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Grealy’s stores celebrates silver jubilee

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There will be a special day of celebration in Maree this Friday as John and Sally Grealy of Grealy’s stores celebrate 25 years in business in the community.

 

The Grealy always intended to mark the landmark anniversary with some kind of event, and as Sally explains, the designation of 2013 as the year of The Gathering gave the family the perfect ‘hook’ on which to hang the celebration.

“This is the year of The Gathering, and lots of groups are holding events to mark the year, so we decided to have a ‘gathering’ of our own to celebrate 25 years in business, and also to thank the local community for its support over those 25 years,” Sally said.

“We have been very fortunate to be in business in Maree for so long, and that would not have been possible without the great support of the people here, so this is just our way of giving something back and acknowledging that support,” she said.

When John, who is originally from Maree, and his wife Sally – who hails from Ballyloughane in Galway City – opened their doors for the first time 25 years ago, the business was two petrol pumps and a small shop.

It has remained a family-run business, and has expanded in the intervening 25 years to include animal feed (bag & bulk) supply, farm supplies, hardware supplies, solid fuels (coal, briquettes, logs), and garden centre, as well as the recently-upgraded tyre centre with state-of-the-art wheel alignment, car wash, garden care, loose sand, gravel, bark mulch and building supplies.

“It was obviously very different back then. On the first day, we couldn’t figure out how to work the cash register so I had to ask my nephew, Jimmy Smith, to come out and give us a hand! But that is an example of why, I think, we have been able to stay in business – we have a great family around us, and we all get along, and when you work alongside one another in business, that is absolutely crucial,” Sally says.

John and Sally still work in the business, as do sons Brian, Michael, John junior and John’s wife Nessa. They also provide local employment, with Rebecca Greally and Aoife Fogarty employed in the shop, Mike Cormican in the tyre centre, and Jack Greally in the car wash.

“When we first opened, we got up in the morning, got the children ready for school, drove into Galway City to collect the newspapers, and had to be back out to open the shop at 8am. The traffic was much lighter then, so it wasn’t too bad.

“We were lucky in one way that our children were school-going age, so we could manage that bit easier, but I think it is harder on the likes of John and Nessa, they have two young children, so that makes running a business that bit more difficult, but we all support each other and it’s working so far,” she jokes.

To mark the store’s silver anniversary, a day of celebration is being planned for this Friday which will feature a BBQ, face painting, Mr Tayto, a car tyre changing competition, a Hankook drift car and many more events.

There will also be vouchers and hampers to win in in-store competitions, while John and Sally will also be making a €1,000 donation to both Maree Nation School and Maree Community Centre, which are both located opposite the store.

“It’s just a way of saying ‘thanks’ to everyone for their support. The school and the Community Development Association have been a great support for us, we are all clustered together, and it is just nice to be able to say thanks and give something back,” Sally says.

Business Events

Galway women mean business

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Digital marketing and PR consultants, financial advisors, solicitors, commercial insurance providers, estate agents, interior designers and virtual assistants are in demand to join a new network of women in business in the Oranmore area.

The Women in Business Network (WIBN) brings together women in the professions, those running their own business, and skilled employees who want to network and enhance their business expertise.

Uniquely membership is limited to one business or practitioner in each profession or service area, so that group members collaborate and support each other, without competition as to a chosen service provider.

Members support and encourage each other, providing business opportunity amongst the group itself, and the sharing of business contacts and new leads.

WIBN Oranmore had its launch in June this year in Basilico Restaurant in Oranmore. Both the B2B and B2C sectors are represented, with individual members from diverse professions involved, including an Executive Coach, fertility practitioner and a photographer.

Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton has attended meetings of WIBN Oranmore to support the local business women and hear of initiative and issues locally that can be addressed to promote growth for the area.

Monthly meetings also share business expertise, from sales and marketing to finance, operational or legal concerns, and provide a forum to exchange ideas, develop and pool individual skills, and increase business contacts and knowledge.

Oranmore Co-Chair, Denise Christie says there are many benefits of the WIBN style of networking.

“The Network helps with sharing practical experience, getting business and referrals, and building valuable trusted supplier relationships within the group” she explains.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Business Events

Awards showcase Galway firm

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A Galway-based international business, which has been shortlisted for one of Ireland’s leading  innovation awards, will be one of three companies competing in the  ‘Fintech’ category of the annual Irish Times Innovation Awards, due to be showcased in the coming weeks.

Nominated for its ‘Conversation Hub’, Econiq’s specialised technology provides consumer-facing companies, including major banks and insurers, with real-time feedback and added value insights on their one-to-one conversations with customers.

Econiq’s proven technology guides front-line staff to ensure that they optimise their engagement time with existing and prospective customers and has been proved to deliver significant benefits in accelerating business-customer relations.

A ‘Conversation Behaviour Intelligence Company’, Econiq has offices in The Dock in Galway city, and in Boston in the US.

Econiq is described as the Conversation Behaviour Intelligence Company, helping brand-conscious organisations transform customer experience by focusing on winning conversation behaviours.

Last year, Econiq’s innovative technology was also recognised, winning the 2016 American Chamber of Commerce and Royal Irish Academy US-Ireland Research Innovation Award for an Irish SME.

“We are delighted that our Conversation Hub has been recognised once again as one of the leading innovations in our sector,” said Econiq CEO Jim Callan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Business Events

Made in Galway food producers forge strategic association with NUI Galway

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Galway County Council – and its Made in Galway Artisan food producers – have joined forces with NUIG to piggyback on the college’s success in attracting globally-significant conferences by using these events to showcase the best of local produce.

It’s an effort to put Galway’s rich local artisan food sector further into the spotlight on foot of Galway’s European Region of Gastronomy 2018 designation.

The plan is to build a platform at NUIG conferences for small artisan producers to showcase the excellence and distinction of their artisan products to an increased international audience.

Recent examples of such international events include the Anatomists on the Edge International Conference whereby delegates tasted and experienced at first hand the excellent range of ingredients available in Galway which were transformed into culinary delights by award winning campus-based chefs and hospitality teams.

Such food innovation along with conference facilities and Galway’s reputation combine to create a wealth of business and education opportunities which deliver strong local economic opportunities.

The European Region of Gastronomy Platform and Award aim to contribute to better quality of life in European regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability and stimulating gastronomic innovation.

The first region in Ireland to receive European Region of Gastronomy 2018, Galway is now presented with an excellent opportunity to build on the strong reputation and the excellent name it has in terms of a tourist destination, by building its profile further nationally and very importantly internationally.

“NUI Galway are delighted to be working with Galway County Council and Made in Galway to promote the European Region of Gastronomy 2018 designation,” said Ann Duggan, Manager of Commercial Services at NUI Galway.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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