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Women taking care of business in Ireland

February 14th, 2012 No comments

Emma Rafferty has ‘exported’ a great Australian concept to her new home in Ireland – the meat pie.

Bonza Pies, the company Emma started with husband Colin, has just opened its second outlet in Dublin. Now the couple have their eyes on “a new branch every year, and eventually we would love to set up a franchise,” says Emma, originally from Perth.

The couple was swimming against the tide when they set up their venture just as the Irish economy was taking a disastrous tumble, over three years ago. But with persistence, patience, and, above all, faith in their product, they are succeeding.

‘We’re flat out busy from about 11am to around now, ‘ Emma says at 3pm one weekday afternoon, in the rustic-looking Bonza 2, next to Mulligan’s famous pub in Poolbeg Street. “People come in, try the pies, and then they’ll be back for more!”

But it was Emma’s Irish husband who suggested the business idea. “Colin had been living in Australia for seven years, working in construction, and having pies for lunch every day,” said Emma. “When we came back here, intending just to spend a year, Colin found there was no construction work. And he missed the pies too!”

With Emma’s support, Colin retired to the kitchen for weeks and worked on recipes for pastry and filling. Every time friends or family came round, they found themselves eating – pies. “Colin was so enthusiastic – never got sick of it, always trying new things.”

As a result they have a long menu – 11 different varieties – which surprises the not-pie-savvy Irish, who come expecting one mysterious meat filling, and are impressed with the choice.
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