green saffron

Spice Odyssey: Green Saffron's Global Flavor Fusion

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Updated on March 20, 2024

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‘Ever wondered about the journey of exotic spices from the East to your kitchen?

Green Saffron, an award-winning family business based in Ireland, offers a unique ‘Spice Odyssey’ that’s not just about global flavor fusion, but also ethical sourcing and sustainability.

They’ve moved from local farmers markets to partnerships with big names like Tesco, all while maintaining a commitment to authenticity and quality.

As the company continues to grow its brand and influence globally, one can’t help but ponder – what’s next in this exciting spice-infused adventure?’

Green Saffron’s Founding and Growth

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5ihIN4p6AA

Established in 2004, Green Saffron started as a humble family business in the music industry before successfully pivoting to the food industry. Its commitment to quality and value quickly won it a loyal customer base, triggering a period of rapid growth.

With its family legacy in business, the company found an innovative way to differentiate itself in the market. By sourcing fresh spices directly from India, Green Saffron was able to create unique spice blends that appealed to a wide customer base.

Despite its humble beginnings, Green Saffron’s unique market differentiation strategy has allowed the company to continuously grow, doubling its turnover year on year, and expanding to new markets. The company’s unique blends and commitment to quality have solidified its place in the food industry.

Farmers Markets to Global Markets

green saffron

Building on its humble beginnings at local farmers markets, Green Saffron has impressively scaled its operations to reach global markets. This wasn’t a mere stroke of luck, but the result of strategic market expansion, anchored by unwavering customer loyalty.

The company’s unique spice blends have sparked a revolution in culinary creativity, with customers worldwide relishing the flavorsome fusion. By sourcing fresh spices directly from India and blending them into delectable mixes, Green Saffron has elevated everyday cooking to an art form.

Its growth from local markets to international prominence is a testament to the power of quality products and consumer trust. As Green Saffron looks to the future, it continues to spice up global cuisine while maintaining its commitment to exceptional quality.

Phase Two: Scalability and Integration

Entering the second phase of their business journey, Green Saffron shifted their focus to scalability and vertical integration strategies. They began implementing scalability strategies that allowed for increased production without compromising their commitment to quality. Enhancing their manufacturing capabilities, the company could now handle larger volumes, thus meeting growing customer demands.

Simultaneously, Green Saffron adopted integration tactics to control all aspects of their supply chain, from sourcing spices directly from India to their final product’s packaging. This vertical integration ensured consistent quality across all stages, fostering consumer trust.

Partnerships and International Expansion

green saffron

In a strategic move, Green Saffron secured alliances with the German-Austrian functionals company and Dawn Meats, propelling their expansion into the UK market. These strategic alliances enhanced their global reach and facilitated a cultural exchange that benefitted both parties.

The partnership with Dawn Meats, in particular, allowed for a symbiotic relationship where Green Saffron’s unique spice blends complemented Dawn’s quality meat products. This collaboration not only bolstered Green Saffron’s market expansion but also diversified their product offerings.

From India to Ireland: Spice Sourcing

green saffron

How does a company in Ireland source its spices all the way from India?

Green Saffron’s culinary connections extend across the globe, rooted in its founders’ Indian heritage. They’ve forged relationships with growers, ensuring spice origins are traceable and of the highest quality. Direct sourcing allows them to obtain fresh, vibrant spices, a cornerstone of their unique blends. This practice also supports ethical trade, benefitting farmers in India.

Once in Ireland, these spices are crafted into innovative products, marrying traditional Indian flavours with a contemporary Irish twist. The result? An enticing fusion of global flavours, bridging two culinary worlds.

Through diligent spice sourcing, Green Saffron weaves a thread of authenticity from the farms of India to the tables of Ireland.

Building a Brand Through Authenticity

Green Saffron’s journey to building an authentic brand is deeply rooted in their commitment to quality, traceability, and a unique fusion of global flavors. Authenticity in branding has been a cornerstone in their strategy, elevating their culinary identity and fostering customer loyalty.

They’ve cultivated a reputation for sourcing fresh, high-quality spices directly from farmers, ensuring each product’s traceability from farm to fork. Their innovative blends, infused with global flavor profiles, encapsulate a unique culinary identity that resonates with their diverse clientele.

This commitment to authenticity doesn’t just set them apart in the market; it’s also the driving force behind their customer loyalty. As Green Saffron continues to grow, it remains true to its ethos: quality, authenticity, and a world of flavor in every blend.

