OK Fuels was started and owned by father and son, Gerard and Bernard O’Keeffe. They established the business in 2012. Bernard started the business when he saw the opportunity to turn the off cuts from his father’s pallet business into a new business supplying kindling and firewood for the burgeoning market in closed stoves. The application to Waterford LCDC was successful under the LO Rural Enterprise Development Strategic Action 2.1 Capital Investment in existing and start up technology, graduate orientated rural businesses.
The business has gone from strength to strength. Their customers include some of the large multiples. In order to copper fasten their sales into this market they had to be in a position to supply properly kiln dried fire wood, and kindling, as modern stoves to operate efficiently, cleanly and in an environmentally sound manner require fire wood with a low moisture content.
In order to meet the needs of the market, they purchased and installed an industrial scale kiln dryer. This investment has formed part of a process where the business has geared up in terms of capital and human investment to meet the needs of the market.
O.K. Fuels have from a rural location through shrewd investment, improving in-house systems, and taking a targeted approach have developed a very good all year round business from what was the main businesses by-product.
The investment has secured market share, has turned 3 part time jobs into fulltime positions, and has added another 2 fulltime positions to the roll.