Laois Chamber Alliance CEO, Caroline Hofman, caught up with Aubrey Hutchinson, Owner of Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services.
Tell us a bit about Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services and why you decided to establish your business?
I am the founder of Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services. I obtained my professional license in 2010 but didn’t see a clear gap in the market until 2022 when I established Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services.
I am a keen car enthusiast and have had a career in dealing with the public. A position combining the two roles is what I am striving for. Interacting with individuals and groups as I show off our little country gives me great job satisfaction.
I appreciate the little details and touches that are needed to give each passenger a quality service.
Irish people have grown accustomed to high quality in both products and services and Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services aims to meet this level of demand.
I am also a Laois man born and bred and I am very proud of my county. I think that as both a tourist and work destination it is greatly under rated and I would like to promote its qualities and attributes.
When was Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services established, and how has your business evolved and grown since then?
Abbeyleix Chauffeur Services was established towards the end of 2022 so we are still in the early stages of growing the business.
We have had a great response from the local community from both corporate and individuals. Our guided experience side of the business is going from strength to strength and it is the area that we are most focused on right now. Airport transfers are also proving to be very popular.
Our social media presence has grown over the few months as word spreads of our business reliability and comfort.
What makes your business stand out?
Our attention to detail and interpersonal skills. We pride ourselves on the attention we give to our clients both in service and communication.
The little personal touches such as snack packs for airport transfers make the chauffeur experience a bit more special. The car is in immaculate condition to transport our customers in comfort and style.
We are also very reliable. If we are booked for a certain time we will be there.
We take great pride in our local area and do our best to promote Laois and its surrounding counties.
We offer a range of experiences and we are not just catering for nights out.
We cover airport runs and weddings but we are also registered with Discover Ireland for Guided experiences which is the area we hope to develop over the next year.
For anyone looking to work, visit or invest in Laois, what would you say are the best things about being located here?
Its centrality! We are only about an hour from Dublin, Limerick and Waterford, and about two hours from Cork and Galway.
Now that remote working is the norm it makes living in this area a lot more attractive for commuting and affordability.
We are surrounded by historical areas of interest such as Emo Court, Rock of Dunamase, Abbeyleix Heritage Town, Timahoe Round Tower and Heritage Centre, Heywood Gardens, Slieve Bloom mountains, Glenbarrow Waterfall, and the Stradbally Steam Museum.
We are also privileged to have a number of forest, river and bog walks on our doorstep. And not forgetting one of the oldest pubs in Ireland, Morrissey’s of Abbeyleix. This is just a small sample of the tourist spots in the county.
What is your favourite place to visit in Laois, and why?
In order to meet the locals and relax in traditional surroundings, then Morrissey’s Abbeyleix is the place to be.
They have refurbished the premises and brought it back to its former glory. It is renowned around the country for good reason.
I like to slow down at the weekends. My family and I take frequent strolls along Abbeyleix Bog Walk where you can experience the tranquillity of a biodiverse environment along a well maintained safe track and boardwalk.
It’s ideal for families, pets, and nature enthusiasts, while a stop in at Polly’s at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel for a post walk treat and coffee is a must.
Timahoe heritage village is also another lovely place to visit with its heritage centre and 12th century round tower.
Visit www.abbeyleixchauffeurservices.ie to find out more.
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Laois Partnership – Public workshops
Laois Partnership Company are hosting free public workshops and they want to hear from people living and working in Laois.
They are currently preparing for the new LEADER Programme (2023-2027), and are putting together a local development strategy.
Have your say at upcoming public information sessions in Borris-in-Ossory on 14th March, Mountmellick on 22nd March, Ballinakill on 23rd March, and Portarlington on 25th March. Find out more here.
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Best Workplace Awards
Congratulations to Laois Chamber Alliance corporate member, the Midlands Park Hotel, awarded the Best Workplace for Women Award recently with Great Place to Work Ireland.
They also won two accolades recently at the Great Place to Work Ireland Awards; the Storytelling Award and awarded as one of Ireland’s Best Medium Workplaces.
Electric Vehicle Dealership awards
Laois business Joe Mallon Motors were the Leinster winner at the prestigious Electric Vehicle Dealership of the Year awards held in Dublin recently.
Laois Jobs Fair
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SEAI Support Scheme: Have you availed of the SEAI Support Scheme for Energy Audits, with a €2,000 voucher towards the cost of a high quality energy audit. Application to the scheme is easy, with automatic approval for eligible businesses. Apply here.
TRADING ONLINE: Trading Online Voucher Scheme with Local Enterprise Office Laois – An information session on the scheme will be held online on 3rd April from 10am to 12.30pm. Register your free place here.
Upcoming Events and Training
SHINE IN EMO: Have you registered to exhibit at this year’s Shine in Emo event, taking place on Saturday 27th May 2023 in the historic surroundings of Emo Court and Parklands? With up to 5,000 attendees expected over the course of the day, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase your business, products and services. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register!
CERTIFICATE IN LEADERSHIP: Certificate in Leadership and Operational Management NFQ Level 8 with Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet – This programme is 100% funded and is open to employees and companies in Laois. Register your interest here.
SEE ALSO – Check out previous interviews on our Business Briefing her