Boss of Cahir boutique whiskey distillery is top young Tipp entrepreneur

Boss of Cahir boutique whiskey distillery is top young Tipp entrepreneur

Jennifer Nickerson accepts her award from Cllr Mattie Ryan, with Liam Ahearn also included.

                        

The boss of a boutique distillery from Cahir has scooped the top award in a Young Entrepreneur competition.

And just days after the announcement, Tipperary Boutique Distillery has revealed details of a major new enterprise that could establish Tipperary as a prime whiskey producing area.

Jennifer Nickerson won the overall Best Young Entrepreneur award in Tipperary at a ceremony in Nenagh last week, the county final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition.

IBYE, which has a €2 million investment fund, is run by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland. 

 Jennifer Nickerson also won the category for Best Start up and an investment fund from LEO Tipperary worth €15,000. 

Ms Nickerson is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a MA Hons in Business and Accounting.  After graduation she worked for several years with KPMG in Ireland where she advised companies on domestic and international tax matters.  With two others she has started Tipperary Boutique Distillery a new but growing entrant into the Irish whiskey market. 

This business has recently received planning permission to establish a distillery on Ballindoney farm in Cahir. The long-term aim of this business is to produce an Irish whiskey exclusively from Tipperary barley and Tipperary water, distilled and matured in Tipperary.  

The other main category winners on the evening were Andy Spillane, T/a Savvy Kitchens, Thurles in the Best Established Business; and Paddy Moynihan, Unibooks from Loughmore in the Best New Idea category. 

The top prize in the Best Established Business category was € 15,000, with a top prize of €7,000 for the Best New Idea category. All three category winners will now be representing Tipperary at Mid West IBYE Regional Finals, taking place in Ennis in early 2017.

Meanwhile, the three category runners-up between them shared an investment of €13,000 for their respective businesses. 

The runners up were: Enda Maher, Capital Transport and Shipping Ltd, Roscrea in the Best Established Business category; Evie Ward, Nutshed Ltd, Nenagh in the Best Start up category and  Marian Kennedy, PPR Brand, Clonmel in the Best New Idea category.

Marian Kennedy with Cllr Mattie Ryan and Tipperary County Council chief executive Joe MacGrath.

Marian Kennedy has a background in accounting. She has worked with the HSE in various hospital environments. After having her first child in 2015 Marian was inspired to think of her new product idea and is now in the process of creating the PPR brand, (Post-Partum Relief). The new product which she is creating is called the PPR Pad which will be used for efficiently soothing and healing a woman’s perineal area after giving birth naturally. 

In her address at the awards ceremony, Rita Guinan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Tipperary said: “We started the search to find Ireland’s best young entrepreneur in August and the competition received a record-breaking number of entries this year, with 1,800 young entrepreneurs applying nationally and 47 locally.  

"After a very successful IBYE bootcamp and County Final, the future is looking bright for both youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the county.”