Aisling’s Story

Aisling spent years studying and working abroad before returning to her roots and settling back in her hometown of Sligo. She now runs a busy café in what used to be the family pub, The Punchbowl. It is located in the heart of Sligo Town and adjacent to the famous W.B. Yeats Statue, from where the café got it’s name. The family lived upstairs for a while when Aisling was younger and she has fond memories of helping out around the pub and the music for which the Punchbowl became well known for. Her parents were well-known business people in Sligo town. Kevin Kelly opened the Punchbowl in 1968 and Pearl ran Kay’s Boutique next to the pub and Downtown Boutique on O’Connell Street. Aisling studied Business and Tourism before travelling to San Francisco to see the sights and build her hospitality skills. Through her travels Aisling gained invaluable experience which ranged from the service industry to organising group travel and educational tours. In 2014, Aisling decided to open a café in the family premises and within a few weeks had renovated and upcycled anything of use, even the old bar counter remains in the coffee house today. On a personal level her fiancee Glenn introduced her to Oysters, their history, harvesting and Sligo Bay. For the last three years Aisling has been strongly involved with the Sligo Food Trail. She has been involved in Foodie Destination bids, attending Meitheal, trade show on their behalf with chairman Anthony Gray. She has recently completed the Acorn Programme, which she found hugely beneficial in planning the expansion of the business. Aisling is also a member of the Sligo BIDS committee.

Bringing all her experience on a professional and personal connections together. After almost 4 years of business, Aisling spotted a niche…and the Sligo Oyster Experience was born.