Killowen Farm: the farmer on the ‘art of the possible’ and other ways to profit from your investments, time and effort

  • Killowen Farm: the farmer on the ‘art of the possible’ and other ways to profit from your investments, time and effort
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    Farms are valuable assets and like any business, to maximize the benefits from this asset makes good business sense.

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Farms are valuable assets and like any business, to maximize the benefits from this asset makes good business sense.

Dairy farmers, in particular, make their money from the milk produced. But the Holy Grail for some farmers is the transition from traditional farming to more expensive products. If they can produce marketable products resulting from the use of assets and human resources of people that should be good.

Of course, this is easier said than done. However, there are countless success stories of the Irish agri-business, which are now leading brands in the world. Kerry group, Glanbia, Dawn food products and all meat Queally started on the Irish farm.

From a caterpillar into a butterfly

Wexford man Nicholas Dunn considers himself very fortunate. This humility is genuine. But in my opinion, it hides the real drive, passion and entrepreneurship, which has turned his family farm into a powerhouse for making yogurt. After spending a year in Australia, Nicholas returned in 1991 to take on the family farm with 80 cows Friesian from his father, Tom Dunn. Within five years, he built a stock for 200 cows. He plunged into teaching, being on Board of Wexford Creamery, doing a one year part-time diploma in corporate direction in ucc and plants a visit to Kerry Foods in the United States.

It opened eyes and made him realise ‘the art of the possible’ and that there are other ways to get a return on their investment of time and effort. Nikolai entrepreneur began to explore other options.

The Acquisition Of Killowen Milestone

When your life goes around dairy cows, a business idea, obviously, center on milk. Nicholas investigated and just as quickly turned away from cheese, frozen yogurt, ice cream and more.

In 2003, his sister Pauline (who now works with him in the field of sales and marketing) told him about a local yogurt-maker called Killowen, which was closed. That evening Nicholas contacted the owners and within a few days he was in the yogurt business. It seemed that all the time spent exploring its options paid.

Paul and Laura Kinsella, the previous owners were passionate about the quality and Killowen were a premium product from 1980-ies. After the surrender of their premises during the year, Nicholas moved the plant in its current location, the family farm Dunn. It is important to control and reduce the milk. He also ruled out the split focus on two areas. The next couple of years were a huge learning Curve for production, quality control, working with public institutions and banks, sales, marketing, and so on.

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Strategy and scones on the kitchen table

Now the business is expanding in PACE. Pallas foods has become an important customer for the Department of food service that put the brand Killowen in hotels in Ireland. Several large retailers have also become very interesting and brought in many of the leading chains throughout Ireland.

All the major meetings and decisions are made at the table in the kitchen of the family home. Nicholas’s mother and father greeted each visitor with a Cup of tea and a bun. I was fascinated on my visit as its warmth and hospitality. Inside, the kitchen is like a time warp, while across the courtyard is an exquisite and modern way to make the most delicious yogurt I have ever encountered. Retail buyer was so intrigued that he took pictures to share with colleagues back home.


Two important events worth mentioning. One of them is the dispute over its own brand. Many retailers would like to have a product under their own label, which they actively promote. The sight of Nicholas is that it brings volume and monetary business. Then what gives him the resources to invest in your own brand. For me any company in this situation should consider this seriously. I think the percentage between private and own label-it’s hours of waiting in the long term.

Secondly, gourmet food, air Dubai-Agency specializing in the development of Irish products in the middle East and the far East. Nicholas gives full credit to Killowen yoghurt is now available in Burj al-Arab in Dubai and first class Emirates airline. The company is to the East and provided listings for Killowen in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.

The last word Nicholas

Nicholas admits that there were many times over the years that were especially hard. Cash was tight, but the farm as an asset was a big cushion for Bank loans. He has no problem giving a personal guarantee to those who owe him money, as he sees it almost as a moral duty to honor debts.

His one piece of advice to make sure that you partner only with people who have a mutual commitment to success. For him, that includes enterprise Ireland, Committee, Bord Bia, bankers and accountants. He lives and breathes a win-win thinking. Which, of course, requires trust and mutual thinking.

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