A family business from Mayo has been selected to represent the West of Ireland at SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival.
Mother and daughter Marjorie and Maebh O’Malley of Achill Island Sea Salt will speak about their experiences of living and working in Mayo at a dedicated LookWest.ie Marquee.
SeaFest, which takes place in Galway from June 30 to July 2, will highlight Ireland’s abundant maritime resources and transform Galway Harbour and Docks into an open-air sea world for three days.
LookWest.ie, an initiative of the Western Development Commission (WDC), will be hosting its own Marquee at SeaFest and treating visitors to three days of exciting and inspiring events focusing on creative business and lifestyle in the West of Ireland.
The O’Malley family behind Achill Island Sea Salt has been selected to tell its inspiring story at the LookWest.ie Marquee which will host a number of keynote speakers, fun performances and a showcase of brilliant West of Ireland products and businesses all inspired by the sea and surfing culture.
The inspiration behind the Achill Island Sea Salt, which was founded in July 2013, was a documentary on sea salt and the desire to revive the age old but long forgotten tradition of salt production on the island up to the 1820s.
“We had no food background and just started to make it at the kitchen table and sell it at a farmers’ market to see how it would go but we couldn’t keep up with the demand, especially from chefs. We didn’t really have a choice then but to keep going,” says Maebh O’Malley who came home from Dublin to join the family business.
Also working in the business is her parents Marjorie and Kieran and her brother Sean – with third sibling Colm expected to join once he has the Leaving Cert behind him!
“I thought I would probably end up working in Dublin or Galway but it is great to be able to work and build a business in Achill, right on the beach. I grew up by the sea so it is amazing to be able to make our business out of the sea,” says Maebh.
She said the family have plans to open a visitors’ centre next year to bring people to see the factory.
“People are always looking for an experience, especially in the food tourism area. We want to put Achill on the map as a food destination. There are a lot of food producers in Mayo and, by bringing them to Achill, we can showcase the thriving industry that we have.”
LookWest.ie experts will be on hand to discuss creative ideas for new businesses and advise people on how they might make their own move to a new and fulfilling life in the West of Ireland, one of Europe’s great unspoiled regions.
As well as opportunities to ‘meet and greet’ speakers and businesses in LookWest.ie’s showcase area from 10am – 6pm each day, there will be some great prizes and giveaways on offer too.
LookWest.ie is also partnering with the Irish Surf Festival, Shore Shots, to celebrate the very best in surfing, film, ideas and discovery on the west coast. Unique and inspiring films and videos produced along the West Coast by filmmakers and videographers will be shown at the LookWest.ie Marquee throughout the three days.
Karen Sweeney of the Western Development Commission said:
“We are delighted to be part of the SeaFest 2017 experience for what is set to be an exciting, fun and educational weekend.
“We pride ourselves on promoting the West of Ireland as a great place to live, work and do business through our LookWest.ie campaign. The West of Ireland is known for its creativity, beauty, lifestyle and, of course, that Wild Atlantic coastline but also as a place where businesses can thrive and grow.
“Come meet us at our LookWest.ie Marquee; each day we will have a bumper schedule to educate, entertain and encourage people to dream their own big move to the beautiful West.”
Check out our SeaFest section for full info on the event.