Pyro is a family run cafe which opened its doors in August 2014, selling pizzas, pasta and salads. The idea was to have a fast casual atmosphere whilst producing simple take away food, using fresh, local, artisan ingredients. With Ireland's Olympic Ski racer; Thos Foley managing its team, his goal is to change direction and go ‘up hill fast.
Before the Skiing, Thos dreamed of opening his own cafe at the age of 18. As a child, he was selling hand-made biscuits and ice-cream in his home town; Kenmare. His passion for food production came from working with food hero, Maura Foley, his mom; Founder of Kenmare Restaurants; The Purple Heather, The Lime Tree and Packie’s Food and Wine.
During this time, Maura was offered to do a dessert range for Marks and Spencer’s and although she had decided to take a different path, continuing to cook amazingly fresh food for her establishments. A seed was planted with Thos.
After starting a family with Fiancé, Sophie Lowe, Thos’s Ski Instructing career had taken off. Travelling to the Alps, working long winters away from home, family life was compromised and although Sophie tried to integrate into the French community, she found it hard with young children and a language barrier. It was when Sophie lost her father in 2012 that the family decided to come back home to Ireland.
Their hearts were set on living in Kenmare where they had first met in 2003. Sophie had moved from London, working in corporate sales, to be closer to her father, nature and an alternative lifestyle. She bought a VW camper and planned to explore the magic that Kerry and the rest of Ireland has to offer. It was the VW camper that first brought Thos and Sophie together, sparking their first conversation. They went onto 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 indulging in life’s pleasures! Often popping into Packie’s Restaurant for a late night ‘take away’ sticky toffee pudding.
To sustain stability in a seasonal town, Thos and Sophie needed to create a platform, from which they could develop fresh local food products. With a history of knowledge, mixed with a good pinch of taste and getting as much input from the locals. The result, a range of mouth wateringly, indulgent desserts served in a paper pot! The ‘Pots of Pleasure’ are lovingly made to restaurant standard, for people on the go.
PYRO launched its ‘Pots of Pleasure’ at a local festival, The Nomstock 2014. Feedback and volume of sales was enough to get excited about SuperValu’s Food Academy Programme for local producers. Delighted to be accepted and after attending extensive workshops, the programme has helped put the building blocks in place to get PYRO from a small cafe business to become serious producers. Thos and Sophie hope to expand the PYRO brand into the rest of Kerry and beyond, offering all year round sustainable employment to the rural community. The support from Kenmare’s SuperValu and its customers is crucial to the success of the ‘Pots of Pleasure’ range.