Chimac sauces gains popularity  with 97 retailers stocking products
Produced in Ballymount, Chimac sauces are now available in retailers across Ireland

Chimac sauces gains popularity with 97 retailers stocking products

A DUBLIN couple who opened a successful Korean inspired fried chicken restaurant, Chimac, have now began selling sauces produced in Ballymount which are stocked in 97 retailers across Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Couple Sofie Rooney and Garret Fitzgerald opened Chimac, located on Aungier Street in Dublin City Centre back in May 2019. Despite being hit with an unprecedented pandemic and many lockdowns, the restaurant has gone on to gain huge popularity for its mouth-watering Korean inspired dishes.

Chimac was established after Sofie and Garret took a trip to Seoul and were intrigued by the popularity of ‘Chimaek’ – a pairing of fried chicken and beer, served in the evening in many South Korean restaurants.

“Garret and I went over to Seoul for a wedding four years ago and we just fell in love with the whole concept and wanted to bring it to Ireland,” Sofie told The Echo.

“Everything was going great when we opened and business was booming, people were coming and coming back and then the pandemic happened and we had to close the restaurant. Only Garret and I worked there, and we just did deliveries for four months before we started taking staff on.”

Seeking help to grow the business, Sofie turned to the Local Enterprise Office South Dublin for financial help as well as one-on-one mentoring.

“We got the priming grant from them to help with the wages for our staff members which is amazing, and I also received a trading online voucher, and I am doing an export programme with them as well,” said Sofie. “I didn’t even know what they were before, and they have been such a great help to me.”

Grappling with the pandemic and forced to close the restaurant for indoor dining during 2020, Sofie and Garret looked for an extra source of income.

“People were trying to figure out different ways to make money, so we decided to bottle and sell our sauces,” she explained.

The three sauces that were bottled to sell from Chimac and Deliveroo were Sriracha Caramel, Korean Hot Sauce and K-BBQ sauce, which then gained some interest from retailers.

“We rebranded them and redesigned them so that they looked nice, and we decided to make it a separate business from the restaurant, and we moved the production of it to Ballymount,” Sofie explained.

“It has been going great the last few months and we are in 97 retailers now in Ireland and Northern Ireland – it’s amazing.”

The sauces are stocked in retailers in Dublin such as Fallon & Byrne, Lott’s & Co, Fresh & Wilde and many more.

Speaking about the plans for the future of the company, Sofie said that she has her sights set on the UK market.

“We hope to begin to export into the UK in the second half of this year and see how that goes because there is a huge market for sauces over there. Right now, we are focused on independent retailers in Ireland and continue to grow in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“We also hope to have another restaurant open in the next year – fingers crossed.”

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