TV Collaborations and Brand Recognition

Expanding their reach through media, Green Saffron tapped into the power of television, collaborating with popular TV shows for increased brand exposure and recognition. This savvy marketing strategy incorporated celebrity endorsements, fuelling the brand’s popularity among a wider audience.

These collaborations presented a platform for culinary competition and recipe development, showcasing the versatility of Green Saffron’s products. These TV appearances not only boosted the brand’s visibility but also allowed potential customers to witness the quality and flavor of the spices in action.

As a result, Green Saffron’s image as a premium, innovative spice brand was solidified. The strategic use of television collaborations, coupled with celebrity endorsements, proved a potent combination in expanding Green Saffron’s brand recognition globally.

UK Market Entry and Brand Development

Breaking into the UK market, Green Saffron took significant strides in brand development and retail expansion. This market penetration was driven by a two-pronged approach: strategic brand positioning and focused consumer engagement.

The brand positioned itself as a purveyor of authentic, direct-sourced spices, creating a market differentiation that appealed to the discerning UK consumer’s desire for quality and authenticity. Through active engagement with consumers, mainly via in-store promotions and demonstrations, Green Saffron built a loyal customer base. This direct interaction not only boosted sales but also enhanced brand recognition and loyalty.

Their unique blend of high-quality products and proactive engagement strategies led to a marked increase in their brand’s visibility, bolstering their reputation in the UK market.

Cookery Course: The Starting Point

green saffron

Often touted as the genesis of their culinary journey, the founders of Green Saffron embarked on a cookery course in 2004 that would kindle their deep connection to the food world. This course proved to be a crucible of culinary inspiration, sparking a passion for flavor exploration that still drives the company today.

The founders’ foray into the dynamic world of spices wasn’t merely a pursuit of culinary expertise but also a gateway to an immersive cultural experience. This cookery course served as the starting point to a culinary adventure that would later blossom into Green Saffron, a global enterprise.

It’s a testament to the transformative power of education, where a simple course can ignite a lifelong passion and lead to the creation of a thriving culinary brand.

Spices: Colors of the Culinary World

In the vibrant world of Green Saffron, spices serve as the colorful palette, adding depth and flavor to their culinary creations. They’re not just ingredients, but artists’ tools, unlocking a spectrum of culinary creativity. From the fiery reds of chili and paprika, bright yellows of turmeric, to the earthy browns of cumin and cinnamon, each hue brings its own unique taste profile.

The aesthetic appeal of spices also enhances the sensory pleasure of food, making it a feast for both the eyes and palate. But it’s not just about the color. The aroma, texture, and flavor of spices also play a vital role in Green Saffron’s creations. The art of blending these spice aesthetics together showcases their mastery in crafting globally-inspired, flavorful dishes.

Food Innovation: Spice Blends and Recipes

While the art of blending spices forms the heart of Green Saffron’s culinary canvas, it’s their innovative approach to creating unique spice blends and recipes that truly sets them apart in the food industry.

Their flavorful innovations aren’t just about combining different spices, but also about bringing out the full potential of each individual spice to create a symphony of flavors. The company’s culinary creations challenge conventional spice uses and introduce unexpected yet delightful taste experiences.

They’ve mastered tikka, jalfrezi, and korma blends, adding unique twists that cater to different dietary preferences, particularly vegetarian. By sourcing fresh spices directly from India, Green Saffron ensures authenticity, quality, and freshness in their offerings, thus creating a flavor fusion that’s globally appreciated.

Fighting Fraud in the Spice Industry

How is Green Saffron tackling fraud in the spice industry?

They’re forging a path in combatting fraud by partnering with Queen’s University and Professor Chris Elliott. Their aim? Provenance enhancement in the food supply chain.

This collaboration is driving a transparent, authentic, and traceable system, ensuring the quality and freshness of their spices. Green Saffron’s dedication to ethical practices also plays a crucial role in their fight against fraud.

By honouring the produce of host countries and enhancing local ingredients with their spices, they’re promoting authenticity and integrity within the industry.

Their commitment to sustainability, traceability, and 100% provenance by 2025 is setting a new standard in the spice trade, making them a formidable ally in the battle against fraud.

Sustainability and Traceability in Practice

Green Saffron’s commitment to combating fraud in the spice industry naturally extends to a robust focus on sustainability and traceability in their business practices. Recognizing the importance of a transparent supply chain, the company ensures that each batch of spice can be traced directly back to the farmer who grew it. This not only aids in maintaining product quality, but also supports the sustainable development of farming communities.

