People & Perspectives, S1, E2 with Miceal O'Hurley and Oksana Shadrina
You. Hi. My name is Michael Mulcahy and publisher, of business cork and chairman, of cork Civic trust here, in Cork City and County in Ireland, we, welcome everybody to. Our shores to, invest in Cork to. Come as a tourist to Cork where, we have a great welcome for, everybody, I'm here. Today to, introduce you to people and perspectives, which will premiere on American. TV remain. With us for the journey see, all we have to offer and, hopefully. You will join us one day here, in the beautiful cork. Hi, there I'm Jonathan Healy you're very welcome to people, and perspectives we're, going to be speaking with an entrepreneur, with a diverse, and fascinating. Background along, with his wife Oksana me Haller Hurley is the founder of fantastic. Flavors, ice cream parlour in your in County Cork in the Republic of Ireland meori, very welcome thank you Jonathan that you have had one, hell of a year fantastic, flavors ice cream parlour was named one, of Ireland's best ice cream parlors, by the Irish independent by the Irish Sun by taste magazine, you, were named one of Ireland's four, great ice cream parlors by get out find out and you, and your wife Oksana, were winners of the, food awards Ireland 2017. Desert outlet, of the year and on top of all of that you, managed, somewhere, to, have a new baby blooded, and she's a lovely baby I met her a while ago tell, me a little bit about the year you've just had we can't be more pleased than with blonde I mean my wife was just, over, the moon it was a nice. Delivery both, of them were healthy, and she's flying we couldn't be more pleased she's a great little kid I met her a minute ago she really, is a bundle of joy thank you so amid all of that excitement of the new baby and yet all of those awards were you surprised, that fantastic flavors, got, all those accolades well, we were I mean almost. Every year since we started five years ago we've, been gaining more and more recognition. Customers. Seem to like us and we appreciate that customer, service is a big part of our business not. Only the artist and food but delivering, in a way that makes people happy and. Finally. Being recognized, by so many different publications, and winning, the food awards Ireland desert outlet of the year we, couldn't be more chuffed Awards, do make it a little easier don't they they really do um you, and, Oksana really, interesting background so I can't. Wait to talk about you but I really did want to talk about her first out. Of decency and respect and, for the person probably the brains behind the operation she, is tell me a little bit about her my. Wife's a remarkable, person she, was born in Ukraine, under. The Soviet system and Ukraine. Gained its independence so, it, went from a russian-speaking system, to Ukrainian, speaking the culture, change to became more Western, and. She. Went to business school got a master's in. Languages. She speaks German fluently in several of other languages, she. Became an HR specialist, and trainer for, Vodafone, Ukraine, and she's. Won many awards for, it and. We. Met in Kiev, we, dated, and nurtured. Our relationship, and we were lucky enough to get married and. Now. I have her by my side so, she really adds that customer service aspect, to, the food aspect which I bring to the table and it's a good fusion, and we've, had a great experience and a good time so at, what point did ice cream become the thing did the two of you realize hey, we can do something pretty creative here that isn't being done in the same way but anybody else I mean it's it's not the natural starting, point in a relationship never, mind a business relationship the, economy, kind of dictated what we would do my, background, is in politics, in the United States I worked in the United States House of Representatives United. States Senate worked. With the White House defense. And security analyst, none. Of which are ice cream related we know but, they're all located, in the deep American south in Washington DC gets very hot I bought, an ice cream maker at a car, boot sale in. 1983. And ever since then I've been honing my craft developing. My. Recipes. And people, seem to like my ice cream so, when the economy fell apart here in Ireland, after the Celtic Tiger I needed, to kind of reinvent myself so, turning. My hobby into a business seemed, like the natural thing to do and like, I said she brings great organization. Intelligence, and customer service skills so. It seemed to have worked out well for us now, you've kind of glanced over your own background a little bit there so let's talk about you, a little bit more you you served as a paratrooper in the 82nd, airborne where you got the distinguished. Trooper medal you, went on to serve in the JFK Special, Warfare Center as an elite Airborne, Ranger where, you got the, honor graduate, of your NCO. Academy class, you were decorated. For exceptional, heroism in combat with.
