The Irish family-owned Keeling’s retail group is expanding the FoodCentral business park on a 280-acre site in St Margaret’s, according to the Irish Times.
The group initially began its businesses on the same area of land, and it has since attracted a clutch of food-oriented businesses to open industrial facilities in the area.
The group announced that it has implemented a 10-year plan to build out the site, after William Keeling, brother of CEO Caroline Keeling, spent more than eight years developing the park with a total investment of €20 million to date.
“I worked as a kid in the family’s wholesale market … I picked strawberries … I did all that stuff during the summers,” Keeling told the Irish Times. “You learn the business and you understand it better. It makes you more engaged. There are things in your childhood that you picked up and didn’t realise it, that help you in your career now.”
The new FoodCentral is targeting Irish food groups that work on both local and international markets, as well as foreign-based companies operating in Ireland.
“Our chances are better with companies from the Dublin area. It is hard to find an empty food building anywhere in the city. Following the recession, all the old ones were filled,” Keeling said.
“We’re looking to make good progress over the next 10 years with bespoke food buildings. It’s not like we’re putting up blocks and everybody will be the same.”
The group has sold some of the land to Dixon's and Oakland, and established an area of cooperation and coexistence, as all the groups work with each other to offset issues with storage space.
The Irish Times reported that, following the deal with Oakland, the next facility planned at FoodCentral is a new site for the Keelings food group, due to be finished in 2020.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.