05 Feb Sirocco’s Italian Restaurant
We recently had the pleasure of meeting Paula Moran-Tahraoui and her sons Sami and Adam Tahraoui at their restaurant Sirocco’s. The restaurant has been open for nearly 20 years and it is an intrinsic part of the Tullamore community. Sirocco’s is not just a restaurant but also a place where memories are made. Members of the local community have grown up here with Sirocco’s being a part of all the major moments in their lives; from Christening Parties to Engagement celebrations. This became easier in 2007 when the business expanded to include an upstairs section that seats 26. Therefore it is perfect for private parties.
Paula is more than just a restaurant owner. She is also a pillar of the community providing support and a listening ear to many of her patrons. Not just a place of employment, Sirocco’s also acts as a type of extended family. Some of the employees have been there for more than 16 years and even refer to Paula as “Mammy”. They strive to provide excellent customer service with customer feedback being encouraged and welcomed through comment cards, and social media. Sirocco’s are an active member with the RAI. They have also won numerous awards, including just this year winning Best Restaurant Manager and Best Wine Experience.
The family team runs the restaurant and are constantly looking for ways to improve and expand. This future focused family are always improving and expanding their business. Paula’s sons, Adam and Sami, have recently started their own business ‘Dari Bros’. This fills a niche in the market for healthy and vegan options. The Dari Bros Meal Prep Co. launched in February 2018 and operates out of Sirocco’s. They provide lean, healthy meals to sporting organisations and individuals.
Paula believes in allowing the younger generation to have their input and keep the business moving forward. One of their most recent ideas is to introduce a “Sirocco’s Express” product. This idea came from the outstanding success of the restaurant’s take-away option. “Sirocco’s Express” focuses on their top 5 bestselling pasta dishes which are pre-cooked and ready to be re-heated at home. They even have the potential to sell these products to other local businesses, further supporting their local economy.
Paula constantly has ideas to improve her business. GRID is always at her side to help her fund her visions. One of her goals was to update her 12-year-old takeaway menus. The takeaway aspect of the business had great success, but the menus just weren’t fulfilling their full potential. Paula knew exactly what she wanted from her new menus. The funding she received meant she was able to have them purpose-built. Her new takeaway menus give a rustic Italian vibe while still incorporating the restaurant’s Irish roots. GRID’s funding also allowed Paula to improve her cash flow, meaning that she could invest in the future of her business. Paula found GRID’s cash advance “simple, fast and easy” and commented “I never really had to think about it. It just worked with my business!”