One. Of America's highest. Decorations. The Bronze Star Medal with valor you, served as legislative, assistant, and then later Council in the United States Congress you've, worked with congressional. And presidential campaigns. You. A few books including. The passionates, Jordan 2002. And you. Did a lot of philanthropic work, with universities. And colleges, and hospitals and so on and I think at, one point you and Oksana were described, by The Huffington Post as a, power, couple, they did, you. Have to wonder what about that writer how, did that crown sit on your show on your head I tell, you one of the great things about all, these accolades and winning all these awards is it, makes you wake up and do. Your best every single day because. No longer do people say there's, a Trier people. Say that person won an award and I expect, them to deliver a high quality of service and product every day so. It's brought a lot more pressure to our lives and so how have you used all of that experience, that we're all the experience, that you have from being a soldier to being involved. In the legislative process. Now. Ice cream how are you how are you using your skill set well let, me tell you as a soldier one of the things I learned as a sergeant is the search and eats last and when, you run a restaurant you make sure all the employees are happy they get fed first they get their break first so, a lot of those skill sets transfer. Those leadership skills, work. Whether you're a soldier in the field whether you're running a fortune, 500 company or whether you're running a small little cafe that makes handmade artisan, ice cream it's, all the same thing leadership happens, at every level of the game large. And small businesses and, nonprofit. Sector and in the profit sector, you. Our. Political beast in many ways you'd have to have been to have gone through all of those roles and and when you're working, in. Capitol, Hill when. You're there at Congress, watching, that process you, really get involved but it's high-pressure do. You miss it that that you're not there there. Are times where I miss it I turn on the evening news and I see the great drama the great important. Things happening, but, I always tell people I was a low person in high places I, I was a witness to great things I used to sit and see Ted Kennedy and Tip O'Neill sit. And have a drink and discussed, the old times I was, an observer to all those things not so much an actor, I played my small part but, I was very fortunate that very powerful, and influential people liked, me put, me on their staffs. And I had great experiences. And I. Hope I contributed, something in my public service and. When you look now at how government. Has changed and and almost, how, democracy. Has changed, I mean here happy that you're not there no. I I. Sometimes, feel a call, to do more and I think I should have done more because, fundamentally a government, is erected, to serve the people and I, think they've lost that focus, whether, it's in the United States or Ireland, or Ukraine or anywhere else in the world the, government's, role is to take care of its people and I, think the more we encourage, young talented, people to take up a role in public life and maybe.
Put Aside high earnings until later in life or high, earnings people leave, their careers and do, public service the. Better off the government will be in the better off society, will be one. Of the ways that you can get young people involved, is by getting them involved in charity, work philanthropic, work, getting them to. Experience, how others experience, like and you did that I mean that that's part of your journey as well and do we need to encourage young people to do that kind of thing more I think we do I mean I'm, a Roman Catholic I grew up in the pews you, see your parents put money into the plate they volunteer. You. Learned by witnessing. More. Than just reading and I, think one of the things we need to do is get, parents more involved, in society, so that their children see. That as a model and I think. The more we, withdraw, from that the more we let the Bill Gates Foundation's, good works that they do take. The leadership role and the less we expect, ourselves to, play and the, more we expect to get a holiday, out of a bike trip rather than actually just, sacrificing. And giving out of our pocket, to help a charity or local club. The. Lesser we are as people, giving. Changes. Who you are whether it's your time talent, or treasure and. I think it's something young people need to learn and they're only going to learn it from their parents so we need to model, that in everyday society, and promote it. And. Now a short commercial, break. We, hop on the train we, gotta play a, note down to your. I have to pay puff along we. All sang. Waving, out the, window as we go. Here we go. Or, County, or me, go. Where. The Sun always shines. When. I was looking back over all the things you did there, was one thing that stood out to me that I had to ask you a question about and it was. 2006. The. Armenian. Pope's fish head to the United States and you. Ended. Up