This month, Donna Ahern talks to Steven Murphy, owner, Old Carrick Mill Ltd.
What was the worst job you ever had, and what was so bad about it?
I worked for a brief period in a mechanic site where my role was very limited and there was no hope of moving up the ranks.
What do you think the government could do to help business?
It is hard for me to speak about other businesses, but in my sector, a reduction in the duty rate for the small distilleries would be a major help. Any measure that would keep energy costs under control would be a breath of fresh air.
What three business people do you most admire, and why?
John Teeling, Great Northern Distillery – his drive to keep pushing and growing his business. Louise McGuane, JJ Cory Whiskey – the energy and drive this woman has is amazing. Gavin Hearty, retail chain owner – his ability to negotiate and his trading skills.
What advertising campaign have you most enjoyed in recent months?
We have just signed off on our latest campaign for the Mo Chara and Saoirse brands that are now in every one of Aldi’s 150 stores in Ireland. This will be going live in the next two weeks.
If you could bring back one product that is no longer available in Ireland, what would it be?
That’s an easy one – Dan Bars.
What was your favourite grocery brand when you were growing up, and why?
KitKat - a cup of tea just isn’t the same without it.
How would you describe your role?
As we are a small business I have a role is every part of the business, but my love is distilling.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
My first job was as a car mechanic, and I learned a lot from it but the thing that stayed with me was that I had to be my own boss.
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
The days that are most enjoyable are those when I am distilling and putting the batches together. The smell that is in the air is just amazing.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I would like to think that the business will have at least doubled in size and we will have a much larger team by then.
Our spirit range of gin and whiskey will be in a number of new markets, and I will get to do more distilling and less paperwork.
What is your advice to people starting out in the industry?
Do your homework first. It is a great business to be in and the people that work in the industry are amazing, but the level of effort, drive and funding needs to be understood before you start.
Who would come to your ideal dinner party (living or dead)?
Me, my better half, Will Ferrell, John C Reilly, Hank Williams, and Frank Sinatra.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
If you think it is going to take a month to complete and you have worked out the cost, it is really going to take a year and cost double. However, if you completed it, it was worth doing.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don’t get much spare time these days, but there is nothing better than spending it with family and friends over a nice meal.
How much time do you spend on social media in an average week?
15 to 20 hours.
Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?
Mostly Facebook and Instagram.
With which fictional character do you most identify?
Chewbacca as I might have a bit too much facial hair and I talk too fast, so people find me hard to understand.