Connemara seafood truck making waves along the Wild Atlantic Way, with support from BIM


A love story involving a Connemara woman and a Chilean man has resulted in the creation of an award-winning outdoor seafood eatery which is making serious culinary waves along the shores of the majestic Killary Fjord in Co. Galway.

Kim Young and Reinaldo Seco are the talented husband and wife team behind the popular food truck business, the Misunderstood Heron, which boasts creative seafood and specialty coffee against the stunning background of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Kim grew up in Killary and her family run the successful Killary Adventure Centre. “I went travelling for five years after college and met Reinaldo who was a kayaking instructor. We ended up in Dublin but didn’t want city life and had a dream to run our own business and we thought a food truck would work back in Connemara.”

The couple opened the Misunderstood Heron in 2017. It initially started in a small trailer but quickly expanded when word of its delicious seafood spread far and wide.

But the business has gone from strength to strength with a recent €63,000 investment supported by a €31,700 grant under the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme, recommended by the Seafood Taskforce established by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. and implemented by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

The scheme is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

The couple are passionate about the environment and the investment has seen the introduction of a state-of-the art bio digestor, which will see 85% all food and packaging waste becoming compost, dramatically reducing waste sent to landfill by an incredible 85%. In addition, upgraded facilities have resulted in more cost savings and less environmental impact.

“We also added new kitchen equipment which has allowed us to streamline our cooking process and have a higher food output.  We are using 100% bio-degradable single-use take away packaging and expect to increase our turnover by 6 % this year.”

The Misunderstood Heron is frequently named in the top food truck lists along the west coast and attracts huge business from both Irish and international visitors to its location at  the Killary coastal path car park at Derrynacleigh, Leenaun, 30 minutes from Clifden and Westport.

Locally caught fresh seafood tops the menu. “One of the most popular items on the menu are delicious mussels grown in the Killary Fjord in front of where we are based”, said Kim. “Our organic smoked salmon is also a big seller and we source from Cornamona Smokehouse and Keem Bay in Achill. Our delicious sourdough bread is from Cornrue in Westport. And our fisherman is John Joe Faherty in Renvyle. We change our menu every three weeks or so and what we offer depends on the season and what is available locally.”

Not only is the Misunderstood Heron supporting local and artisan food businesses, but it is employing ten people, seven who do the cooking and food preparation.

“We love the business and our work. In the beginning we both cooked but now Reinaldo looks after managing the food side of things and I look after the other aspects of the business,” said Kim.

She added: “We would not be here today without the support of BIM. When we first established in 2017 they supported us with benches and outdoor seating and advice on setting up a business. And the recent Brexit grant has made us more energy efficient and sustainable.”

The couple are especially proud about the steps they have taken tackling food waste which is key to achieving sustainability, helping combat climate change, and supporting the transition to a circular economy.

“Ireland is committed to reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 – in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our bio digestor applies a new way of composting and will allow us to eliminate our food waste which would normally be sent to landfill. It is a positive solution to Connemara’s lack of commercial food waste removal.”

The new dry loos work without water, sawdust, chemicals or electricity. Air circulates using temperature displacement and forced air flow with no energy consumption, just sun and air.

“We are looking forward to a really busy summer and to sharing the wonderful food the west of Ireland has to offer not to mention the magnificent views from our lovely location.” said Kim.