4 firms shortlisted for Local Business Award

Killowen Farm, the Fish Box, BizQuip and Mail Metrics vie for Local Business Award at The Irish Times Business Awards, which is run in association with Bank of Ireland.

Four businesses from Dublin, Kerry and Wexford have been shortlisted for the Local Business Award category that will form part of The Irish Times Business Awards next month.

The Local Business Award category is sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

The winners of the award will be announced at The Irish Times Business Awards on 22 February at the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin.

The four businesses are:


Business owner with the next generation of the firm.

Jim Leyden with his daughter Michelle and son James.

After 40 years in business, Bizquip has built up a base in excess of 9,000 customers including Airbnb, Deloitte, Cairn plc and BNP Paribas.

The business was founded by MD Jim Leyden who is in the process of handing it over to his children James and Michelle.

The business is centred in Sandyford and specialises in commercial interiors, workplace technology and office supplies.

Workplace Technology has expanded to include video conference and collaboration solutions and business process automation, in addition to the more well known solutions including managed print services and document management. Since its inception, Bizquip has partnered with global leading manufacturers, and continues to do so.

The company’s commercial interiors business manages fashionable and functional furniture projects for companies nationwide, from SMEs to multinationals.

The Fish Box

Man and two women outside Fish Box restaurant in Dingle.

Micheál Flannery with his sister Eimear and mother Deirdre

Run by the Flannery family in Dingle, The Fish Box restaurant, aka Flannery’s Sea Food Bar, is an institution.

The family has been fishing the Kerry waters for more than 100 years.

The Fish Box was founded in 2018 by Micheál Flannery and his brother Patrick. Their mother Deirdre is the head chef.

Almost the entire menu comes from the day’s catch from the family’s own trawler which docks in Dingle..

The popularity of The Fish Box can be seen in the rave reviews and world-of-mouth praise from satisfied tourists and locals alike.

In recent years the restaurant was awarded the Best Seafood Restaurant Award at the La Chef Ireland Awards in recognition of the boat-to-plate approach that has been hugely successful for the Flannery family.

Killowen Farm Yoghurts

group of people at an awards.

Owners Nicholas and Judith Dunne took over Ireland’s oldest farmhouse yogurt in 2004 and in 2005, moved the yogurt production to their own dairy farm in Courtnacuddy, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

The Dunnes have been prominent farmers in the region for more than 200 years.

In 2022 the business revealed a €4m expansion that will see the dairy producer’s workforce almost double with the addition of 25 new jobs. It will also enable the business to grow its cream cheese production through the development of a new production line.

A breakthrough deal with ALDI in Germany opened the door for the business to export to Europe and today Killowen exports to international markets including Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.


Man in navy blazer.

Nick Keegan,  founder and CEO, Mail Metrics

Founded in 2013 Mail Metrics has developed a technology solution to help organisations operating in highly regulated sectors to outsource & digitally transform their regulatory and customer communications.

Mail Metrics handles millions of business critical, regulatory and customer communications each year ranging from renewal notices, claims correspondence and billing information to general transactional customer communications.

Mail Metrics’ growth has been exponential, as evidenced by their revenue numbers which have gone from €1m in 2019, to a projected €40m by the end of 2023.

A recent acquisition of paper-based communications player Dafil marks another significant milestone for Mail Metrics bringing their total number of employees from 110 up to 151, expanding their customer base of highly regulated companies.

Having acquired Persona (Ireland) and Forth Communications (UK) in 2021, the acquisition of Dafil is another step towards Mail Metric’s ambition of becoming a leading international customer communications solution provider. 

In a recent interview with ThinkBusiness, Mail Metrics’ CEO Nick Keegan, a finalist in this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards, said he believed that the company could one day become a €1bn turnover business.

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