Such rigorous traceability practices make it possible to safeguard against adulteration and guarantee the authenticity of their products. Furthermore, Green Saffron’s sustainable approach includes careful resource management and ethical sourcing, reinforcing their dedication to offering top-notch, responsibly produced spices to their discerning customers.

Ethical Practices and Global Collaboration

In their pursuit of ethical practices, Green Saffron collaborates with global experts and maintains a vertically integrated supply-chain, underscoring their commitment to food safety and traceability.

The company forms ethical partnerships with farmers, ensuring fair trade and supporting local communities. They invest in sustainable farming methods, contributing to global sustainability and preserving the environment for future generations.

Green Saffron’s operations reflect a blend of traditional wisdom and contemporary science, with an acute focus on quality and authenticity. To achieve this, they utilize state-of-the-art technology for testing and certifying the purity of their spices.

Their ethical and sustainable practices not only ensure the high quality of their products but also contribute to the betterment of the global spice industry.

Irish Food Culture and Global Influence

Over the years, Irish food culture has seen a significant evolution, with global influences and a commitment to promoting it internationally becoming increasingly prominent. Irish culinary traditions have been enriched by fusion cuisine, leading to an exciting blend of local and international flavours.

Global food trends have spurred a cultural exchange, infusing Irish dishes with diverse influences while exporting its own unique flavours. This intermingling has redefined the gastronomic landscape of Ireland, transforming it into a dynamic space where traditional and innovative recipes coexist.

Companies like Green Saffron, with their globally inspired spice blends, are instrumental in this transformation, pushing the boundaries of conventional taste profiles while staying rooted in the ethos of Irish cuisine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Did Green Saffron Initially Finance Their Business When They Were Starting at Farmers Markets?

In their early days, Green Saffron financed their business through personal savings and bootstrapping. They’d focused on farmers markets strategies, offering quality products that attracted a loyal customer base.

Their initial funding methods weren’t fancy, but effective, allowing them to gradually increase their turnover and expand their market presence. It’s a testament to their entrepreneurial spirit and savvy business approach.

Are There Any Major Challenges Green Saffron Faced During Their Transition From Phase One to Phase Two of Their Business Journey?

In their transition from phase one to phase two, Green Saffron faced significant hurdles. Financial obstacles emerged as they aimed for scalability and vertical integration, requiring substantial investment.

They also grappled with maintaining their quality and authenticity while expanding their product range and entering new markets.

Despite these challenges, they’ve managed to navigate successfully, continuing their journey in the spice industry.

How Does Green Saffron Ensure the Freshness and Quality of Spices When They Are Sourced From Far-Off Places Like India?

Green Saffron ensures spice freshness and quality with strategic sourcing and spice authentication. They directly source fresh spices from India, maintaining a strong relationship with growers.

Their partnership with Queen’s University and Professor Chris Elliott helps combat spice fraud, enhancing their supply chain’s authenticity. They’re committed to transparency, ensuring every spice’s traceability from farm to fork.

Green Saffron’s approach guarantees they’re offering the freshest, highest quality spices.

Can You Share Some Examples of Unique Spice Blends That Green Saffron Has Developed and the Inspiration Behind Them?

Green Saffron’s got a knack for spice innovation, creating unique blends like their tikka, jalfrezi, and korma. They’re inspired by a love for Indian and Irish cultures, aiming to bring global influence to their products. They’re not just mixing spices; they’re crafting culinary experiences.

From vegetarian recipes to surprising twists, they’re always pushing boundaries. They’re about making food interesting, using spices as colors to enhance dishes. It’s clear their heart’s in every blend.

How Does Green Saffron Plan to Adapt to the Rising Vegan, Vegetarian, and Flexitarian Trends in the Food Industry?

Green Saffron is adapting to rising vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian trends through innovative product development. They’re focusing on ‘Vegan Spice Innovations’, creating unique blends that enhance plant-based foods.

They’re also strategizing for the ‘Flexitarian Market’, crafting products that satisfy both meat and plant lovers. They’re aligning their products with these trends, ensuring they continue to meet evolving consumer preferences.

Green Saffron is not just reacting to trends; they’re shaping them.

