Caroline Keeling on managing a family business

Caroline Keeling on Managing a Family Business - Crowe Ireland

The Keeling family business started off growing fruit on a farm in in North Dublin in the 1930s. Three generations later the current CEO, Caroline Keeling, took over from her father in 2006 having worked her way up the ranks from when she joined the business in 1994.

Each generation has played a role in the expansion of the business into five divisions: Keelings Retail, Keelings Farm Fresh, Keelings Market, Keelings International and Keelings Solutions.

While most recognised as a popular consumer brand, Keelings also runs a successful technology arm, Keeling Solutions, which was born out of a need to develop an in-house IT solution to help manage their business. This bespoke technology not only improves efficiencies, adding to the bottom line, they also license the technology to other fruit producers in Europe and the Far East.

With a clear expertise in food distribution and logistics the company also manages Tesco’s fresh and frozen food distribution in the Republic and have developed Food Central, a dedicated food distribution park north of Dublin Airport. This cluster of food companies creates greater efficiency in the supply chain and helps reduce the cost of food transport and logistics.

Although Keelings’ success is clear, the dynamics of a family business can bring both challenges and opportunities. In an informative session, Caroline shares her insight and some practical tips on managing a family business and talks about her experience of working her way up.

Download a summary of Caroline’s presentation below. Crowe has a wealth of experience helping owner-managed family businesses, if you would like to find out how we can assist you please contact a member of our SME team