Sowing the seeds of a business plan for an English market

The owners of Gardenia, the former Petmania and Meubles spaces on John Street have a business proposal.

The owners of Gardenia, the former Petmania and Meubles spaces on John Street have a business proposal.

They are looking for someone to help them develop the space of the former Petmania store at 16 John Street into a type of English Market, similar in concept to the landmark market in Cork.

“It is an idea that we have, and we are looking for someone with the expertise to deliver it,” explained Emily Miller, sales and marketing manager with O’Keeffes of Kilkenny Ltd.

“What we have is a space fronting onto John Street, with car parking, and with potential for future development on the site,” she said. “We are looking for people to join us in this process of thrashing out the idea; we are looking for a business partner to set it up and run it.”

What they have in mind so far is an English-style market with a focus on locally produced food and artisan food, which would complement neighbouring businesses such as The Wine Centre and Shortis Wong, and would help bring retail traffic back to John Street.

“What we would like to do is find a way to turn John Street into a destination for foodies,” Ms Miller said.

Their main focus would be local customers, but in the longer term it could be something that attracts tourists as well, she said.

And with the growing success of the Savour Kilkenny food festival and the Taste of Kilkenny food trail, it is something that could complement both.

For this “business development opportunity,” they are looking for somebody who has experience in the retail or the food sector or a combination of the two, ... (and) somebody with drive and ambition.”

Anyone who might be interested in helping to develop the idea is asked to email emilymiller@okeeffesgroup.com with a summary of their background, contact details and how they would like to get involved.