Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre Opens
6th September 2012
Locals Blown Away By New Look Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre
By Camilla McLoughlin - Tullamore Tribune
A SPECIAL preview night especially for locals to view the new-look Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre took place last Wednesday evening.
The large crowd were entertained with a live band, cocktails and canapés before being taken on the visitor tour.
Those who attended were blown-away by the new design which includes a spacious interior with high quality bespoke furniture and a rustic ambience that remains true to its origins as a 19th Century bonded warehouse.
The invited guests were then taken on the highly professional visitor tour with accomplished guides who bring the stories of the Irish Whiskey distilling process and Tullamore D.E.W to life and show- case the life and legacy of Daniel E. Williams, founder of Tullamore D.E.W.
Global Brand Director for Tullamore Dew Shane Hoyne said the new centre will be a phenomenal tool for the brand which is already in 40 countries around the world. 'We believe it is going to be a really important tourist magnet for the town. I'm very confident that this is the start of something that will really help the town and help the environment and it's up to all of us to make it a success.' he said.
Mr Hoyne continued that when he was asked what would make the centre a success he replied that it's not just this building it's everything that's wrapped around it, it's the town it's the effort of everybody in the community and we will help you with that,' he added.
He explained 'This is phase one of a two part project we are doing in Tullamore town we're very optimistic that in the next couple of months we will start construction on the distillery on Clonminch road and that is closing the loop on this brand. Bringing the whiskey back to Tullamore is a really important part of our vision in creating a global brand.'
He told the audience that as of this year Tullamore Dew is the fastest growing Irish Whiskey in the world, we're not the biggest but we don't need to be the biggest to be the best.' He thanked all those present and paid tribute to what he described as two Tullamore Dew Dynasties the Williams Family and the Jaffray family who he said in very different ways were at the heart of Tullamore DEW.
Ann Williams he said needs no introduction as her name is over the door.
'Bill Jaffray was a phenomenal part of our company over the years I truly believe that not only would this centre not be here today but for Bill this brand wouldn't be here today we really appreciate that and thank you.'
Speaking afterward Ann Williams said she was 'Utterly thrilled, I'm elated to see my great grandfather's name back on the door again and to see it so alive. I'm excited to see what it's going to bring back to the town of Tullamore. When we were sitting outside there having some photographs taken the tears were coming down my eyes, my dad would have adored it, he really would. But I think they've done a wonderful job, I haven't seen the tour intentionally I decided not to do any preview peeks because I decided to come on the day and see everything then, so I'm really really excited and I wish them every success.'
Brian Jaffray, son of the late Bill Jaffray, said he was very impressed with the centre. 'It's sad to think of dad who put his whole life into it, but in saying that the new owners have done a very good job. It was very touching that Shane mentioned dad. The family were delighted and it will leave a legacy for a lot of people in Tullamore and hopefully dad's name will be included in that. It's sad to think dad died in March and a week later they announced that the distillery was reopening but it is a magnificent place and it will be of great benefit to the town.'
Meanwhile the former Chairman of the Board of Directors Tadgh O'Brien was also delighted, 'It's a great attraction for the Midlands they have spent a lot of money and we are very fortunate to have a company like that moving into Tullamore. It's great for the town and very professionally done. I hope business people and various traders, will see the potential that is there. It's sad that the late Bill Jaffray didn't see it happen.' Mr O'Brien paid tribute to the staff saying it's great to see them and he also thanked the Historical Society for their support over the years.
Former Bar Manager Martin Rattigan, said 'it's stunning, I think the way they maintained the character of the building but yet giving it a modernised twist is terrific. It looks as if everything has been here for years, yet everything is new, it's absolutely brilliant.'
Manager of the Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre, is local woman Mary Hensey who was also delighted with the transformation. 'We will eventually be opening a cafe to the public selling tea, coffee, pastries and soup. Then in the long term we are hoping to serve lunches. We are also looking at hiring it out for functions,' she said.
The Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre opens from 9.30 - 6pm Monday to Saturday and 11.30 - 5pm on Sunday.