Great News for Irish Chocolate Lovers:
Limerick Dairy farmer Sean Curtin and Gaelic footballer, Galway City WFC player and former Republic of Ireland International, Marie Curtin Create Delicious New Chocolate Milk Drink.
Father and daughter team, Limerick farmer Sean Curtin and soccer player and Gaelic footballer Marie Curtin have taken the family’s long-established dairy farm into a new era by developing their own chocolate milk drink.
Sean had always considered the possibility of setting up a dairy products business at the farm explains Marie:
“The idea stemmed from Sean – he had talked about doing products for a number of years. Nobody really took him seriously! One day when I was home, after a lot of overseas travel, we talked about it over breakfast and I decided to help him look into what would be involved. We still were not sure about which dairy products we would do but a healthy, flavoured milk range was put on the table early on as a possible product to get in to.”
Marie’s background in sport led her to discover that Chocolate Milk is not only a delicious pick-me-up, but can also be used as an excellent, low fat, high protein, energy rich drink after exercise.
Sean and Marie made contact with a wide range of local enterprise support agencies and successfully secured a place on the Limerick Enterprise Acceleration Programme (LEAP).
“We had no idea there was so much support for start-up companies in this country at the moment. The LEO’s are great, as are Enterprise Ireland. However, you have to really impress them if they are ever going to consider providing grant aid for your company. It’s not easy, nor should it be! You have to continue to impress them and it really forces you to raise the bar as an entrepreneur
We met with agencies like Teagasc, Ballyhoura Development Ltd and the Limerick Local Enterprise Office.
I spotted an advert for Limerick Enterprise Acceleration Programme for people with start-up company aspirations. I applied. I got the call back for an interview and we got a place on the programme!
Sean and myself were able to attend the programme in Croom Community Enterprise Centre in 2013 and 2014.”
It was a massive learning opportunity for both of us. We got excellent business training and mentoring form the best! It really grew from there. It went from looking into it a little further to things actually happening for the company in no time. I don’t think there has been a dull moment since that day we first sat down together at the kitchen table.”
The Curtin family have a long tradition of dairy farming and have been producing delicious, fresh Irish milk at their farm in Athlacca since the 1950s. Their Holstein Frisian herd of 120 milking cows produces 800,000 litres of milk a year, most of which is supplied to Kerry co-op.
“Sean’s expertise and deep knowledge of milk production is absolutely paramount to the business. Because our milk is all sourced on our own farm, we can trace it through every step of production: from field to bottle!”
Marie has had a long and successful sporting career and currently plays (although currently off injured) with Galway WFC. She played for the Republic of Ireland (45 senior international caps) as well as a number of club sides including: Fortuna Ålesund, a 1st division team in Norway and Long Island Fury in the United States. The multitalented Limerick native is also Gaelic footballer and has represented Limerick at Croke Park:
“I played Gaelic football for Limerick in 2014 after taking a good year-and-a-half break, which was the time that my dad and I set up the company. I currently play for Galway FC women’s team also but I ended my season abruptly before Christmas with a dramatic sending off incident! I hurt my knee quite badly in the challenge in which I got the red card for, unfortunately!
I hope to play for Limerick and Galway FC again once I recover. Even with a busy work life, it would be great to fit sport in. I love getting to play at the highest level in Ireland – there’s something fun about playing against the best players in the country! They’re quite the battles!
I was delighted to see Stephanie Roche’s Goal get shortlisted for the FIFA Puskás Award. It’s great to see the media attention and public interest she’s bringing to Irish women’s soccer. The Irish Women’s team is full of brilliant individuals. I don’t know why there hasn’t been media interest before now that much. They represent Ireland but they are not really known to the Irish public!”
The County Limerick duo hope to create sustainable local employment as their business grows and Sean projects that they will be able to “create at least 10 new jobs within three years.”
Temple Dairy already has a number of well-known brand ambassadors:
Sean and Marie are “delighted to have several Irish athletes on board as brand ambassadors for Temple Dairy. What better way to advocate health & wellbeing than such athletes that live the optimum healthy lifestyle!”
Valerie Mulcahy (Cork GAA all-star), Diane Caldwell (Professional Irish soccer player), Ruth Fahy (Galway FC player/BSc Dietetics & Human Nutrition)
Coming to a store near you soon!
Temple Dairy Chocolate Milk will be available in selected SuperValu stores from 5rd February. It will initially be available in Fermoy, Carrigaline, Glanmire, Ballincollig, Mallow, Charleville, Kilmallock, Castletroy, Castleconnell, Corbally as well as Spar Croom and Bruff.