as what the spokesperson, for the Armenian Pope I did I had. Worked on a couple Pontifical. Visits when Pope John Paul the second came to the United States and I. Was working with the, Armenian, Diocese of America. The Armenian, Church is amazing, there there's a story. That I'll retell, that. The, Armenian. Pope and. Pope. John and. Paul the sixth we're on the balcony, at st. Peter's Square, and, they're. Looking out and waving and the. Armenian, Pope says you have a great Church look at those people and Pope. Paul the sixth turn term says yes but yours is the Church of martyrs. The. Armenian people have been at the crossroads of the Byzantine, Empire, Persia. Of the, Greek Orthodox Church. Catholicism. The Protestant, Reformation they've. Paid a high price for their faith so, it was a great honor to be invited by them to help with that Pontifical. Visit he's a very interesting man the Armenian people are kind of like us the Irish, they. Lost 1.7. Million people at. The turn of the century after the Turks, decided. To, engage in what is widely acclaimed. To be a genocide, we. Lost millions of people in the 1840s, within gorta mór the great hunger some. People call it the famine so we have a lot of similarities. Although we have disparate cultures and, it was a great experience and I was proud to do my part let's. Bring the, story up, to right now and. While. You're in your this fantastic. Company fantastic. Flavors ice cream what. Brought you to Y all of all the places you could have gone to in Ireland why did he settle on this lovely, historic, town in he's cool if, anybody's, been to y'all the. First thing you're captivated, by is the ocean, the, Celtic Sea is there the shores are sandy, and long you, can look across the peninsula. To the head and and. Seat County, Waterford the, blackwater river sweeps, up through, the middle of Ireland, the Vikings, love the place because they could sail up the Blackwater, River to a third of inland Ireland, it was a great son Robert by the way they weren't coming there for any good well well I.
Think. We'll all agree on that, but you know there's a great history there st. Mary's Collegiate, Church was built in 1220. When, it was built. Henry. The 3rd was the King of England the. Mongol. Empire stretched. From China, to Eastern Europe Saint, Francis of Assisi was off on crusade. Bonaventure. Hadn't done his great theology. Yet so, when you think about all of those ancient things including. The lighthouse, at Alexandria still. Existing, one of the ancient wonders of the world st.. Mary's Collegiate Church was being built in y'all it, really is part of the ancient world and there's great stories, the last witch trial in Ireland was held in in, you all Florence, Newton. Oliver. But, there's a great affinity between that in the United States where the witch trials and the Puritans, Oliver. Cromwell came to Ireland is, the port if you all left through the port of you all there's, just great, interesting. Things about you all we're lucky to be there and it is a great, potential. Tourist, destination, of growing, tourist destination, as well and and you're, now part of that journey you're part of that experience, to get people to, come they're Americans, Europeans. Irish, everybody, as well I we say everybody's, welcoming, you all and there's two reasons y'all is on. The verge of doing wonderful, things with its redevelopment, its people, forget. The tourism, the people that live in you all day, in and day out 365. Days a year are, some of the nicest hard-working. Generous people you'd want to meet there salt of the earth and, then you have this great community on the beach a. Seaport. Whether. It's sailing, or history. Or culture the. Musical, events and you all are wonderful the, food culture is great and I'm glad to be a part of that we have Clancy's, out near. The lighthouse we, have a Hearne seafood, and townhouse which, has an international reputation, we. Like to think we do our part, there's a lovely cafes, like the coffeepot the Priory coffee, there's. Lovely things about you all what is it about, Ireland. I mean from your perspective. As. An Irish American when, you when you came and you live in the town now the. Importance, that's put on food the importance, is put on food. That is made, locally, on food that's grown locally I mean is. It hard to try, and explain that until, you experience it well you do have to experience, it you talk to any of the chef's whether. We make ice cream or a meal. Or seafood, or, whether the artists and craftspeople there's. Something about the Irish working with our hands living, off the land it's. It's part of who we are it's part of our experience, and it comes through and the food that we produce the craft that we produce the, Jameson, alcohol. That we produce at the distillery in Middleton, it's. Really, part of who we are and people who experience, it enjoy. It it's healthy, it's great produce I mean our dairy is some of the best in the world and I'm lucky I use Irish milk and cream every day something, other, chefs would kill for, when. We think of ice cream