The Gourmet Offensive’s story begins in Galway in 2005, when owner Flo opened a stall in St.Nicholas’ market in Galway City, selling falafel and fresh salads.
Flo’s love of food and passion for cooking began long before that however, when he took a job in the kitchen of a Mexican restaurant in his native Holland at the age of 14. The skills he learned here, combined with a love of cooking and growing food passed on by his parents, inspired Flo to make cooking his career.
Flo had visited Ireland with his family as a child, and always knew he would one day like to live there. After spending some time traveling in Mexico, he decided it was time to return to Ireland in 1999, where a random series of events lead him to Galway City.
He found his niche in the bustling Galway market with the falafel stall. The Middle Eastern snack was a popular street food in Holland, but it was still unfamiliar to many Irish people. But the people of Galway soon came to love Flo’s falafel and he gained a loyal following, some who still frequent the stall to this day.
The Gourmet Offensive became well known in Galway and farther afield, and Flo was soon catering at large weddings and events, as well as some of Ireland’s biggest festivals including The Electric Picnic and Body and Soul.
In 2008, Flo moved to an old manor house with large gardens, which he lovingly cultivated, growing organic salads for his stall. After a few years of growing, his garden became so abundant that it made sense to him to fulfil his lifelong ambition to open a restaurant. And so The Gourmet Offensive restaurant opened its doors in 2015.
Around this time he met his partner Eileen who shared Flo’s passion for food and the restaurant industry. Together they worked hard to establish The Gourmet Offensive as one of Ireland’s first completely plant based takeaways. Of course they serve Flo’s delicious falafel, but they have also developed a number of vegan alternatives to traditional takeaway dishes, finding creative ways to showcase the beautiful organic vegetables that Galway’s small farmers have to offer.
The second generation are now finding their feet in the restaurant business, working in the restaurant and in the market stall on the weekends.
The small family run business has braved a harsh 2020, like so many others, and is proud to have been able to keep their doors open and keep their wonderful team in employment.
They look forward to serving customers old and new in the months and years to come.