Conclusion

Green Safran’s ‘Spice Odyssey’ exemplifies a remarkable journey from local farmers markets to international acclaim. Their commitment to quality, authenticity, and sustainability hasn’t only shaped a strong brand but also significantly influenced Ireland’s food culture.

By sourcing fresh spices directly from India and championing ethical practices, they’ve created a global flavor fusion. It’s a testament to their innovative strategy and passion for food, truly embodying Ireland’s potential in the global food industry.

Video Transcript

Speaker 2 (00:04)
Welcome to Amazing Food and Drink. Today we’re with Aron Kappa, owner of Green Saffron Spice, an award-winning family business based in Cork. So welcome to Amazing Food and Drink, Aron.

Speaker 1 (00:17)
Thank you very much, Colin. We’re lovely to be here. Brilliant to be asked to be here. Thanks so much.

Speaker 2 (00:21)
I’m delighted to have your company. So tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your company, Aron.

Speaker 1 (00:25)
Yeah, so Spices. We’re an Irish spice company, which in itself sounds bizarre. Sounds Irish? Yeah, it’s very Irish. Of course it is. Absolutely. No, but there is a history actually with spice down in Cork trading back in the 1400s, the Hugo Nodes. But no, me, I came to Ireland in 2004. I was in the music industry in London I formed my first record label at the age of 18. I was the first person to take DJs out the field and in the studio. Me, isn’t that pretty good? Well, the younger people probably have never heard of an acid rave, but…

Speaker 2 (00:58)
I’ve heard of an acid rave.

Speaker 1 (00:59)
Well, there we Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (01:02)
We’re telling our age.

Speaker 1 (01:04)
That’s where my life started and got involved in that. I was also involved in the restaurant scene in London to support my record label. Anyway, long as short of it is, come the age of 30, 34, I knew that I need to change my head a little and to bring myself back down to Earth and not to think I was quite as grand as I thought I was when you’re young, all that stuff.

Speaker 2 (01:25)
There’s nothing wrong with that, Aaron. Nothing wrong with that.

Speaker 1 (01:28)
I had a lovely time, but my body starts to realise that my lovely time needed to be balanced a little.

Speaker 2 (01:34)
Town down a little, yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:36)
Toned down a little, yeah. So of course, I went to Ireland because that’s the place to go to toe down, isn’t it? A friend had done the cookery course down there in Ballymaloo, and he’s now doing so well for himself in the food world and bits and pieces. And I thought I was looking for something to do. I finally managed to get myself out of the industry. January 14th, I took January 2004. So I jumped on a plane, went over there. Not really. I’ve never heard of Dorina. I’d never heard of Ballymaloo. I knew that my birthday was the 17th of March. So that was my connexion with Ireland.

Speaker 2 (02:10)
What a day to be born.

Speaker 1 (02:12)
You see? So everywhere I’ve had a birthday, there’s always somebody happy and having a party. Because the Irish are everywhere, right?

Speaker 2 (02:20)
There’s tens of millions of diaspora all over the world.

Speaker 1 (02:23)
Well, there we are. So I’ve had a fabulous upbringing from that regard. No. So I went to do this cookery course, and I absolutely just fell in love with the place. I fell in love with where I was at Banamaloo. I fell in love with the whole ethos of the place and just learning about… My gosh, all we would talk about was food. We were there cooking food. We’re talking about food. We’re demonstrating food, talking to cooks, talking to food writers, talking to chefs, talking to food producers. It was a phenomenal place. And I was just blown away with the whole… To be honest, my head needed to be reenlivened. And I had grown up, my father I was a Hindu doctor. I was an Indian doctor. My mum was a nurse, and they met in the ’60s. You can imagine Rivers of Blood, Enoch Pal, all that stuff. We grew up really as a tight family. I have an elder brother and a younger brother. In Scunthall. So dad was a general practitioner there and real loving liberal upbringing, but because we need to give the love to ourselves thing and make sure that we couldn’t be harmed because of any funny thoughts that flying around.

Speaker 2 (03:30)
Absolutely. I’m sure it was difficult times then.

Speaker 1 (03:33)
Well, I’m sure more so for my mum and dad. We saw a little bit of bits and pieces, but that stuff, we were brought up not to see anything other than love, to be honest. My father’s proposition was he wanted to send us out into the world with a head full of education and a heart full of love.

Speaker 2 (03:48)
That was- Very nice. I like it.

