Gran Grans Foods

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Established in 2014 by Nigel and Magaly Murray in Loughrea, Gran Grans Foods offers a wide range of handcrafted quality products using only natural ingredients.

With years of experience working in Ireland and abroad, Gran Grans foods had won a place in the Irish Market with its traditional and innovative condiments, ranging from sauces, dressings to marmalades and chutneys.

What can you tell us about the early days and how it all started?

We moved to Ireland from Peru, where we had few businesses including the first Irish pub in Lima in 1997. In 2005 we moves to Ireland, Nigel started working as an executive chef in well known local hotels, but we always wanted to have our own business. The opportunity came in 2014 in the retail industry. We started with 3 traditional meat sauces: Apple, Mint and Horseradish, Nigel was in charge of preparing them while Magaly was in charge of packaging; hand writing the labels. We soon realised we have to create more seasonal products. After doing a market study and listening to our customers, we decided to add dressings to our range, then oils, chutneys, relishes and marmalades.

What were the high points and low points when you were a start-up?

The high points were the immediate support from the independent shops and acceptance from their customers. All that support gave us the confidence that we were on the right track. There is always low points when you start a business, in our case it was cash-flow. As a start up it is difficult to avail of credit from suppliers so all the ingredients had to be paid in advance, which meant that we could not grow as fast

What was your big ‘break-through’ moment?

Our big break through happened when we had financial support from family members. We invested in transport, production equipment and a labelling system which enabled us to develop new products and access more shops; by 2016 we were distributing to 280 shops nationwide. In 2017, we decided to work more on social media, networking and we did the Food Academy. [with the Local Enterprise Offices, SuperValu, and Bord Bia]

Your Local Enterprise Office (LEO) has supported your business. Tell us about these supports and what impact they have had?

From the moment we approached LEO Galway, our business has been going from strength to strength. Their financial help, mentoring and support has been invaluable for us. While it is true we had already done most of the ground work by ourselves, with LEO we had cemented our place as a Galway food producer, we keep growing and improving and have had the opportunity to try our products in other European markets.

Are you optimistic about the future?

We are very optimistic about the future. We are living in exciting times in the Gastronomy scene in Galway and we believe that if we keep producing quality honest products there is no reason why our business can't play an important role in the food industry in Ireland.

What’s next on the business agenda for your company?

At the moment we are concentrating on improving our facilities and developing a sustainability plan that will allow us to be part of Origin Green, Bordbia. At the same time, we are working on expanding our customer base to more supermarkets around the country.

What’s the best piece of advice you got about running a business?

As an entrepreneur you have to be ready to learn from every failure and to adapt to any circumstances. Keep positive. Believe in your capabilities. Everybody is born with a gift and with consistency and hard work you will achieve your objectives.

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