Some Freshii investment for Dublin docklands’ CHQ

Dave O’Donoghue and Cormac Manning bring new Canadian franchise to Ireland

Another new store has joined Neville Isdell’s CHQ revolution, as the former Coca-Cola boss continues with his attempt to turn his docklands mall into a vibrant city hotspot.

Two former Aryzta senior executives, Dave O'Donoghue and Cormac Manning, have brought a new Canadian healthy eating franchise to Ireland.

Freshii, which was started by a 23-year-old in Toronto a decade ago, opened in the CHQ in Dublin on Tuesday.

Apparently, the area’s pinstripe-suited financial types are already queuing around the corner at lunchtime for its salads, juices, frozen yoghurts and the like. It certainly captures the green-living zeitgeist.


O’Donoghue and Manning, formerly the managing director for Ireland and the UK and the finance chief respectively of Aryzta’s Cuisine de France unit, have bought the master franchise for Ireland.

They signed the deal on St Patrick’s Day, shoring up its green credentials. They are operating the CHQ premises themselves, but hope to take on other franchisees. While waiting on the store to be fitted out, they installed a greenhouse in the window and enlisted a DJ to entertain the lunchtime crowds.

O’Donoghue says the plan is to open between 30 and 40 outlets over the next three to five years.

Freshii has about 160 outlets worldwide, but it is currently opening franchises at the rate of about two per week.

“We think the next franchised store in Ireland will open in October,” said O’Donoghue.

It is somewhere in Dublin, he said, but the chain is also seeking enquiries from potential franchisees in other locations around the country.

After leaving Aryzta in December, O’Donoghue and Manning burned a fair bit of shoe leather pounding the streets of North American cities in search of a franchise to bring back home.

“Health and wellness was one of the key trends we had identified in the food industry while we were at Aryzta. We spoke to six potential franchisors before we settled on one,” he said.

If kale and quinoa are your thing, it sounds like a Freshii concept.