Barra Sweetnam: Managing Director
Barra first opened a fruit and veg shop in 1995 in Bandon Co. Cork and soon moved into the Wholesale Business. He was born and raised in Kanturk Co .Cork and has lived in West Cork for the last 25 years. It was very important to him that his company was based in the Rebel County.
Below are a number of questions I was lucky enough to ask Barra:
Why the Fruit and Veg industry?
My father worked in the Fruit and Veg industry for over 50 years and my mother also had a shop in Limerick when I was younger. I didn’t really like school and college wasn’t for me, so I worked with my father from a very young age. From the start I knew that I loved the product, trading and dealing with people.
Favourite Aspect of the business?
Meeting customers because I love meeting people. As times have gotten busier and I have less time to meet the customers it’s definitely an aspect I miss.
Proudest Moment in Allfresh?
We have had a lot of milestones along the way. At the start it was breaking even while continuing to expand. But a stand out moment that I’m very proud of was when we acquired a company a few years ago, this brought with it key figures who have proved to be fantastic additions to our team. At the time it was a risk to take, but we haven’t looked back since.
Who is your Role Model?
Has to be my father - he worked very hard to give my siblings and I the best opportunities he could. He has also been my mentor in the industry over the years.
Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs?
Work very Hard - you won’t get anything in life without hard work
Build a good team around you - I am only as good as my team.
“If you want to play in the Premiership, you need Premiership players” - This is why Allfresh only employs the best!!
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail … Roy Keane - Great Cork man and its 100% true about everything in life.