Speaker 1 (03:51)
So that’s the upbringing we had. It was phenomenal. My elder brother, my younger brother, the roughs, the tumbles, going to Wales every year for a summer holidays, and all this stuff. That’s really got me immersed into food culture because mum, coming from this working class Yorkshire background, everything was homemade. Everything was all about her boys and her husband. We were so fortunate with the food that mum used to cook from scratch all the time for us. And then the phenomenal times coming home from junior school, and there’ll be all these bowls of lentils and chickpeas and soaking around the kitchen, a small kitchen. Then Later on that afternoon, we knew what would be happening. Dad would get out his little tins of these raja, these brightly-colored different tins, and start cooking and experimenting. In my memory, everything going everywhere.

Speaker 2 (04:41)
Clearly, I don’t- It was like a science project.

Speaker 1 (04:43)
Well, do you know what I mean? I’m sure that wasn’t actually the case because looking back, it’s probably a romantic image, but I’m sure my mum had it. But anyway, I do remember all the various cooking that dad used to do and fantastic food. Then the evenings after having done this extravaganza of two days when tin, chickpeas, and things didn’t exist. All these exotic-looking people with their suits, drinking Johnny Walker Black label and these ladies in saris. And I was like, wow, up to bed. So it was a fabulous upbringing. And if we weren’t involved with Mum and baking, or if I wasn’t there with her baking or with dad trying to learn about spices and bits and pieces, then we’re making little models out of Andrex tubes and cornflake boxes. It was that environment. And We were so fortunate, I believe, being half Indian, being both Indian and English. We used to go to India to see our family.

Speaker 2 (05:37)
Beautiful.

Speaker 1 (05:38)
Can you imagine in the ’70s?

Speaker 2 (05:39)
It was just- It’s exotic.

Speaker 1 (05:42)
My gosh, isn’t it?

Speaker 2 (05:44)
We went to I go for a holiday as you’re going to India?

Speaker 1 (05:48)
Don’t get me wrong, we went to Anglesey, but on the odd occasion, we did manage to save a few pennies and get ourselves on the odd plane over to India. And then I just knew. Even my now wife, my My Irish wife says to meet my Irish wife. My wife is Irish. She would always say that when she sees me in India, I just have the biggest beam on my face.

Speaker 2 (06:09)
And I think- You feel at home there, do you? Do you feel at home there?

Speaker 1 (06:13)
I think that’s it. But actually, yes, I do. It’s a quick answer. But I remember, I’m flipping all over the place with my timeline here. You’re fine. I’m back to be in Ireland. I remember it’s a connexion. There is a connexion. I remember After having been there for a year, because I did the cookery course, and of course, I was very fortunate, I got a distinction. Then they took me into the kitchen at Bannamaloo House, and I’d never had a job before, not working for somebody.

Speaker 2 (06:43)
Not a proper job.

Speaker 1 (06:43)
Do you know what I mean? That was my first job at the age of 34. There I was, sharing a room in a damp cottage with another guy at the age of 34 that I haven’t done since being in school. I was like, And so it really The whole environment and experience of the Balamaloo course and then living in a house with younger guys again was just a phenomenal thing. It was a leveller. It’s what I really needed.

Speaker 2 (07:11)
And how long did the course last?

Speaker 1 (07:13)
I did the three-month course, so whereby you’re milking cows in the morning. Then you’re doing cooking practicals during the day and then demos in the afternoon. I was one of the guys that actually used to go each evening to the house for free just because I wanted to be in a commercial kitchen environment and learn about it. But no, the connexion I was trying to make to mum and saying being at home in India was mum said to me after having been there for a year that she hadn’t seen me so happy. And she said, Aaron, the Irish really have taken you, haven’t they? I said, Mum, I think they have. I feel brilliant here.

Speaker 2 (07:48)
So it’s not a cliché what they say about as Aaron?

Speaker 1 (07:52)
No. Do you know what? I sound like I’m full of clichés. Unfortunately, I don’t want to over romanticise my life, but I’ve always It followed my heart rather than my head. My accountant might tell you the same thing, but anyway. That’s what I’ve done. I think that was like I was trying to give an impression of the family life that we were brought up in that nurtured that spirit, which we will probably get to at some point during this conversation about entrepreneurialism or all those funny words are for just getting some work done, basically. But anyway, it was a phenomenal upbringing. But what really changed everything for was going to Ireland, relocating to Ireland.

