“How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks”

“This book is about you. I’ll tell you my story but, make no mistake, this book is really about you. Whether or not you choose to put pen to paper in the future, I believe you are writing your own story one day at a time on the pages of history.”

My story of success could be your story.

I started out sorting cutlery at Clery’s Rooftop Restaurant in Dublin and today I own and run Carambola, a company which I founded in 2003 that has an annual turnover of €9.5m, employing 150 people who prepare and deliver over 37,000 healthy school lunches to school children all over Ireland every single morning.

In Feeding Johnny, I tell the story of my journey from polishing forks to running my own company. I offers lessons on how you too can build your own business or improve your career and achieve your dreams despite the inevitable roadblocks.

This is not the story of one of the charmed few, one of those high-flying billionaires who make success look easy. This is the story of a kid from Dublin’s north side who sweated his way up the career ladder to a job managing Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street before deciding I didn’t want to be an employee for the rest of my life, working weekends and holidays.

My first attempt at building my own business did not go well. I bought a Bewley’s franchise in Limerick, which was eaten by the Celtic Tiger, leaving me with massive debts. But I refused to give up.

Instead, I started Carambola with an order for twenty-seven lunches, and rose each morning long before dawn to make the rounds in my old delivery van to ‘Feed Johnny’.


Buy the Audio Book to hear Colm O’Brien reading Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks

*hard copy sold out

Audio Version €14.99



  • I was struggling with my decision to remain a second generation part of a family business that was bumping along the bottom for decades. I met Colm O’Brien and began to get clearer on the Life I really wanted for me and my wife and so gained the courage to make a change.
    It wasn’t easy. It hasn’t been comfortable, but it was the right decision. I am happier and more enthusiastic about my life
    than I have been for years


  • I read Colm’s book and it spoke to me unexpectedly. I knew my life was out of sync, but I didn’t know why. I was working very hard but all I seemed to be doing after years of effort was treading water. So I met Colm for a coffee. Now I have a plan. I know what the Life I Really Want Looks like. I have been honest with myself as to where my life and my business were when I started the process. I am happy, energised and on track.


  • My life was too busy. I had no time for me. Colm O’Brien had me stop and think and ask myself how I wanted my life to look. I did. I am now happier and more focused. I really believe I am on track to create the life I really want.



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