Ireland’s largest sandwich maker Freshways has been acquired in a management buyout from Kerry Foods.
Accounting for one third of the Irish sandwich market, Freshways was founded in 1990 and is a prominent supplier of branded and private label sandwiches to the major multiples, including convenience stores and forecourt retailers.
The buyers are Diarmuid Shanahan and Garrett Fitzgerald who have worked for the company for many years. The business, which operates from a purpose built 60,000 sq ft production facility at Finglas will continue to employ more than 170 staff following the deal.
The facility produces 300,000 handmade sandwiches each week for customers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as manufacturing sandwich filler for delis and the convenience store market.
Joint owner and sales and marketing director Diarmuid Shanahan told IFCR: “We are investing significantly in our business to ensure we know the ins and outs of the lunchtime experience so we can make lunchtimes more enjoyable.
“Since the MBO, we have employed a number of new staff members and have plans to recruit 50 additional staff in finance, sales and marketing, IT and operational roles in the next 12 months.”
Diarmuid added: Freshways is the No.1 producer of sandwiches in Ireland because we are committed to quality and freshness. This dedication to quality is of paramount importance for the future of the brand and the business.
“We have surrounded ourselves with people who share our desire to deliver good fresh food at an affordable price. Our staff members and senior management team have a wealth of experience and talent and they are an integral part our ambitious growth plans.”
In addition to the retail sector, Freshways is also a major supplier of sandwiches to the food services and catering market, which includes workplaces, schools, colleges and hospitals. The company supplies large-scale events such as race meetings and music and sporting events.
Diarmuid concluded: “We hand-make our sandwiches in Dublin and we know our reputation depends on every single one. The Freshways team is constantly devising fresh new ideas to anticipate and meet the needs of consumers’ changing tastes as well as suiting their pockets.
“Our commitment to innovation is highlighted by the 130 fabulous and creative recipes in our range, with many more in development. We are focused on becoming known for our creativity and innovation, for creating high-quality made to order meal solutions, as well as moving towards healthier options using different formats such as freshly baked artisan breads, fresh ingredients and new flavours.
“In addition, we supply a huge array of fresh ingredients to retailers and outlets that allow their customers to build their own sandwiches. We’re proud of our Irish roots and see huge growth potential on the Island in the next few years.”