Development of food tourism, its use as an educational tool and income generation for small businesses
Ciara grew up around her father’s seafood export business, working with Lobsters, Crabs, Mussels, Clams Oysters, however by her own admittance grew up eating the shellfish more so than working with them. She went on to study Outdoor Education and Leisure in Gmit before working in Youth and Community development for a number of years both in Ireland and overseas. During this time she worked in the areas of Youth leadership and mentoring. She left life in Zambia, where she had been volunteering with an Irish NGO to come home and restart her father’s seafood business along with her brother.
She started the Redbank food co in 2015, working with a number of local oyster farmers and fishermen. The brand Flaggy shore oyster was created. In 2017/2018 they expanded in the area of oyster tours and workshops. Teaching people at their premises all about oysters, how to open them as well as the biology of the local marine habitat.
With people wishing to know more of where their food comes from, the demand for new food experiences and the development of experience based platforms, Ciara believes this is an area that will expand greatly over the coming years but an emphasis has to be on developing them sustainably.
Her area of research is in “the development of food tourism, its use as an educational tool and income generating for small businesses”
She is the currently involved in the Burren Eco Tourism network, secretary of the Burren food trail, involved with Leave No Trace Ireland and was awarded Clare’s best young entrepreneur in 2017.