Aileen Hanley originally from The Hill of Tara in Co. Meath where her grandparents were the last private owners, is no stranger to tourism and hospitality.
Aileen & her husband have operated The Strand Cahore, the award-winning Gastro Pub specialising in fresh fish and wood-fired pizzas since January 2018. Having studied Accounting & Finance at Dublin Business School, Aileen said “accounting definitely wasn’t the career for me. My passion and drive are in hospitality and tourism, although my studies’ experience helps in running your own business”.
Aileen is not only a mother of two young girls and a business owner but is a Director on the Board of The Restaurants Association of Ireland. Aileen continues “I am incredibly lucky to be working alongside 19 other Directors of the Association and the CEO Adrian Cummins to represent people within the industry. The Association is an important one especially in today’s Covid climate.”
In 2021 Aileen and her husband continue to drive the business forward launching two new outdoor dining areas, The Cliff Garden to the East of the property overlooking the sea and The Pizza Yard to the West of the property. “While Covid has been devastating to our business, we are focusing on the positives and pushing forward with them to offer the Irish customer a unique seaside experience.”
Q 1- How does your normal day begin? – I’m an early riser and get up between 5 am and 6 am. The day begins with a cup of coffee while I check emails, appointments scheduled, social media and prepare my list for the day. My husband Patrick says I’ll be buried with a list!
Q 2- What are your biggest daily challenges? The biggest challenges I find daily are separating work from home life as we live on-site, so it is very important to step back and take stock throughout the day.
Q3- What do you love most about your job? I absolutely love working with my husband. We are incredibly lucky that we enjoy working with each other as we live and work together 24 hours a day!
Q 4- What do you do to relax? We love to go for a family walk on the Cahore Cliff Walk and on to South Beach which is right on our doorstep.
Q 5-Favourite staycation destination in Ireland and why? Home is where the heart is and we love to staycation in The Kingdom – Kenmare, Co.Kerry where my husband is from and where we spent most of our married lives living and working.
Q 6-Favourite holiday destination worldwide? Olhao in Portugal is our go-to as it is an easy hop with small children.
Q 7-Favourite Business motto? Never come to the table with just a problem…. always bring a solution to accompany it.
Q 8. Advice for young business entrepreneurs Don’t ever let negativity or failures dampen your spirits, it’s extremely important to experience setbacks as these are what will ultimately drive you forward and focus you to make the positive changes that need to happen.