we, think of the gelato if you go to Italy and it's fantastic I mean America, you guys do ice cream Wow. Really well over. Here was a little bit of a slower build we, used to have one flavor of ice cream now we have Maddie so when, you're trying to introduce ice cream to the people of y'all wait. Were you as ambitious as you wanted to be initially, or did you just break everybody, into agenda well a lot of people have travelled to the United States a lot of people have traveled to Italy so they tried these products they weren't available at home. One. Of the things I think that helped as I love my children to name the flavors, we, have Smurf berry blast which is a bubble gum ice cream. Scarlett. O'hara's, peach ice. Cream we, come up with all these crazy names, and people love it or lemon fluffer Ella you, get a lemon ice cream that's really fluffy it's, a new experience for a lot of people so I mean you told me about buying your first ice cream machine it's. Not that easy I mean anyone who's tried to make ice cream knows it can go horribly wrong so I mean how did you get it how did you get it right well, almost, 30 years of experience helps.
The. Other thing is using good ingredients, it released. Arts with the, Irish milk and cream very, high quality we. Source all of our ingredients locally. Wherever possible. And, you'd. Call it artisan, and there's it there's it there's a good reason, why. Only certain ice cream can we call doctors well in legislation. We actually require that people make. It locally, in a small location, not for mass distribution the, person be of great high. Skill level and, experience it's. Not a style of ice cream it speaks to the maker, and. I'm proud to be called an artisan, how. Many flavors well. We say we have 42 flavors. And more. We. Kind of got tired of reprinting, stuff every time I go crazy I invent, a new flavor so. We. Actually, counted the other day we're up to 63, but, we say more than 42 flavors, and if that's not enough we don't know what to do and out of them out. Of the 63, what's. Your favorite I think. The mint chocolate chunk, I mean making, our own chocolate and making. These great chunks, as opposed to using, prefabricated. Chips using. Fresh mint which is distilled, from the. Local leaves that are grown great. Flavor it's, really pleasing, for everybody one. Of the ones I like the name of when, I was looking at the menu the Ori Ocean Oreo Oreo. Sheesh Mario is a great story I lived, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan Lee in the 1800s these were all Irish neighborhoods, they're Jewish neighborhoods, now I was, the only Catholic in the building I used to make ice cream for the local kids and there, was this old lady upstairs and. She said you. Know rabbi you know what's, this guy feeding is it kosher so he can down checked out my food and he thought it was great and actually. Ended up being kosher the way I made it by accident yeah more. Than design so, the little kids would dance around her saying Oreo Oreo, and she would say Oreo sheesh Mario, so. It kind of stuck over the years you. You've based yourself on your your life is in y'all now you've got a beautiful new daughter as we mentioned then you live in there with Oksana is that, home I. Knew. Your cur but let's face it you're. Always gonna be where I am for the rest of my life it's where my daughter calls home it's, where my children learn to swim and walk on the beach right. Horses, yola's. Home and I'm glad, to be part of that community but you're not denying, the world your 63, flavors, because you. Want, fantastic. Flavors to, become bigger well, we. Could approach my people all the time asking you know can we buy a franchise can, we do this and, I'm always torn between keeping. The quality keeping, it local and then sharing. It and teaching I had a great experience a few weeks ago a lad came down from Belfast and I taught him how to make ice cream I'm, about sharing, the craft kids. Can take an ice cream making class in our shop and we give them artisan, apprentice, certificates, because, I want them to learn not. Only about what we do it's not just as easy as pouring something that I'm pushing a button but. I want them to have respect, for food and the farmers, who. Grow, and, milk, cows and do everything as part of our food supply it's an important part of our fabric of life here in Ireland what's the dream where, do you want this to go I mean do you want all, of those lovely flavours being sampled all over the world do you want to keep at that nice, little niche where I buy it's it's an experience, if you get there you, have to make the effort well half of me wants it to stay local half. Of wants to go international, and the third half doesn't, no but. The truth of it is you know what I would love I would love at my wake for. People to come and say I had. The best times when I was a little kid sitting in fantastic, flavors with my parents, you know playing, the Brainiac game playing yo la Polly. Learning. About all the ice cream ingredients, making ice cream it, was part of my childhood it, was a great experience if.
