READY BUSINESS PODCAST: Standing Out from the Crowd with Tipp's Taco King
He's not from Tipperary - or Mexico for that matter - and he didn't grow up with tacos or a background in the restaurant business. But none of that mattered a bit to Philip Martin as his entrepreneurial career took off, firstly with the Little Ass Burrito Bar, and then with Blanco Nino, Europe's only high-quality, tortilla manufacturing plant, from Clonmel in County Tipperary.
"I grew up on a farm in north county Dublin in a family of six kids so you learn to be able to fend for yourself pretty early on!" laughs Martin. "I would have been the one wanting to get out and about and wouldn't have been that tied to farming."
Always one to think differently and think for himself, he ventured out on his own with the Little Ass Burrito Bar concept but, at the heart of it all was a nagging feeling that there was a gap in the market for a high-quality, locally produced corn tortilla.
It wasn't just a gap in the Irish market however, it was something that also needed to be addressed internationally. Trekking across Mexican corn fields to find out the secrets behind the process, Martin landed back in Ireland with only one aim: raising the funding to get an Irish tortilla manufacturing operation up and running.
One crowd-funded campaign which raised £124,000 and two years later, Blanco Nino is delivering Irish-made tortillas around Ireland and Europe. Sometimes it's the outside-the-box obsession that seems the most unlikely idea but ends up becoming one's most successful journey in business and life.
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