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In a small premises in Limerick City in 1914, local gentleman JJ O’Toole Ltd. began trading, supplying packaging and branded stationery to local businesses. The business thrived and having survived the First World War and Ireland’s fight for Independence, JJ O’Toole Ltd. had built a reputation for packaging of exceptional quality, delivered with excellent customer service. When JJ decided to retire from the business his son Jack stepped in, taking the reins of the family business and making changes, including moving to a new premises in Dooradoyle in 1978.
Fergus O’Toole succeeded his father Jack upon his retirement and became the company’s third-generation Managing Director. Fergus brought the company into the 21st century in a new, modern, state of the art facility in Raheen Business Park where warehouse and office were combined. It was here in 2002 that the business was dealt an almost crippling blow, with news of the introduction of the plastic bag levy. The market changed overnight, and plastic packaging became a thing of the past. Vicki O’Toole joined the business at this time, to assist her husband in the redevelopment of the company.
Vicki became the first female MD of JJ O’Toole Ltd. when Fergus retired in 2008. Vicki worked tirelessly to revamp the business, and establish JJ O’Toole Ltd. as a significant supplier in the packaging market. Learning as she went, Vicki not only managed to return the company to its paper packaging roots, she expanded the company’s product range to offer extensive packaging solutions of both paper and plastic in the industrial, retail and food sectors, as well as an in-house graphic design service, free to all clients. In 2010, Fergus sadly passed away and again, the future of the company was uncertain. Vicki however made the choice to focus on building on the legacy of the company and concentrated on winning contracts. With JJ O’Toole Ltd. now being Ireland’s leading supplier of packaging and counting companies such as Selfridges, Newbridge Silverware, Avoca, Fenwick, Lloyds Pharmacies, Musgrave Group and Brown Thomas among their loyal customers, Vicki’s hard work speaks for itself and this hard work was recognised when Vicki won Image Magazine’s Business Woman of the Year 2011.
The company celebrated its centenary in 2014 – a milestone that Vicki and the team are very proud of. With 100 years of experience and expertise on their side, the future looks very bright.