PYRO is a family run café in Kenmare that opened its doors August 2014 with Ireland’s Olympic skier; Thos Foley at the helm, his goal: to change direction and go ‘uphill fast’. Thos now brings a taste of Kenmare with their dessert Pots of Pleasure to your table. The unusual story of a Kerry man skiing at the Olympics in Turin 2006 to becoming a Food Producer for the SuperValu Food Academy is full of twists and turns and began with an early interest in cooking and a passion for adventure.
Before pursuing a career in skiing, Thos dreamed of opening his own café. As a child, he would have been spotted selling hand-made biscuits and ice-cream in his home town of Kenmare. His passion for food came from working with his mother and food hero, Maura Foley; founder of Kenmare restaurants; The Purple Heather, the Lime Tree and Packie’s. Thos cooked alongside his mother in the summer months and headed to the Alps where his love of skiing grew to eventually lead him to leave the heat of the kitchen for the chills and thrills of the snow-capped mountains.
Sophie Lowe, working in corporate sales, moved from London, to be closer to her father, nature and a different lifestyle that Kerry has to offer. She bought a VW camper and trained to be a Holistic Massage therapist. Her plan was to take her new found skills to the road! Thos’ grandfather, a west Cork man, John O’Connell ran a VW garage in Kenmare in the 60’s and so it was the VW camper that brought Thos and Sophie together, sparking their first conversation. They went on to enjoy the Kerry outdoor pursuits. Hiking the Kerry way and kayaking the Kenmare Bay, cooking fresh fish over an open fire. They shared a passion for nature and enjoying life’s pleasures! Often popping into Packie’s Restaurant for a late night ‘take away’ sticky toffee pudding, to end their day on a high note. The road eventually led them out of Ireland, where Thos shared his passion for skiing with others as a ski instructor and worked abroad for some years. In 2014, with a family of his own with Sophie and a career in skiing, he had a longing to return to his native Kerry where they had first met in 2003, so he hung up his ski boots and donned his apron once again and returned home to open PYRO Café with Sophie on a small side street in Kenmare.
With a history of knowledge, mixed with a good pinch of taste and plenty of feedback from their customers in PYRO, they created a range of mouth wateringly indulgent desserts: Pots of Pleasure! Lovingly handmade desserts, freshly made and served in a paper pot for people on the go.
Thos Foley’s goal of becoming a food producer became reality when Sophie and Thos participated in Supervalu’s Food Academy Programme. The programme has helped put the building blocks in place to transition them from a small café business to fully-fledged food producers supplying local SuperValu stores in Kerry. With the support of their local customers, who have been crucial to the success of the Pots of Pleasure, their desserts can now be enjoyed by you at home. ‘Tasty Tiramisu’ and ‘Zesty Lemon Possets’ all round! Thos and Sophie plan to expand their range of deserts and aim to offer year round sustainable employment in their community where all the dessert Pots of Pleasure are handmade using fresh produce. Look for the PYRO Pots of Pleasure on the Food Academy section in SuperValu stores and know that you will be enjoying a taste of Kerry.