Eat Unique is a thriving healthy Grab & Go café based in Monksland, Athlone. Created in 2015 by local sisters Celine Folan & Edel Larkin. Along with Celine’s partner Nigel So, this dynamic trio set about developing a creative and healthy food concept for the midlands which focuses on local, seasonal and quality produce.
With a background in sport, nutrition and food, they have combined their valuable knowledge and vast expertise to create a Unique foodie destination.
The concept of Eat Unique was born five years ago. With a rising demand for more delicious healthy food options that were both accessible and easy to eat on the go, the team at Eat Unique saw a growing need for fresh, nutritious and tasty meals. The busy nature of people’s lives often makes it difficult for them to prepare their own healthy meals. Convenient options are often not the healthiest choice and their aim was to change how people think about and choose the healthier option. Each morning the team prepares the food from scratch using fresh, local and seasonal produce.
From their humble beginnings, on a very small budget but with big ideas, they set about creating their vision.
Their food spoke for itself and over a short period of time they saw their customer base grow with increasing demands for more produce with a wider menu. At the core of Eat Unique is ensuring a high quality service; from food sourcing, food preparation, staff training and customer service. Customers loved the clean and simple approach that Eat Unique have developed and over time they have seen their “unique” community evolve and grow into a strong following. They pride themselves on knowing their customers on a first name basis and we are proud to say that many of the first customers who walked in our door are still loyal regulars today.
Their very diverse customer base from elite athletes, working professionals, business CEO’s, busy parents, young teenage sports enthusiasts to those just beginning their health journey, shows the increasing demand for healthier options that are both accessible and affordable.
Their ethos is to provide a friendly environment that is inclusive and accessible to everyone in the community.
Due to the rising demand for Eat Unique in Monksland, they have now opened a second operation at the Regional Sports Centre in Athlone in October 2019.
We asked Celine how the EMPOWER Programme helped her and this is what she had to say.. ‘The support from Maria and Declan and especially the ladies on the programme was invaluable. It took away the feeling of isolation that is so often felt by women who are self-employed. The daily struggles of running your business while raising a young family can be challenging and knowing you were not alone on this journey really helped me. Listening to the stories and challenges the other ladies on the programme were facing inspired me. The support, monthly meetings and catch ups were so important. I agreed with Declan’s synopsis each month of it being “a lonely journey” so having like minded people to talk to and get advice from helped me enormously. The programme also helped me to flesh out the idea of opening a second facility and gave me the confidence to do this in Oct 2019.’
Eat Unique have picked up numerous awards such as Midlands Take Away of the Year and a Finalist in the Best new Business in the Midlands Style Awards. The future looks very bright for this company.
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