Jobs boost: Tipperary companies expected to gain when Lunch Bag opens in Nenagh
Tipperary food suppliers and local services are expected to get a boost from the opening of The Lunch Bag in Nenagh this August.
The company announced on Monday that it is to create 150 jobs in the area over the next three years, with 50 jobs already in the pipeline for this August.
However, CEO Ray Nangle and his business partner Tony Mulcahy said they were looking forward to not only boosting employment directly, but also through engaging local food suppliers and services.
Mr Nangle revealed that they were in talks with a local bakery and a packaging company as well as looking at a quote from a local company to help kit out the facility, work that would normally be done through a UK-based firm.
The company will make up to 50,000 sandwiches at the facility once operated by Dawn Meat, which closed eight years ago.
Mr Nangle said they are investing well over €1m in renovating the building at Lisboney Industrial Estate.
Another local food success, Quigleys, has its food production facility in the same estate.
Mr Nangle, who is also CEO of Fresh Today, which delivers lunches to DEIS schools, is now targeting the non-DEIS sector, aiming to feed up to 450,000 pupils daily.
Parents will be able to download their app and order before noon the previous day for lunch to be delivered to their child’s school.
With 1,700 items to choose from, the company is putting the emphasis on quality, nutricious food linked to the school Healthy Eating policy.
It will cost parents €1.90 a day to order a lunch.
“It is our intention that every family should have the option to have lunch made and delivered directly to the classroom, for the same cost as a homemade lunch. Because we feed so many children, we can offer an extraordinary range of fresh lunches, from sandwiches to pastas, fresh salads to veg trays. It is currently very difficult for families to offer that sort of variety every day without significant cost or waste. We look forward to addressing that,” said Mr Nangle.
He said that they were expecting a “huge appetite” for the service offer.
For now, the company intends concentrating on the schools sector, but Mr Nangle said that once that was up and running they will probably look at other markets.
Mr Nangle thanked North Tipperary Development Company (LEADER), as well as Tipperary LEO, county manager Joe MacGrath and Labour TD Alan Kelly for the work they put in to encourage the company to Nenagh.
The Labour leader voiced his support for the initiative, saying: “We are delighted to welcome The Lunch Bag to Nenagh. It is a welcome addition to the town and to the education landscape.”
He said that the company will help strengthen the local economy and said that it would be an opportunity for other industries.
He thanked Eoin Dillon, auctioneer, for helping to source the building, which, he said, had been chosen as it was already food orientated.
Among the reasons the company chose Nenagh was because of its central location close to a motorway as well as its diverse range of employment skills.
The company is launching a recruitment drive in July and is offering jobs in a number of areas from general operatives to admin, customer sales and van drivers. One of its policies is to allow people work when their children are in school and to give them time off for holidays so they can be with their children.
Anyone interested in applying for a position can email their interest to firstname.lastname@example.org