HOSPITALITY: ‘The Emporium Company’ invests €2.5m into Cork hospitality sector

29 May 2017
By Tom Collins

Cork hospitality operator, The Emporium Company, has set the bar high for service, quality and value since its establishment in 2016. Led by dynamic duo, Ronan Murphy and Rory O’Doherty, both hailing from Cork, the company has gone from strength to strength since its founding last year.
The Emporium Company currently has commercial interests in four bars;

  • J.J Coppinger’s, Midleton
  • The Castle, Glanmire
  • The Hunted Hog, Castlemartyr
  • TradeHouse, Ballincollig
Cork hospitality operator, The Emporium Company, has set the bar high for service, quality and value since its establishment in 2016. Pictured are company directors Ronan Murphy and Rory O’Doherty, both hailing from Cork. Picture: Miki Barlok

The company hires 125 full staff across these four premises and has invested c. €2.5 million in refurbishment programmes, to create something modern, fresh and new for Cork. The population in each of the areas where their bars are located has boomed over the last number of years, and there was a significant gap in the market to meet the hospitality needs of these growing populations. The Emporium Company has been seizing those opportunities via strategic acquisition planning and commercial contracts.

Each Emporium Company bar has its own unique and distinctive charm and style, while at the same time having a common ethos in respect of superior customer service and maintenance of assets. The bars not only offer consumers a vast range of speciality craft beers and spirits, but has also invested heavily into mouth-watering menu selections.

Where possible the group uses local suppliers, both for their refurbishment programmes but also day to day service requirements. Food is sourced from local butchers, growers and fishmongers, for example, Ballycotton Seafood, Clifford’s in Castlemartyr and Ó Crualaoí Butchers and Delicatessen, Ballincollig. This group therefore not only drives the local economy via those directly employed in their bars, but also through local suppliers.

This year The Emporium Company expects turnover in excess of €7million and it is focused on a growth agenda over the next 3 years. This agenda entails developing the existing bar brands and capitalising on other potential opportunities by way of management contracts, leases and strategic acquisitions.
Director and Head of Operations & Management, Ronan Murphy has over ten years’ experience in the hospitality industry, with an investment in and managing his first bars in partnership with Derek Walshe (Elm Tree, Glounthane) who is also a key member of The Emporium Management team. These bars are The Riverstown Inn and The Castle Glanmire which were both closed for a period of time. The venues were renovated and reopened towards the end of the recession. Ronan, who spent some time working in New York for a construction firm specialising in the renovation and fit out of bars and restaurants, took his skills and learning and applied them to the Irish Hospitality Industry.

In early 2016 Ronan and Derek teamed up with Director and Head of Finance & Strategy, Rory O’Doherty, and along with funding partners and associates the Emporium Company was born.

Rory, who is a Chartered accountant, previously spent a number of years working in Corporate Finance with global companies such as EY, EMC and Protiviti. While in more recent times he has provided advisory services in the Hospitality sector to a range of Irish SME clients through his own Boutique Advisory Firm, ODG Advisory, South Mall, Cork City.

Speaking in relation to the success of the company to date, Director Ronan Murphy commented, “Rory and I are delighted with the direction the company has taken in its first year of business. It has been great to see these closed or under developing bars receive the much-needed revamp they required and see our visions for each premises come to life. The real success metric for us has been the amazing feedback from pub goers, expressing their love for their new favourite locals. This can be seen by the large number of repeat and regular customers the bars have gained.

“We are now looking to expand our portfolio further, both in Cork and beyond. A key focus for us in the coming months is to push the management side of our business in which we offer asset owners a full suite of management services to include bar fit out and design, day to day operational management, staffing, stock maintenance and financial expertise. On behalf of both Rory and I, we would like to thank everyone for their continued support, especially our team of hard-working, dedicated staff and locals in each of our bars.”

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