How I Got My Job: Sara Mitchell, Founder Of Food Company Poulet Bonne Femme
Foodie business woman and mum of three Sara Mitchell tells STELLAR about bouncing back from a redundancy and the delicious success story of Poulet Bonne Femme.
Where did the idea for Poulet Bonne Femme come from?
It came from a holiday in Spain where we tried a hot rotisserie chicken straight from the spit in a local farmer’s market. Gavin [Sara’s husband] had been made redundant and we needed to do something fast. We thought that maybe a rotisserie was exactly what Dublin was missing! We invested the redundancy package and off we went!
Did you have any experience in the food industry?
Not a thing, neither of us had any experience in the food industry at all. What we did have was a shared passion about food, especially quality local food.
When did you realise you were onto something good?
I suppose that’s something that we’re still realising. When you work for yourself, it’s hard to know how others view you, you’re always trying to improve and do a little bit more. You can’t get too comfortable or assured. We do have a lot of repeat business so I hope that’s an indication that our customers are happy.
What was the toughest part of setting up?
The biggest worry was that there was a chance that it might not work out. We had a 10 day old baby when Gav was made redundant. That puts a different pressure on everything. It’s not just yourselves that you have to worry about anymore.
Did you experience any setbacks?
Yes of course, I think every business experiences setbacks but the important thing is how you deal with them. We always learn from a set back so in a way, they’re necessary. You just need to stay focused and try not to lose heart.
What does a typical work day look like for yourself?
There’s no such thing as a typical day, anyone will tell you that. I run between the office, the four shops and our new kitchen where we’re busy developing a new range of side products. As well as that, I have three young boys to look after!
What’s been the highlight of setting up Poulet Bonne Femme so far?
I love working for myself, the flexibility is great and every day is so different. If I need to be at home for some reason, then I can easily be there. It can be hard sometimes but I wouldn’t change it at all, not a thing.
Tell us, is it very healthy?
Yes, it’s very healthy, maybe that’s part of the reason why people like it so much. The method of cooking on the machine means all the fats drip out but all the flavour stays in. We use the highest quality marinade and all our meats are 100% Irish and our chickens are all free range.
Where can we find you now?
We are in four Avoca shops now; Monkstown, Suffolk Street, Kilmacanogue and Rathcoole.
Any plans for the future of Poulet Bonne Femme?
We have so many plans. We’re constantly trying to develop new products and improve our existing ones. Like I mentioned, we’re currently working on a range of side products. It’s busy and it’s loads of fun!
Any tips for other business woman in Ireland planning on starting up?
You have to be brave and go for it. Ask as many questions and get as much advice and help that you can. You won’t look back.