Susan Angley, pictured in Boojum, which has been open in Patrick Street for a little over a month Picture: Gareth Williams
SUSAN Angley walks up to me in the Boojum restaurant in the heart of Limerick city. With a beaming smile it’s clear she is proud of this place.
And rightfully so. As a born and bred Limerick girl, she has found herself in the role of area manager for Ireland’s west at a time when Boojum’s new Limerick investment is proving to be a hit in her home town.
Originally from Woodview in Limerick, it was matters of the heart that introduced Susan to the Boojum experience.
“My partner had found a job in Galway. I found myself commuting up and down from Limerick regularly. It was during these visits that I discovered Boojum.
“I was blown away by the staff. The food was exceptional, but the staff consistently stood out for me”, Susan says.
“The effect the Boojum staff had on my day every time I visited was so refreshing that I decided to write an email to Boojum telling them of my positive experience. I soon received an email thanking me for my feedback but thought nothing more of it”.
Eventually Susan decided that a Galway move might be best, a job came up with Boojum. She applied and a few weeks later was called to interview.
“At the interview I was asked a question along the lines of ‘have you eaten here often?’. I told them of my experience and the fact that I had been inspired to send them an email. There was silence at the other side of the interview desk”.
Susan’s email had been noted. So much so that it was circulated across the company.
“There were prizes given to staff; the email was pasted in staff areas around the country. Suddenly here I was interviewing for the role of General Manager for the very same store that had given me such a great experience”.
Since she got the job in November 2014, Susan’s clear passion for the Boojum brand is palpable.
“Boojum is about honest, fresh food. It’s friendly. It’s chilled out”, she says. “Our commitment to freshness is second to none”.
Boojum doesn’t use freezers or microwaves. All staff learn about the food, how it is prepared and how the slightest deviation can affect the taste the company strives to maintain.
The Boojum story is remarkable.
Since it was founded in 2007, the company now boasts 14 stores in all, six in Dublin, five in Belfast and one in Galway, Cork and now Limerick.
In 2015 the brand was acquired by Andrew and David Maxwell supported by a private equity firm. So, what makes it work?
“Great food, great customer experience and word of mouth,” Susan immediately answers.
“I encourage people to just try it once. Once you set foot inside the door you will get it. We put a huge emphasis on hiring the right people. We have one simple rule – to work here you must be ‘sound’. After that we can train you in any role. The impression that the staff make on our customers is so important.”.
The Boojum menu is small but is designed to allow our customers to design a meal to suit their own personal taste. For some, the first visit to Boojum might be slightly daunting but the staff are on hand to walk you through your first order.
Having also been part of the team who opened the Boojum restaurant in Cork last year, Susan confirms that the reaction to the new Limerick restaurant has taken the company by surprise. To the point that they company had to transfer extra staff from other stores to help meet the demand.
“I am so proud that we have been given such a welcome and really look forward to playing my part here in the coming years. I can see myself moving back to Limerick by the end of the year, so in a sense, my love affair with Boojum has brought me home!”
Boojum Limerick is located in Patrick Street. It is open from 11.30am to 10pm daily. For more information, visit www.boojummex.com