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14 year old entrepreneur lights up Shannon Duty Free

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*Darren Smyth, Head of Commercial at Shannon Airport and Evan Quaid. Photograph: Arthur Ellis

A fourteen year old Limerick student is the youngest entrepreneur to have his product placed in Shannon Duty Free.

Evan Quaid who hails from Castlemahon in west Limerick has become the youngest ever producer of an item at the famous Duty Free after Quaid Candles were put on stock in Shannon.

A former junior category winner in the National Student Enterprise Programme, he developed the product in November 2017. He messaged the Shannon Airport Instagram account late last year asking for the candles to be stocked in the store.

Head of Commercial at Shannon Airport Darren Smyth said that the airport was struck by his enthusiasm, entrepreneurship and the quality of the product after meeting him and his mother, Triona. “Evan is a remarkable young man and it’s already clear that he has a very bright future in business ahead of him. We were impressed by his enterprise in the first instance and then wowed by his enthusiasm and determination when we met him,” he said.

“He got the idea for the candle making business from his favourite YouTube vlogger, bought a candle making kit and it started from there. That’s the type of ‘can-do’ spirit that has epitomised Shannon over the years. We want him to be the first but not the last young entrepreneur to have their goods featured here and we would ask any others out there that are producing non-perishable items to see this as an opportunity for themselves.”

Evan expressed his delight at being stocked in the Duty Free. “I contacted a number of stores about stocking my candles and Shannon Duty Free came back very quickly, said they liked the idea and asked if they could meet my mother and I. I’ve read up about the history of Shannon Duty Free, that it was the first airport duty free shop in the world. The staff at Shannon have been really supportive and this is a really big moment for me. Aside from being a great place to have my candles on sale, this is great promotion for the candles also.”

According to Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy it is testament to its history of supporting local business. “In recent years we have put a significant focus on featuring local producers in the O’Regan Food Emporium and the Shannon Design section.  We currently have 50 Irish suppliers with over 100 different products on sale in the store and now we have Quaid Candles sitting proudly among them. In addition to his entrepreneurship, Evan has shown great enthusiasm and courage.  He’s been a pleasure to deal with and we are all in agreement here that not alone has he a really good product but we’re going to be hearing a lot from him in the years ahead.”

Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 13 and 18 years who would like to have a product considered for inclusion in the world famous Shannon Duty Free shop are asked to email youngentrepreneur@shannonairport.ie for an application form.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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