone been?

A Flurry of New Ice Cream Shops?

One thing I know about this recession: everybody seems to want to open up an ice cream shop.

In the past years, I’ve had the odd request in terms of advice for starting an ice cream shop, and we’ve had a trickle of requests of people who wanted to franchise Murphys in Ireland. This year, I’ve been getting about three requests for advice a week from people who want to open ice cream shops, and we’ve quite a few people wanting to buy our ice cream for proposed new shops.

Somehow, it seems a lot of people think opening ice cream shops is the thing to do at the moment. Is it?

The market for scooped ice cream, according to data supplied by Bord Bia, is €5 million/year. That might sound a lot, but if you compare it to the estimated overall Irish ice cream market of €120 million, it’s a not a huge amount. Divide €5 by the number of scooping cabinets in Ireland, and you’d get a pretty low average turnover.

The fact is that Ireland has a very small, diffuse population and cold rainy weather, and for those places where there are tourists, the season is generally short. How all of the people who contacting us think they can make money at it is a bit of a mystery to me. Could Westport, for example, support the three people who have emailed me saying they’re going to open shops? Or could Galway support five? Could Wexford support four? I’d be amazed.

Take it from me – running retail ice cream shops in Ireland is not an easy business. I love what I do, but there are many things I could do that would earn me a far better living. If you love ice cream and wish to make a life of it, best of luck! If you want to get rich quick, I’d suggest finding a more lucrative alternative.

If you want advice, here’s what I’d say – make sure you do your homework and are certain there’s a business there before you get started. Also, you’d do well trying to find out who else is opening an ice cream shop in your town, because if our contacts are anything to go by, there are bound to be at least one or two…

What’s Your Favourite Ice Cream on a Stick?

We’ve been playing a little with popsicles, which might well make an appearance in our shops, and I’d love feedback – what’s your ideal frozen ice cream on a stick? Just fruit? Ice cream coated in chocolate? Yoghurt? Any other ideas or favourits?

Comments, please!

Also, I’d appreciated if you vote in the handy poll below:

WOULD YOU BUY ICE CREAM ON A STICK FROM MURPHYS?

View Results

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Breast Milk Ice Cream?

Back in the Autumn, we had a television crew in our Wicklow Street shop for what was to be a new season of the RTE comedy show, Anonymous. The gag was Amanda Brunker dressed as an old biddy, giving out samples of breast milk ice cream (it was actually our Kerry Cream flavour). Fun was had by all.

Now, however, it seems less like a gag, since PR firm Taylor Herring has this post, stating that the icecreamists in Covent Garden are actually serving up the stuff. Certainly that’s bound to get some attention for them, but it wouldn’t really be my thing. However, it’s almost worth a flight over. Simply as a professional. Market research and all.

Is Artisan Ice Cream Dying?

Here’s my report from the SIGEP (the ice cream convention) in Rimini.

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Author

Kieran Murphy is a director of Murphys Ice Cream living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

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Company

Murphys Ice Cream

Murphys Ice Cream has shops in Dingle, Killarney and Dublin 2 (Wicklow Street).

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