For many the middle of February represents a special time of the year with the celebration of Valentine's Day. However, the month marks a significant landmark for the team at Basilico; 10 years ago the Italian restaurant opened its doors to the world in Oranmore.
"When we started the business back in 2008, 10 weeks seemed a daunting prospect, never mind 10 years," laughs Valerie Woodlock of Basilico. "We opened Basilico at the beginning of the crash against the advice of family and friends. But we believed in what we were doing, offering the best product at the best price to a correct demographic, and all of those variables helped us succeed. To reach 10 years in business is very pleasing."
Owners Fabiano Mulas and Paolo Sabatini, who had gained a reputation in the Galway food industry, launched the restaurant in 2008, and Mrs Woodlock believes the pair's hardworking relationship and drive to provide the most authentic Italian dining experience while using the best quality food and ingredients has driven the business's success.
"Basilico can stand over the quality of product and ingredients we serve to customers. We import our own wine from Calabria which has been tailor made to suit our customers' tastes. We do our utmost to source our products and ingredients locally. We bought our farm this year and erected polytunnels, so we will be starting our own production of home grown vegetables. For us it is important to ethically source our food because it enables us to guarantee the quality of food that we serve."
And, of course, serving up great food is only half of Basilico's recipe for success, as Mrs Woodlock reveals that the restaurant sets itself high standards when it comes to customer service.
"Fabiano and Paolo believe you should serve food like you would serve it to your family; a customer coming into the restaurant should be treated like a guest coming into your home. The staff have been trained to Basilico standards, so if someone from the waiting team is not happy with the presentation of a dish, they are within their rights to send it back to the kitchen so the chef can present it the way it should be. We have very loyal customers and they deserve our best efforts whenever they come in for a meal."
To celebrate its anniversary Basilico will have a birthday week to mark the special landmark with customers and staff over the 10 years. "Guests can enjoy free prosecco in the restaurant, there will be little tasters for the customers to sample, and we will also serve cake as a birthday dessert.
"We have had the most incredible support from Oranmore. We could not be operating in a better community. It is real pleasure to be running a business in Oranmore."