Speaker 2 (08:33)
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And after then, the course at Ballymalou, what made you go in the business within the space industry? I know you have your background there, obviously, with your father, but what was the jump? Maybe with the natural progression not have been a chef or what?

Speaker 1 (08:49)
What do you know, Colin, I often wonder about that myself. And again, it comes back to what I’ve just mentioned, which is always following my heart. Well, there I was, working in Ballymalou kitchens, chopping vegetables, not understanding what the heck everyone was saying to me because in Cork- Because they’re from Cork? Correct. But they’re chefs in Cork in a clattery environment. So they all just thought I was either really stupid or just a really happy guy because I would just nod politely and carry on chopping my vegetables. But anyway, I was in the kitchen there and I then started to really miss the senses of home and the tastes of home and the flavours of home and all those bits and pieces. And clearly, being in the industry I was in, I was able to travel around a lot and I’d experience an awful lot of cooking. So I began to miss that, and more so spice. So someone said to me, they’re going to start a farmer’s market, a friend Rupert, who’s Dorina’s son-in-law, actually, Dorina Allen. And would you like to do something? I said, No, I’m fine, Rupert. I’m happy here in my kitchen.

Speaker 1 (09:50)
Anyway, a friend, she had some jams and bits and pieces. I said, oh, Aaron, I’m going to be selling some jams. Why don’t you think of something to do? And I started, like I said, to have missed the flavours of home. I thought, actually, I wonder if I could try blending some spices. Like as you see, my Thaichis and my Thauji, my aunt and uncle, sorry, in India. And I’ve seen my father. And I thought, okay, well, I gave dad a call, and dad put a call into India, into a cousin in India. I was put in touch with a cousin. I remember I received a first little 15 kilo package of spices from India. I used to grind those little spices, put them into a little coffee grinder with two teaspoon or whatever. I then had little sachets and developed recipes. That’s really how green saffron started. I started in farmers markets. I was earning €183 a week as a chef, paying £90 in rent. I had no money. I was so fortunate to get these spices sent from my family for free, 15 kilos. We do a double shift, put them, grind the little spices into a packet, develop recipes.

Speaker 1 (10:59)
Then my now wife, Olive, who also I met at Banamaloo, she would then come and help me. And so we there were at midnight with our cups of tea and our tea spoons. I remember, sorry, I will get to the point in a minute. I remember we had a bit of to do an argument thing because Oliver bought- What?

Speaker 2 (11:19)
An argument with your wife? We can’t believe it.

Speaker 1 (11:21)
Well, exactly. I heard of it, isn’t it?

Speaker 2 (11:24)
That doesn’t happen in our house, I tell you.

Speaker 1 (11:26)
No, of course, it doesn’t. I don’t know. No, it’s just mine. I know it is. She had spent, what was it? €4.50 something, €4.55 on two coloured pens, a glittery green and a glittery red pen. We’re going, darling, how can you afford that? We can’t afford that, and we’re writing because She wanted to make her labels look a bit more attractive, that we were handwriting.

Speaker 2 (11:48)
Anyway- She’s a good marketer.

Speaker 1 (11:50)
Well, exactly. She is, let me tell you. So we got over ourselves, and I used to take these sachets, say 10 sachets a week to the farmer’s market and be there. So there’ll be my friend with her jams, and it’ll be me. So we were sugar and spice. And if I sold one sachet a week, I’ll be like, Yeah, excellent.

Speaker 2 (12:07)
How much were you selling them for?

Speaker 1 (12:09)
€3.50. So they weren’t cheap. It was 40 grammes of spice. And I used to print out a recipe because I thought, Okay, if I’m going to do this, I have to do it properly. So I’ve just done this course where I’ve got far too much money learning about sourcing the best, working with the best, being the best in food, offering the best. There I was. I’d been going backwards and forced to India. I had a love of spice, and I thought, well, hang on a minute. I absolutely adore spice. And again, jumping forward, I always now say that Western cooking tends to be monochrome in my eyes. Black pepper and a rare beautiful green herbs. And don’t get me wrong, amazing, beautiful dishes. But I see spices as colours. And if you can capture the essence of those colour on your palate, then isn’t that going to make things more interesting? And shouldn’t food be interesting? And shouldn’t it be nutritious and healthy? So if it can be interesting and you can make a delicious, healthy meal, then surely that’s why we’re cooking. We’re cooking those that we want to nurture and love. So let’s capture that.

