Amidst all the doom and gloom recently about turmoil in the financial markets and fears that the economy maybe heading in to recession, its welcome news to hear that a local business, Frylite is going from strength to strength. Many of us maybe familiar with their name or have indeed seen their many vans and lorries about on the roads, but what do they do? Barney from The Herald went to find out more.
Founded in 1988 by local businessman, Eamon McCay, Frylite is a fine example of a local business success story that has been quietly unfolding. Over the last twenty years Eamon McCay has turned his simple business idea of vegetable oil supply and waste oil collection in to a multi million pound business which employs over a hundred people and services the needs of thousands of customers on a daily basis from its five bases across Ireland.
They say all good business ideas are simple and Frylite’s business model is no different. Speaking about the business, Eamon went on to explain “ We deliver a range of fresh vegetable oils to our customers, the majority of which include hotels, restaurants and fast food outlets. We buy oil by the tanker load, so this is done by supplying them with oil in our own twenty litre plastic buckets or by supplying larger users with oil in a bulk format whereby we pump fresh oil into large tanks in much the same way that the man who delivers your home heating oil does. Supply is just one side of our business, the other is collection and once we’ve delivered their fresh oil, we collect their used oils, which are then cleaned and reprocessed before being sent for use in the biofuels industry.
Now operating on a nationwide basis the staff and team at Frylite have much to be proud of and over the last twenty years through their hardwork, Frylite has grown to become Ireland’s number one supplier and collector of cooking oils, commanding a sixty per cent share of the market with over 7,000 satisfied customers island-wide.
Paying testimony to the loyalty and commitment of his staff over the years, Eamon went on to explain Frylite’s approach to business and how they have prospered in a competitive business environment “We have differentiated ourselves in the market by the level of service our staff provide to our customers and whilst we could have continued to offer a simple supply and collection service we have always sought to add further value to and improve our overall customer offering. In fact what has been integral to Frylite’s continued success has been its commitment towards bringing forward many new innovations to the market, in particular its unique “complete oil management system” which at its heart removes all responsibility for oil supply and collection from the customer to Frylite. “ Put simply” Eamon said “this means that our customers never have to worry about oil again – we supply the equipment (free of charge), we call every week to ensure that they never run out, collect their waste at the same time and keep everything clean, which helps, especially when many chefs are busy enough doing what they’re good at cooking good food and running busy kitchens”
Over recent years Frylite has enjoyed tremendous growth to such an extent that it is now able to offer its service to every corner of Ireland, servicing customers of all sizes from local pubs to international chains with hundreds of outlets nationwide. Operating out of its state of the art head office and factory in Strabane, which was built in 2005, the group has also opened up depots in Coleraine, Dublin, Galway and most recently Cork.
Speaking about these developments Eamon went on to add “As our company has grown we’ve also expanded in to new markets servicing customers from new sectors. People are always aware that we supply the catering and food service sector but we’re also very active in the food processing and bakery sector and service some of Irelands best known household names. We deal with many national and international companies and put their interest in dealing with our company down to three key reasons – firstly our quality product and service, secondly the fact that we do not supply hydrogenated oils or fats selling only a healthier range of vegetable oils. Finally our customers get reassurance and peace of mind from knowing that they are with Ireland’s leading edible oil specialist.”
He went on to add “We take quality very seriously and are constantly striving to be the best in our field. To do this we operate to the highest quality control systems possible and have achieved and implemented Grade A accreditation in the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global standard – Food Issue 4, the Excellence Ireland Mark and HACCP. These accreditations are very important as there is a legal requirement on hotels and restaurants or anyone producing food for that matter for them to be able to show that they have the relevant documentation to prove that their supplier is HACCP compliant and is registered and legally authorised to collect and dispose of their waste. We provide all of this documentation to our customers as part of our overall service package and many of them find this particularly useful, especially when the environmental health officer turns up and is interested in seeing that the kitchen is being well run and that everything is in order”