That Happens, I'd, be a happy man to. All the Americans watching this right now you. Want them to come to y'all don't you I do we, make a delicious, ice cream called Donald Trump Alysha sits a fiery marshmallow. A. Lot, of fluff but. The truth that is everybody. Should come to you all we've got great flights 129. Euros. To go from, Boston. Providence Airport to, Cork Airport our, first, transatlantic, flights, which we are part of celebrating last year there's, never been a better time to, come to Ireland to experience, its culture especially. For young Irish Americans, who, don't, know the Ireland their parents, knew but, want to experience, the new Ireland our food culture and our historic traditional, call as well and there's, so much for them to see and we invite them all with, open arms be Ola Hurley it's been an absolute pleasure we wish you and Oksana and blonde and everybody, involved with fantastic flavors ice cream part is the very best thanks so much for joining us thank you Jonathan. And. Now, we get to speak to the other side, of the, partnership, Oksana O'Hurley how are you, thank. You how are you I'm, well tell, me about your. Journey to. Get to this point where you have. Been involved with fantastic, flavors, if me. Hull was making ice cream since he was a boy, when did you start I, was. Working in in. The big company with the phone Ukraine and when I moved to Ireland I joined the family. Business and I. Tried. To use my experience working, in customer service in a big company I tried, to use it in, family business and. It's. Fantastic, because. Because. It worked and I see the result every, day and I, really, like it Miho told us about how you met in Kiev right, and then he ended up in y'all what. A star like. It's. It's. Very nice town and, we. Really enjoy living there and it's, very nice living. With the baby because, I you. Know it's just, it. It's. The town that really gives a you know certain lifestyle. And it's. Really great for for a family, life and for having small business, there the company, has. Such huge potential I mean do you share that dream with me already, absolutely, yeah of course where, could this go ah, we. Actually we hope to open the same business in Ukraine because I'm from Ukraine so, for me it would be very nice to do it ah in my native country as well and. We. Hope franchise, the business in Ireland as well I've, met everybody now at this stage except. The most important, person we better being blonde with it with me oh. You. Are going to be so full of ice cream by the time you're 10. You. Coffee. Cakes and more. Beautiful. I. Remember. Middle. Of. Town we. Go. Maryana. And I'm bringing on the match on. On the train. I have to play puffin long we. All sang songs, wavin, out the, window, as we go. And we go. Or County, or me, go. Where does Oh No. Because I was five. I'm excited. It's a shovel. To Zippy's, balls. The. River Blackwater are, to give it its original. Name our. More. Ninh Asia rises. In the mountains, of sleeve lucre and the cork carry border. His. And inform, miles from source to the sea and, flows. Through the, towns of mallow, Fermoy, many DAF and Lismore, before. Turning sharp right at Kappa Quinn and that enters, the sea at all.
The. River is navigable as, far as Kappa Quinn, now. Our trip leaves, jetty, at y'all and sails. Past, Rhine. Crew, where. The Knights Templar, had their preceptory, in the 12th century under. Raymond, Lee Grove we. Also see, the ruins of temple. Mighty castle, Milana abbey, which. Was founded, in 501. And the. Magnificent, Valmet ray house. To. Book this trip on May which, is a 28, first half date port give. Me a call from Ireland, on Oh 8. 7, 9 w 8, 9. O 7, 6.