david-mckernan

David McKernan

Founder

David McKernan has coffee running through his veins. A passionate and entrepreneurial man, David has successfully managed to create what is one of Ireland’s most successful brands, while at the same time being a dedicated family man and sports enthusiast….no mean feat!

Having caught the coffee bug at a young age, he wanted the world to share his passion for coffee, so he set up his own roastery in 1999. From day one it has gone from strength-to-strength, due largely to the fact that David has always stuck steadfastly to his principles. Quite simply, he wanted to deliver a premium coffee experience, but wanted to do so in a way that was ethical and sustainable, regardless of the cost.

David works closely with some of the best experts in the industry and by doing so is now in a place where he can step back and spend time hunting down new innovations and ideas, but most importantly dedicating his time to his wife and kids. Tennis is his other passion. He prides himself on being “one of the best players in Ireland”! He gives generously to sporting youth groups as he strongly believes that fostering talent at a young age is vital.

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Grace O’Shaughnessy

Managing Director

Grace is qualified in Food Science and Business Management. She has a wealth of experience in the Irish Food & Beverage Industry having previously worked with LIR Chocolates and Kylemore Foods in senior operational management positions. Grace recently completed an Executive MBA from Dublin City University.

Grace joined Java Republic in 2006 and quickly established herself as an integral part of the company. Within a short space of time, she became Managing Director and since then directs all aspects of the business and holds responsibility for driving the future direction of Java Republic. Over the past 18 months, Grace has focused more on the strategic future and commercial agenda of Java Republic including entry to new verticals such as travel, hospitality solutions and larger customers where she holds many of the key relationships.

Now with a team of over 70 people, Grace has commenced a journey to position the entire business to deliver the business plan for growth, building a culture of high performance, accountability and responsibility. She is passionately committed to driving and mentoring her team along the way.

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Jeffrey Long

Finance & Operations Director

Since graduating from NUIG in 1998 and qualifying as a CIMA management accountant in 2000, Jeffrey has built up a wealth of experience in the food and beverage industry over the last 20 years. His first foray into the industry was with Diageo where he worked for six years in various functions within the group covering commercial finance, financial accounting and manufacturing. Jeffrey subsequently moved into a role with H&K International which saw him focusing on operations, cost accounting and transfer pricing during his four year tenure.

Jeffrey’s strong interest in the Food & Beverage Industry, along with consumer brands, led him to Java Republic in 2008. Initially he had responsibility over the finance function and his role also saw him supporting and managing various aspects of the business through its growth. In the last few years, Jeffrey has taken on responsibility for all aspects of operations such as procurement, logistics, production, service, quality and Java Republic’s two cafés.

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Stephen Twaddell

Business Advisor

Stephen joined the Board of Java Republic in 2012, becoming Non Exec Chair in 2014. He is formerly President of Kellogg Europe having spent 26 years with that organisation in a variety of commercial roles across EMEA.

He is now an investor and board member with a number of food and drink companies based in the Irish market who are seeking to scale domestically and internationally. He is also Chair of The Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company, Non-Executive Director of East Coast Bakehouse, board member for SiSú Wholefoods and Chair of the Hban Food Investor Syndicate. In 2013 he founded his own Executive Coaching Business and he currently works with a number of blue chip clients across EMEA including Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Lidl & Aryzta.

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Damien Smyth

Head of Foodservice Sales

Damien has worked in the Foodservice and Wholesale Industry for over 20 years. Throughout this time, he has had the experience of leading small and large teams of professional salespeople to succeed and achieve both the goals of the companies they represent, as well as their own personal goals. He is a big believer in nurturing talent to its full potential and has proven his passion for this in his leadership of high-performing teams.

What Damien loves most about the Foodservice Industry is the fact that it is a fast-moving sector were no two days and no two customers are the same. He enjoys working with professional entrepreneurs to help them get the most from their business. Working with some of the leading companies in Foodservice over the last two decades has given Damien the opportunity to work with all the different customer segments from a two star Michelin Restaurant right through to a food truck at Electric Picnic as well as companies operating in production and wholesale.

The quality of the products and the values that the brand represents is what initially attracted Damien to Java Republic. In joining the team here, he is looking forward to working with our valued customers, supporting them, and adding value to their business, while at the same time growing the Java Republic market share throughout Ireland.

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Ronan Fleming

Finance Manager

Ronan Fleming is the Finance Manager at Java Republic and a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He joined Java Republic in 2014 following a successful career in the Financial Services industry, having worked at KPMG and Grant Thornton.

Ronan’s previous audit experience and team leadership skills has allowed him to develop a competent and efficient Finance Team within Java Republic. His project and change management training and experience has allowed him to step outside his finance role and lead company-wide projects in IT and change management. His genuine enthusiasm for the coffee industry ensures Ronan will always approach his work with energy.

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David Adams

Operations Manager

David has always had an interest in the F&B industry, having graduated with a Food Science degree from UCD in 2006. He has a strong background in Food Safety, Quality Assurance and Technical Management, having gone straight into working with large brands such as Irish Distillers from the get-go. 

David moved exclusively into the coffee industry over 10 years ago. Initially maintaining his role in Quality & Technical, David soon found he had a talent for logistics and was given the opportunity to move into this role in a permanent capacity.