Speaker 1 (13:13)
So that was my theory in life. How can I capture that colour in a packet and bring it to other people? Because I feel, and still to this day, feel so fortunate that I’m able to avail of this, the most amazing natural raw material spice that adds such a beautiful flavour with nuance, with subtlety. Why did I try and bring to everyone else? Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (13:35)
I like your idea. And tell me, you said you mentioned the recipes there. So did people buy in the recipe along with the space or did you have to do something different?

Speaker 1 (13:44)
When I Colin, you see, absolutely correct, because then my brain starts to wake back up, having had a bit of a sabbatical for about a year at this stage. And you start to think, well, if I’m going to do this, even in my little small way, I need to add value at every single control point. Yeah. So there we are. I’m getting spices from India, so they’re fresh and direct from India. Then I thought, okay, well, there’s no point in me grinding these spices and making one of my favourite dishes, Julie Kismas, because everyone be going, Julie what, mate? Because they would ask me already, is that strong? Is that strong? And I didn’t have a clue what they meant, but they meant hot.

Speaker 2 (14:19)
So there I was.

Speaker 1 (14:23)
So I thought, well, there’s no point in doing that. So what I should do is give it blends like Rob and Josh, Tika, Jalfrezy, Corma. Because at least there was one restaurant, I think, in Cork at the time that was serving Indian food. And clearly people travel, so they would know those names. So that’s how it started. I then went and I spoke to my Thai Jews again and started to get recipes from them, vegetarian recipes. And although they’re not meat eaters, they would put me in touch with their meat eater friends, those people. I was learning recipes through family. So then we’d adapt those recipes in a kitchen. So I had spices. I was already adding, without realising it, my own little twee to spice blends, adding the recipe to go with the fresh spice with the twee recipe blends so that when I went to market, people would have half a chance. If they’re going to spend the hard-earned money with me, I still have the same theory. If someone’s going to go out and spend their money on something I’m offering, it has to be the best. And it has to flip in work because you don’t expect someone to go and work every day just to come and make them.

Speaker 1 (15:32)
I’m selling them a falsehood. So I wanted it to work and all these bits and pieces. So they recognise the name, the recipe starts to work. And basically what starts to happen in Cork is the mother, the uncle, the brother, the sister, the aunt, they all start to talk, which is so beautiful about Ireland.

Speaker 2 (15:49)
We have a great oral tradition in Ireland.

Speaker 1 (15:51)
It’s just the best.

Speaker 2 (15:54)
So literally word of mouth?

Speaker 1 (15:56)
It literally word of… And there I was in London thinking, I’m such a clever marketeer talking about guerrilla marketing. And it’s like, well, it was on my doorstep in Cork. I’m like, flip. And so more and more people started to say about this funny little Indian chap, not being multiple, this funny little Indian chap wearing a pink sarong, talking 10 to the dozen like Delboy. Go and check him out because I made one of his curries, and actually it’s really quite nice. And that’s how it started. Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (16:22)
Tell me, did you ever think about doing some cooking with some of the spices at the market to maybe get the aromas?

Speaker 1 (16:31)
That was the next phase. You’re right. Eventually down the road, let’s say, took a couple of years because I had no money, so I had to wait until we start to earn money. We got to double our turnover year on year, which was fabulous. I got up to about three or four more farmers markets within two years. I think I was at five farmers markets a week by myself within three years. Then what actually cracked it, just like you said, that column is when I offered the dry spices with start to serve hot food. I call it completing the circle because we had the dry spice, we had the hot food, and we had tobs to take away.

Speaker 2 (17:08)
Very good.

Speaker 1 (17:10)
That really was the game changer. Then what happened in 2009, I did a Christmas pudding. Everyone at the market went, Hang on, is it a curry pudding? What are you talking about? Because they only saw the Indian, but they’d forgotten maybe my English side. I always been into Christmas puddings, Mum, for a treat of every Christmas, why not be marked to spend to one or something. Anyway, I came first in the whole of Ireland for this Christmas pudding that I developed.

Speaker 2 (17:38)
I can’t wait to taste this. What’s that now? I can’t wait to taste this.

Speaker 1 (17:43)
I tell you. Well, you see, because again, I was sourcing the figs from Turkey. I was sourcing the sultanas. We’re using local whiskey because I’m in whiskey country, right? Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (17:53)
That’s a question for later. I want to hear all that later. Absolutely brilliant.

