This past weekend was a huge success for one Killarney business in particular as they were chosen as the recipient of Vodafone’s bursary worth €15,000, on The Late Late Show’s showcase of Irish businesses which aired on Friday evening last.
he business in question is Elite Event Management – the team behind Ring of Beara Cycle Kenmare, Quest Killarney, Quest Kenmare and Run Killarney – and they were recognised for their ‘Box of Smiles’ product which was launched this year after their sports event management business ceased overnight in March due to Covid.
‘Box of Smiles’ are gift boxes full of produce and crafts sourced around Ireland. Each box is filled with high quality products, sourced from local small businesses including coffee roasters and bakers, creatives and artisans, tea connoisseurs and candle creators.
The boxes are described as “a wonderful way for people to keep in touch with Irish creativity in their locality, gift a loved one or express gratitude to an employee.”
Speaking to The Kerryman about having their product featured on national TV, owner Oliver Kirwan said that receiving the bursary award of €15,000 will go a long way to keeping them going over the next few months and as a result of their Late, Late Show exposure, they have been inundated with orders all weekend.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal the traction that we’re after getting. It’s brilliant. Our website is usually able to take about 200 people at any one time and sure we’ve had about 500 to 1,000 people on it now all weekend after the Late, Late which caused the website to crash. It’s a good complaint to have to be fair,” he laughed.
“We’ve sold about 300/400 boxes in the last couple of days which is great. It’s been a tough, tough year for us. We haven’t been able to do any of our events at all and we don’t know how next year is going to turn out,” Oliver continued.
“We were on course to run 14 sell out events this year but only managed to complete one and with no roadmap in sight to get back on track we had to get the thinking caps on and try and come up with a project that would help us sustain our business but also help other small businesses that were feeling the effects of the downturn. Box of Smiles has allowed us to do that,” he said.
Speaking of the huge €15,000 bursary that they received from Vodafone Ireland, Oliver said that this money will be huge for 2021.
“Ah, it’s massive. We’re so grateful to both the Late, Late and Vodafone. Their generous bursary which will go a long way in helping us move forward into 2021. It’s going to help keep the lights on to keep working which is the main thing.
Oliver’s team were not the only Kerry product to get a moment in the spotlight on Friday night though as Derrymore based business ‘Wall’s Wild Honey’ was also featured.
The business was set up by 18-year-old UL student Cian Wall who has been bee keeping and making honey since he was just 12 years old.