In 2013 a role became available within Java Republic to join the team as Distribution Manager. This was a great opportunity for David to continue his passion with a leading Irish brand that was going from strength-to-strength every day. Within this role, David has responsibility over a number of key departments and processes, from warehouse storage and product distribution to stock management and product procurement. He has developed an all-round knowledge of coffee and uses this, along with his past experiences, to successfully lead a busy team to deliver high quality targets every day.

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Sean English

Café Manager

Sean English has extensive experience in cafés and restaurants, having worked in the industry for almost 25 years. His initial ventures into the world of F&B included stints with leading groups such a Eddie Rockets and Luigi Malone’s. His passion for cafés in particular however started in 2000 where he became part of Café Sol, a place where his hard work and dedication eventually saw him take on the role of Group Operations Director for a chain of cafés that he helped grow from 3 locations to 13 locations in the Dublin area.

In 2015 the opportunity came about for Sean to work for Java Republic. Sean was already aware of the brand and the quality of the coffee through his previous experience, therefore was eager to work with the company at an exciting time, leading the roll out of the cafés as brands in their own right.

For Sean, this was a great opportunity for him to be involved with the whole coffee process, from the farmers right through to the final consumers. He had always had a love of coffee, from his first forays in trying to make layered lattes from his first job in the industry, right through to 2015 when his taste buds were reawakened by the continuous innovation of the Java Republic team.

The first Java Republic Café at 37 Molesworth Street opened in December 2015, followed shortly afterwards with the café at our head office in Ballycoolin in January 2016. Sean is solely responsible for the management of both cafés and continues to do them proud every day. Highly respected by all of his staff, he is always staying ahead of the curve when it comes to reinvigorating and refreshing the experience for customers in both cafés.

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Jolanta Turowska

Production Manager

Jolanta moved to Ireland from Poland in 2006. In the same year she joined Java Republic as a General Operator. For 4 years she worked with the Production Team, fully immersing herself, not just in all of the processes involved in the Java Republic Roastery, but in the entire world of coffee, from bean to cup. In 2010 she was first introduced to the technique of hand-roasting, and from there she never looked back. In 2016 she became the Production Manager, leading a hard-working team to be the best they can every day, ensuring that our customers always get the highest quality of coffee possible.

Jolanta is by nature a very passionate person and this can be seen in her continuous drive for quality and efficiency. It was this passion that led her to complete an SCAE (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe) Diploma at professional level in 2 chapters – Sensory and Roasting. She was the second person in Ireland to receive the Roasting Professional Accreditation, and the first female roaster ever in the country.

What Jolanta loves most about her job is “the people behind that machine….preparing the best coffee for you”. She likes to do things differently and loves the fact that no two days are the same when you are one of the country’s leading coffee roasters.

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Tracey Kelly

Galway Office Manager

Tracey originally studied Business Studies in Athlone Institute of Technology. Having grown up working in the family business, she started gaining experience from a young age. After college she continued to work in a wide range of businesses, giving her a thorough understanding of multiple industries. She later went on to study Accounting while working and became a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She received her first real taste of the Food & Beverage Industry when she ran a hotel, bar, nightclub and restaurant in Athenry for 6 years.

Tracey has been working in the coffee industry since 2011, when she joined Galway Bay Coffee in the West of Ireland. Galway Bay were distributors of Java Republic coffee until 2018 when we took over the running of that part of Ireland from our HQ in Dublin. Now directly working for Java Republic, Tracey has full responsibility of the day-to-day running of our Galway office in Oranmore. She is front facing, working with customers every day to ensure that a premium service is delivered at all times.

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Ann-Marie Gorman

General Manager Java Republic South West

Originally from London, Ann-Marie has gathered a wealth of experience in different industries throughout her career. Her journey started in Fraud Accounting back in 1992, in a role with the Crown Prosecution Service. From here she made an exciting move into the entertainment industry in 1996, a move that saw her working in accounts for London’s famous West End and some of the UK’s most well-known celebrities!

After working in this industry for a number of years, she expanded her knowledge and experience by joining Mentor IMC Group, a project management and resourcing company for the Energy, Oil & Gas, Renewables, and Infrastructure Industries. Here Ann-Marie gained exposure in researching and preparing global tenders, as well as preparing payroll and taxation internationally.

It was in 2005 that Ann-Marie made her biggest move yet, relocating from bustling London to tranquil Clonakilty in West Cork. For her it was the perfect lifestyle change. “Clonakilty has a great community spirit, and we are so lucky to live so close to some fantastic beaches and wonderful open spaces”. It was here, in her local bookshop window, that one day she stumbled across an ad for a role with The Island Beverage Company, who at the time were the exclusive distributors of Java Republic in the South West. The rest as they say, is history. 16 years later Ann-Marie is proud to be General Manager of Java Republic South West, with Java Republic having acquired The Island Beverage Company in full in late 2020. Her role sees her sitting across all aspects of the business, from accounts and customer service, to quality, training and more. Day-to-day Ann-Marie loves “working with a great team of people who share a passion to serve high quality coffee within the South West of Ireland”.