It can regularly be a road much less traveled, the selection to bring your product to the people in place of the opposite way round. But for one Irish entrepreneur, it was something she felt only sweetened her fulfillment, even though the adventure did come with a few bumps along the way. “Keeping chocolate from melting in 40-diploma warmness became one of the first challenges of working with a meals truck and now not one I had full idea via when I decided to set up my business enterprise,” laughs Sarah McGourty, co-proprietor of Miss Ellen’s Sweet Shop and Sweet Truck in Malta. McGourty moved to Malta from Boho, Fermanagh, four years ago but no longer intends to set up her own business.
I was reading Motel Control in GMIT and working in Neven Maguire’s eating place. However, I had to get a little work experience. I first came to Malta in 2009 to work inside the Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta, owned by Irish developer Paddy Kelly, hotelier Ray Byrne, and four others. I labored there for a while, after which I went home to complete my degree.
While I was figuring out whether or not to live within the resort enterprise, my mother took place to read an editorial in a Sunday newspaper that stated antique-fashion sweet shops have been making a return in Ireland. She thought it’d be an amazing idea to strive it out in Malta as the Maltese have a lovely enamel. I wasn’t so positive on time; however, now here I am.” McGourty and her group’s companion, Sandro Grech, had been up and going for walks on account that January 2014 and had expanded Miss Ellen’s to consist of party events and decor. They also promote their chocolates online.
The original concept was to have a van, which they sold and named Henri. But it took months of negotiating with the Maltese government to get it registered, and on the street, so they ended up parking Henri in a garage and running from there. And that turned into how their save changed into born.
“Ironically, while we couldn’t have the van on the street, it caused us to have a candy save, and the van component got here later.
Both the shop and Henri operate six days every week, even though, in Henri’s case, logistics can once in a while get in the way. “Being cell is first-rate as it’s a free-roaming advertisement, but there’re also some challenges, which encompass parking, parking, and parking!” says McGourty. “We continually have to plan. Finding a suitable spot to base ourselves on for a full day isn’t always easy. You also need not forget strolling prices like gas and strength and always have your own [power] supply with you.”
And then there’s the upkeep of Henri himself – a 1954 Citroen H van.
The truth is that he is a mobile manner you could carry him to customers so that we will use him for weddings, baby showers, corporate events or birthdays and, compared to the shop, the strolling charges are decreased. But from a negative perspective, he’s over 60 years old, so it may cost a lot to hold him in working order. Sometimes, if he breaks down, we must wait weeks to get him constant again, which means we’re losing money while he’s off the street.
Having a novelty addition to the commercial enterprise offers McGourty masses of fodder for social media.
“We specifically use Instagram to permit humans to realize which Henri may be every day, but it also enables us to show off what we have to be had in-store and to deliver to humans a concept of the various activities we can cater for.
Instagram also allows her to promote her huge variety of merchandise to the Maltese and the developing ex-pat community. Customer favorites encompass Vegemite, Swedish Fish, and Reese’s Pieces. Looking back at that communique she had together with her mom, does McGourty agree that setting up an enterprise in Malta is less difficult than it would be if she had determined to live in Ireland?
“Probably not,” she says. “Certain aspects are more difficult here because there’s no communique between departments or nearby councils. For instance, when it came to my store’s address, it borders two places referred to as Santa Venera and Hamrun. So, after I changed to seeking to get records or documentation, both workplaces have sent me to and fro.
The banks are also very irritating. I had big problems with the nation-run Bank of Valletta, without a doubt, trying to open an account to position money in. I was told holding two specific financial institution bills in special nations became unlawful. As a person from Northern Ireland who has three distinct debts, I recognize this changed into improper.
Registering the van also turned into a headache, and it ended up with me having to ship solicitors’ letters to get things shifting. I sense that, in Ireland, you would have more facts and greater help if you were putting in a small enterprise. There are greater tasks through the government and greater emphasis on getting girls into the enterprise.