CBA Cork Business of the Year Awards 2018

CBA Cork Business of the Year Awards 2018

~Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, McCarthy Insurance Group, and Michael O’Flynn announced as top award winners ~


Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, McCarthy Insurance Group and Michael O’ Flynn were the big winners at the Cork Business Association’s Cork Business of the Year Awards, which were held in Clayton Hotel Silversprings on Saturday 23 February.


A further 9 industry awards were presented on the evening.  The awards, which are run in partnership with JCD and The Irish Examiner, recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across varied sectors of business in Cork City and its environs.
The winners were…


Best New Business, sponsored by LEO Cork City

  • Ichigo Ichie

Takashi Miyazaki is the first person to have brought a kappou-style fine dining Japanese restaurant to Ireland and by extension Cork. The 25-seat restaurant, which opened in April 2018, is located at no 5 Fenns Quay, Sheares Street. To describe the incredible quality on offer, a food critic recently said “Mr Miyazaki doesn’t just want to satisfy your appetite with his cooking, he wants to feed your soul”. Incredibly despite only opening in April, Ichigo Ichie has already being awarded one of Cork’s first Michelin Stars. A remarkable achievement in such a short period.


Best Tourism, Arts, or Event sponsored by IHF Cork

  • Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery is a National Cultural institution and a regional art museum for Munster.  It is home to over 4000 works of art. It is dedicated to the visual arts outside Dublin and the Gallery excels at multidisciplinary exhibitions that include paintings, film, objects and digital imagery. Displaying innovative exhibitions from their own collection containing historically important works such as Harry Clarke, Lavery, William Orphen and temporary exhibitions from Francis Bacon and Robert Ballaght to name but a few. They also provide in-house and outreach Learn and Explore Programmes which foster a sense of history, place, context and culture to a wide audience at local, national and international level. Numbers continue to grow and over 230,000 people visited during 2018.


Best Cork Professional Service, sponsored by ETC the Events Tourism & Communications Agency

  • Meitheal Design Partners


Meitheal design Partners are an Architecture, Design and Planning Consultancy business based in Father Matthew Quay Cork with offices also in Dublin and Kenmare. This award-winning design consultancy has emerged from the recession and is now the largest indigenous Cork architectural practice. Their strong commitment to a client focused philosophy has seen their business grow to such an extent that soon they will be announcing their 5000th commission since opening their practice in 2003.

Best Cork Café,
sponsored by The English Market

  • Café Velo

Located in Georges Quay, Café Velo is a bicycle–themed café and roastery that aims to bring their customers the best of local produce for breakfast, lunch and brunch seven days a week. The majority of food is prepared in-house with the best of ingredient - they cook and slice their own ham and Spiced Beef and make their own salads, jams, soups and sauces. Recently they started their own in-house roasted coffee at their new coffee counter. Café Velo is now one of the most popular café’s on the south channel of the city proving that good produce and great customer service is always successful.


Best Cork Restaurant, sponsored by The English Market

  • Greene’s

Greene’s Restaurant is Located in the heart of the Victorian Quarter in Mac Curtain Street. Beautifully situated overlooking a large waterfall, it certainly has the wow factor. Greenes is fine dining at its finest - all menus are exclusively filled with produce from within 50km of the Hotel. The food at Greenes is innovative, modern and devoted to place and uses the outstanding ingredients that are available in Cork to deliver a truly exceptional dining experience.


Best Cork VFI Pub, sponsored by Vintners Federation Cork

  • Gallaghers

Gallagher’s Gastro Pub is a Bar & Restaurant situated at the corner of Mac Curtain Street at the foot of Cork’s famous Patrick’s Hill and is named after one of Cork’s most iconic musicians Rory Gallagher. Providing top quality food and drink in comfortable surroundings with an ambiance mixing old world and new.

Gallagher’s has an extensive menu with something for everyone - you can enjoy a quick lunch, sumptuous dinner or even a Sunday brunch. Live Music is also a big part of the offering and Gallagher’s have their very own percussionist keeping the party alive each night.


Best Cork Hotel, sponsored by Kings Laundry

  • Metropole Hotel Cork

The Metropole Hotel Cork is located in the heart of the city and this year celebrates 121 years of Cork hospitality. It is deeply rooted in the history of Cork and is home to the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. The Metropole is a 108-bedroom hotel which also has 9 conference rooms and 2 large banqueting suites and is a member of the Trigon hotel group. This year saw a huge €2.5m investment in refurbishment including the opening of the MET - their new restaurant, bar and tea rooms.


