West Enterprise Case Studies
Galway Case Study: Solaris Botanicals
Solaris Botanicals blends internationally award-winning, organic green teas and herbal teas. It caters for the high-end retail and foodservice markets. The company was established by its founder and director Joerg Mueller in 2006.
A German native, Joerg says “I had visited Galway many times before I moved here and it was the lifestyle, the countryside, the active business community and the multicultural nature of Galway that made me want to settle here”.
“When I set up the business, I received some financial assistance from the Galway County and City Enterprise Board which was a help initially and Solaris has also received fantastic support from Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia - specifically the people based in the West.”
The current economic climate has had an impact on Solaris but Joerg likes to think that it has in fact been positive; “It made us look for creative solutions – to ‘think outside the box’. We fully realise that our business has to build consumer knowledge, thus it is slow, but steady and we expect to increase turnover in the coming three years.”
Locating the business in Galway has brought numerous advantages to Solaris Botanicals. The local infrastructure is excellent with continuous improvements in road and rail linkages “We use a courier to deliver our products nationwide and we find the rates very competitive”, says Joerg. Shannon Airport makes international travel easy and Joerg says the broadband service is “very good, both for business and at home in Moycullen”.
Another advantage to the business being located in Galway has been the opportunity to cooperate with both GMIT and NUI,G on research and development projects. Joerg believes that Galway offers many opportunities for the creative sector – particularly in the area of speciality foods. “You need to keep an eye out for possibilities, it’s a very good place for artisan food producers who want to export to Europe”, he adds.
Family life in Galway has also been a positive experience for Joerg. “We have been able to buy a cheaper house than would be the case in Dublin for example and overall I find the cost of living very competitive”, he adds.
More family time and less stress allow the Mullers to avail of the range of leisure amenities that are on their doorstep in Moycullen and within the 20 minute drive to Galway city.
Joerg highly recommends moving to the West of Ireland. “It’s Beautiful!”, he says “If you want to connect life, work and beautiful surroundings, there is no better place to be; I have lived in quite a number of European cities, and Galway beats them all!!”
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