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

Chairman

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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Sean Francis

Commercial Manager

Born in Birmingham, Sean originally embarked on a very different career path. In 1988 he became a professional footballer at Birmingham City and continued on this journey throughout the next few years, playing with Telford UTD, Northampton Town FC, Cobh Ramblers and Shamrock Rovers. Fast forward a few years and Sean entered the coffee industry after a change in direction. After a few years gaining invaluable experience, Sean was directly offered a role in Java Republic by founder David McKernan. For the next 6 years he worked his way up within Java Republic from Business Administrator to Operations Manager and finally to Operations Director, roles which developed in him a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the business.

Sean is now the Java Republic Commercial Manager, meaning that he has a very all-encompassing role within the company. He is directly responsible for each of the company’s Area Sales Managers, while all the time providing leadership towards maximising profitability and growth in line with Java Republic’s vision and values. Sean works closely with all of Java Republic’s partners. His years in the coffee industry and the depth of his knowledge means that he is expertly equipped to help you and your business thrive from a hot beverage perspective.

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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

Distribution 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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Denise Hayes

Quality Manager

With a background in Food Science and with a Masters in Food Safety Management under her belt, Denise Hayes has been working in the food industry since 2001. For 11 years she gained considerable experience in the industry, specifically in Quality Management, working for renowned brands such as Odlums, Kerry Foods, Freshways and Olhausen’s.

Denise started working in Java Republic in 2012 and since then has been entirely responsible for Quality Management. Quality is at the forefront of everything Java Republic does, therefore Denise’s role comes with significant responsibilities, which she manages with the upmost professionalism. Not only that, but within the company she has also taken on the role of Health & Safety Manager and Sustainability Manager. A lot of the success we have had with our sustainability projects is due largely to Denise, who has been a true champion on this subject from the get-go, continuously driving new initiatives and seeing them through from initial concept right through to completion.

Denise’s passion for Java Republic means that she is always looking to upskill and find new ways in which she can add value to the company. She has become an SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) Sensory Professional and has trained as a coffee taster. Every morning her day starts with taste-testing every batch of coffee that is due to be sent out to our customers. On average Denise and her team drink 381 coffees and 1254 espressos every year during morning tastings alone!

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Ashley Meegan

HR Manager

Ashley initially studied Marketing and Business Studies in college, complimenting this with a degree in German. Having finished college, she then chose to follow the path of human resources because of her love of working with people. She has always had a passion for interacting with others, helping and supporting when needed and in finding new ways to bring joy to others in the workplace.

Throughout her 18 years of HR experience, she has worked with diverse national and global organisations such as Polo Ralph Lauren, UPS, Bose Manufacturing and DotMobi to name but a few. She has developed herself as a strategic partner, balanced with a solution-focused approach to leading organisational change and development, while maintaining a hands-on approach to the engagement of people. She has a strong but open communication style which has served her well on boards of management.

On a personal level, Ashley is an extremely empathetic person which enables her to support her colleagues along their paths of progression.

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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.