Sarah O'Connor

Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Cool Beans and Nissan Generation Next Select 2016


Sarah is one half of Cool Beans, a health food company that puts the delicious and humble bean at its heart. Since launching the company in 2014 they have seen rapid growth in Ireland and the UK. Sarah is well on track to fulfilling her ambition of making Cool Beans an internationally recognised food company that is focused on providing new and interesting convenient solutions in the healthy eating market.


Food entrepreneur Sarah O’Connor has gotten 2017 off to a flying start with The Cool Food Company celebrating its best ever month of trading and a stylish makeover for its ‘Bean Machine’
February 20, 2017

We’ve had a great start to the year at The Cool Food Company with plenty of good things happening on all fronts from sales to marketing, branding and sponsorship.

We launched into Dunnes Stores shortly before Christmas and our products were on promotion there and in Centra stores throughout January. Sales were great and we were delighted to celebrate our best ever month of trading.

We also had a great opportunity to talk about the business and our products on the Today Show with Maura and Daithi. It is Ireland’s most watched daytime television show and it gave us a great platform to let people know that we are producing healthy convenient food with no additives of preservatives.

We also sponsored the Breakfast Republic 30 second quiz on 2FM, giving away tasty Cool Food Company hampers to lucky winners all over Ireland.

It’s official – our healthy beany products are now a hit with celebrities and we were chuffed when Leinster and Irish rugby international Jamie Heaslip gave them the thumbs up on social media.

Our Nissan NV200, A.K.A. ‘The Bean Machine’ has had a makeover and the new branding has certainly attracted attention. You can’t miss it, so give us a beep if you see us out and about on the roads.

The challenge for the months ahead is to keep up with demand. That is going to involve a lot of hard work and travel around the country. It’s really rewarding to see our products in hundreds of outlets nationwide and we always look forward to bringing them to new customers.

November Update
December 10, 2016


December 9, 2016

The Cool Food Company is fast becoming a household brand with food entrepreneur Sarah O’Connor celebrating more awards and a product listing in Dunnes Stores.

Things have been busy at the Cool Food Company and we had plenty to celebrate a fortnight ago when he launched our full range of three products into 20 Dunnes Stores nationwide.

We were thrilled to make this break-through. This type of distribution is huge for us. It has increased our volume and it is another big step towards becoming a household brand. We are well on the road now.

We are also preparing to roll-out to 400 Spar stores in January. We have been in some Spar stores but this is another step up thanks to the support we have received from Spar and their customers.

Right now we are focused on January and the traditional health-kick that comes with the New Year. Our products are ideal for people who want to make better and healthier choices and we have quite a campaign to promote that.

We will promoting healthy eating recipes and activities that people can enjoy, all of which will be available on our social media platforms. So keep an eye out on that to learn how our beany products can help you to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

We were also delighted to win a Blas na hEireann (The Irish Food Awards) award for our Cool Beans tomato product, which sits nicely alongside the same award that we won last year for our chilli beans.

I am also looking forward to speaking at the forthcoming Image Business Woman’s breakfast at the Marker Hotel where I will be talking about my experience of making The Cool Food Company a success.

October Update
November 4, 2016

September Update
October 10, 2016

Product launches awards and new staff for Sarah
October 9, 2016

Food entrepreneur Sarah O’Connor has taken on three new members of staff, secured a nomination for a Eir Elevation Award and is about to launch her beany products into Dunnes Stores.

We’ve spent a lot of time on the road recently exhibiting at festivals and shows throughout the country and expanding our team at The Cool Food company.

The many events we attended included the National Ploughing Championships, the Ennis Food Festival, the Waterford Food Festival, the Gluten Free Living Show and the Free From Ireland Show.

We have been focusing quite a bit on shows targeting people interested in leading healthy lifestyles free from dairy and free from gluten. This is an important market for us. Our beans are perfect for people looking for healthier, convenient food that they can prepare in minutes which still meets all of their nutritional needs.

We are growing and we were delighted to hire three new staff members in the past month. They will be working in the areas of operations and food service, sales, digital media and marketing. It’s an exciting time for us and it’s great to see our team grow as our business grows.

Our big news this month is that we are about to launch into Dunnes Stores. Our full range of tasty beany products will be available in 20 stores nationwide. We are thrilled to work with Dunnes Stores.

We are also working on developing some new products which we hope to launch early in the new year. So everyone who loves our products has something to look forward to in the New Year!

We were also delighted to be shortlisted for an Eir Elevation Award for the top 100 fastest growing companies in Ireland. We have been nominated in the FMCG category. It’s great to be competing with companies who are much bigger than us and it is a huge honour for us to be nominated.

It’s bean a busy August for Sarah!
September 7, 2016

Join Sarah this August as she drives her new refrigerated van for the first time, does deliveries for the Big Grill Festival, participates in the Cool Bean Olympics, and exhibits at Taste of Cavan!

 

Music festivals & new business rules.
August 24, 2016

Food entrepreneur Sarah O’Connor has ‘bean’ busy promoting The Cool Food company at music and food festivals while learning to live with some new business rules.

We’ve been to a lot of food festivals  and events this summer but it’s been lots of work and very little play as we bring our healthy beany meals to the party! Our new Nissan van has really put us on the road and we’re loving the flexibility that comes with it, we use the van as a portable fridge for onsite at events and for deliveries all over the country.

We took 40 cases of beans to the Taste of Cavan festival, which was our first event outside of Dublin. We sold out on the first day which was a fantastic success. The great thing about having our new van was that we were able to zip back to Dublin early the next morning to pick up another 30 cases.

We also made our first food service delivery to Strong Roots whose oven baked sweet potatoes are as popular as our beany meals. Being able to drop product off to suppliers who use our products as a topping will really help to expand our business. Our new van has opened up a lot of new channels for us and it’s great to be in a position to service customers and retail stores.

The festival circuit is a great way to promote our product and some of the other music festivals where Cool Beans was served included Beatyard in Dun Laoghaire and Knockanstockan Blessington. The Big Grill Festival in Ballsbridge was another success and you can view all our videos and stories on our Snapchat.

A lot of work has also gone into producing our ‘Van Rules’. I practically live in my car and it’s been known to get a bit messy. Isolde, my business partner, introduced the new van rules and I’m pleased to report that our whole team have gone through van training! We love our shiny new toy and want to keep it spick and span so I am abiding by the rules of ‘no rubbish in the van’ and ‘no eating in the van’ and trying hard to change my ways!