'It's a bittersweet day for me': Bobby Kerr is leaving his Insomnia coffee business

Over the last 20 years he has built the company into one of Ireland’s biggest coffee chains.

By Paul O'Donoghue

BUSINESSMAN BOBBY KERR is leaving the Insomnia coffee chain business he founded two decades ago to focus on other interests.

In a statement released this morning, Kerr said that he has agreed the sale of his shares to the other shareholders in the business.

He said that he will now focus on his broadcasting career. As well as his work at Newstalk, where he presents two shows, he is filming a documentary in the new year.

The businessman said he is also going to step up his activity in angel investments and non-executive board participation in small businesses.

Kerr helped found Insomnia 20 years ago, serving as its chief executive until 2010 when he became its chairman.

Insomnia is one of the biggest coffee chains in the country and has 150 stores across Ireland and the UK.

The company directly employs 400 people throughout Ireland in its company-owned stores, along with a further 350 people through its concessions and franchised stores.


“This is a very bittersweet day for me, Insomnia has been such a big part of my life for nearly two decades and I am very proud of what I achieved here,” Kerr said.

“I will miss the work and the people many of whom I have formed lifelong friendships with. However, I look forward to the next chapter for me and my family.”

He added: “It is fantastic to see Insomnia move forward, and to now have a strong presence in the UK market, and plans to open in further territories progressing. I will watch its continued growth with interest.”

Kerr’s departure will result in a reshuffle of the Insomnia board. John Clohisey, the group property director of BWG Group, will become the company’s chairman.

Current chief financial officer Barry Kehoe has joined the board of directors. Dara O’Flynn, the ‎international retail sales manager at Butlers Chocolates, has also joined as chief operating officer.

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