Best Cork Family Business, sponsored by Musgrave

  • Hassett’s Bakery – the Hassett family

Michael Hassetts’ passion for baking developed during his time working across Europe as a chef in the early 80s. Michael started his own bakery in Douglas in 1984 and opened his first shop in 1988. Hassetts now have shops in the English Market, Douglas Court, Blackpool shopping centre and a café in Carrigaline, employing 60 staff. They also have a thriving wholesale business supplying many restaurants and Cafés in Cork City and County. Within the last twelve months they commenced exporting to the USA, Germany, UK, France and Belgium.


Best Cork Retail Business sponsored by Cork City Council

  • K O’Connell Fish Merchants

Founded in 1962 in The English Market, Kay O Connell started her fish merchants business with a small 14 x 10 foot stall. It is hard to believe that a business with such humble beginnings would achieve so much. Today it is instantly recognizable not only in Cork but nationally and internationally. In 1998 Pat and Paul took over the business and continued to drive it forward, but always ensured it retained the essentials of Character, Customer and Product. Retail changes and K O Connells is adapting to that change as a third generation of family join the business - they have opened their own smokehouse in Bandon and recently opened a new store in Dunnes Stores in Bishopstown Court.


Cork Business of the Year (Large Category):  sponsored by JCD

  • Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

For more than 40 years, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival has stood tall as one of the most iconic festivals on the national cultural calendar.  Held annually over the October bank holiday weekend since its inception in the Metropole Hotel in 1978, the festival has a proud history and is worth almost €45 million to the local economy.


2018 was an outstanding success.  The Festival received national and international public and critical acclaim, under the helm of new Festival Director Sinead Dunphy, whose vision saw the Festival grow dramatically, resulting in a large increase in revenue to the city.


1,000 musicians from more than 20 countries flew into Cork for one of the most exciting weekends of jazz music performances ever to take place in Cork, with free entertainment in more than 70 pubs across the city.


The event also spilled out into the streets of Cork with a New Orleans inspired Dia de Los Muertos Jazz Parade, with thousands lining the streets to watch in awe.


Cork Business of the Year (Medium Category): sponsored by JCD

  • McCarthy Insurance Group

McCarthy Insurance Group has grown from humble beginnings in a small office in Fermoy, in 1952, to becoming the Largest Family Owned Brokerage in Ireland!

They have eight offices in Cork city and County with nearly twenty other Cork brokerages.

McCarthy Insurance Group covers every type of cover that you can think of - from General Insurance to Travel, Mortgage and Car policies, to business premise insurance, multi-business insurance and multi-national policies, including a Group of Manufacturers with ten plants in the EU. Right up to holding over €200 Million in funds for clients!!

The Group employs around 200 staff, with specialists in niches areas, such as Hair Salons, Hotels, and the Food and Drink Industry.

With Gross Written Premiums due to exceed €100 Million by 2020, this Group will be the Largest Family Owned Brokerage in Ireland, and they have plans for ambitious growth and further acquisitions in the next 5 years!


Champion of Cork Award: sponsored by CIT

  • Michael O Flynn

The origin of this award comes from an idea from two recently departed CBA friends James O Sullivan & Owen O Callaghan. They wanted to create an award to recognise an individual who over their lifetime has contributed not just to business but has left their mark on society in general.




Commenting on the winners, President of Cork Business Association Philip Gillivan said, “Our awards night is a celebration of the Cork business community who are driving our local community.  It’s a celebration of businesses who go above and beyond, and it’s a celebration of employers, proud employees and ambassadors of our community.


“This year we received a record number of entrants and I would like to congratulate each of our very deserving finalists and winners.  To be a finalist for these awards is a wonderful achievement in itself.  I would also like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors, in particular our award sponsor JCD, event partner AIB, and media partner The Irish Examiner, and a particular thanks to our extremely hard working and committed independent panel of judges,  Mark Fitzharris AIB, Seamus Heaney Visit Cork, Adrienne Rodgers LEO Cork City, and Gerard O’Donovan CIT.”


The CBA’s aim is to recognise the value and achievement of Cork businesses who have contributed to or promoted the enhancement of the commercial, cultural or civic life of Cork, and to encourage business excellence in the city.