Bobby Kerr (businessman)

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Bobby Kerr
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Dublin, Ireland
Residence Sandycove, Dublin
Nationality Irish
Education Dublin Institute of Technology
Occupation Entrepreneur, Businessman
Known for Dragon on the Irish Dragons' Den
Title Chairman Insomnia Coffee
Spouse(s) Mary Kerr
Children Meghan

Bobby Kerr is an Irish entrepreneur and businessman. He is the Chairman of Insomnia Coffee Company. Recently he was a dragon on the Irish version of Dragons' Den, produced by Raidió Teilifís Éireann.[1]


Kerr's first job was in 1981 as chef/trainee manager in AIB Catering Ballsbridge. For two years he worked at the North Sea oil rigs, before working for Versa Food Services in Canada in 1984. While in Canada Kerr held Assistant Catering Manager positions in the CNE Stadium Toronto, Ottawa Civic Centre, Crystal Beach Amusement Park and African Lion Safari and coordinated the catering for Pope John Paul II's visit to Canada in 1985 for one million people.[1]

When he returned to Ireland in 1986 Kerr, took the position of Assistant Manager in Jury's Hotel Ballsbridge. He then took up the role of Catering Manager for Campbell Catering in UCC from 1987-1989. He took up various roles in Campbell Catering, then moving on to business and marketing for Contract Catering Company. In 1992, Kerr took on the role of Managing Director Bewleys Oriental Café, Bewleys Franchising and Bewleys Bakery.

In 1997 Kerr became Director of Development Campbell Bewley Group with responsibility for the overseas development of the Bewley Brand in the United Kingdom, United States and Japan. In 1999 Kerr set up PERK Coffee Shops. In 2003 he bought out Fitzers, who held 50% of the shares in PERK, and then sold Perk to Insomnia. Kerr reinvested all the proceeds of the Perk sale back into Insomnia and became a shareholder and CEO of Insomnia. Since 2004 to date Kerr has led the expansion of Insomnia from 17 to 50 shops and increased turnover from €5 million to €13 Million.

In 2008, he sold 51% of Insomnia to the Icelandic Penninn group valuing the business at €16 million.[2]

In 2009, he was a dragon on the Irish version of Dragons' Den.

In October 2010, he took over hosting of Down to Business, a business focused radio show aired on Newstalk, an Irish talk radio station. The former host was Mark Mortell.

Personal life[edit]

Bobby Kerr was brought up in Kilkenny where his father ran the family business, the 4 star Newpark Hotel. Kerr was educated in CBS Kilkenny and Castleknock College, Dublin and went on to study Catering Management at Dublin Institute of Technology.

Bobby Kerr currently lives in Sandycove with his wife of 20 years Mary and their four daughters Meghan, Emily, Rebecca and Michaela.

Kerr played for Bective Rangers in Donnybrook, Dublin for ten years.

In April 2011, Kerr spent time doing charity work in Zambia, building a house for a local family caring for AIDS orphans.[3]

On 7 November, Kerr revealed his cancer diagnosis of the head and neck.


  1. ^ a b Burke, Roisin (October 30, 2008). "'Dragon' hopefuls should expect strong words from coffee supremo". Independent. 
  2. ^ "The Irish Times: Insomnia coffee shop chain taken over". The Irish Times. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  3. ^ Build with Bobby - 2011 "Build with Bobby 2011" Check |url= value (help). 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 

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