Speaker 1 (17:57)
So we did that. So that got me on on people’s radar. And then all of a sudden, I had an opportunity to do a TV show. They gave me a little spot there because a friend that we used to… Everyone was coming to the farmer’s markets, and one guy said, Oh, do you want to try being on TV? And I What I haven’t mentioned is that when I was 11 and 12, I was in something called the National Youth Music Theatre. So my first ever paycheck was £25 sterling from the BBC because I was on a show there when I was 11 years old or something.

Speaker 2 (18:28)
Wow.

Speaker 1 (18:29)
Yeah. So I was an actor in theory. Rather than nowadays, clearly, they tend to be chefs going out becoming actors. So I done it in reverse. So that’s how that happened, and that’s how to kick things off again, and we went on from there.

Speaker 2 (18:48)
You’re still in all my thunder here. I was going to ask you about the TV. I’ll come down in a wee second. What I was going to ask you, you’ve actually answered it. What was your inspiration? But you’ve told me your inspiration has been your father in the spices, your mother’s home cooking.

Speaker 1 (19:03)
No, absolutely. And you know what? Without want to get too smulchy or deep for too long- Go ahead.

Speaker 2 (19:09)
You’re all right here.

Speaker 1 (19:11)
I know what I did in the music industry, and I know how we ran that business. And success is a wonderful thing. But I know how things should be done. And I was just said to myself, if I ever did anything again, it has to be done properly with honour and with integrity, and it has to be involved with the family and my heritage. But also, when I was growing up in the ’70s and the ’80s, one might want to shun a certain side of you because you think it might be the not thing. Here for you. I wanted to focus on that. And like I keep saying, the main focus for me has always been and still is spice. I cannot believe the variety of flavour and wonderfulness that spice can bring to a dish to a meal. I just am so fortunate to be able to access it.

Speaker 2 (19:59)
And your passion shines through. Maybe the land should be spaced as the variety of life rather than the other way around.

Speaker 1 (20:06)
Correct. Do you know what, Colm, we’re going to coin that phrase. But you’re right. So what was the inspiration? The inspiration was many cold, but it was my family, it was my parents, it was my brothers, it was certainly my upbringing, and it was just my love of food. And then it turned out that, apparently, I have a bit of a skill that maybe others don’t in terms of blending spices. And I do things in a slightly a different way, and people seem to appreciate that.

Speaker 2 (20:32)
I also think that has a lot to do with your personality, because if your spices are like your personality, I can’t wait to try them. Genially, I’m not being funny.

Speaker 1 (20:42)
Very kind. But no, they certainly are. I get told they’re very vibrant, and they pop.

Speaker 2 (20:45)
I guess so. I guess so, Aron. So tell me, what’s it like running such a diverse company on a day-to-day basis?

Speaker 1 (20:54)
Yeah, it’s brilliant. And of course, it couldn’t be done all by myself, although sometimes you have your moments. But No, I suppose, skipping forward to where we are now, we are just getting onto phase two of our journey. It’s been a phenomenal journey. Yes, it’s been absolutely every day is hard work, every day is about being resilient, every day is about pushing hard and just not giving up and not giving in and demanding the best of myself, of my staff, of the product. Phase 2 is all about scalability. We feel that we’re a proven a proven product now. So we now split ourselves into three categories: retail, ingredients, and commodities. Sounds very grand for such a small company, but starting with commodities, that is the raw material, the spice. Because we’re working directly with the farms, directly with the sable parches from day one, it heads to the villages, not only from the region, but from the farm, that is something that is unique, and that is something that is now just start to become in demand.

Speaker 2 (21:57)
So are you now wholesaling the actual spaces themselves?

Speaker 1 (21:59)
We’re just getting into that. Yeah, we have done, but now we’re just getting in. We’ve done tonnage, but now we’re getting to containers just this year, which is not- Are you going throughout Ireland or Britain or both or continental Europe? We’re going in through Rotterdam at the moment and also in through Felixstover. Let’s see how long that one goes on for, just like the UK. But yeah, so that’s a commodity piece. We then are involved in ingredients, which is whereby I’m a spice company, and I’ve associated with a German Austrian functionals, starches, breadcrumb and stuff. So once you add spice and functionals, you have a seasonal. Once you have a seasonal, you say hello to a meat company and blah, blah, blah. So we’re vertically integrating our supply chain with Dawn Dunbier, the biggest red meat company in Europe, which is a phenomenal thing. We sold just under 200 tonnes of reasoning last year into Dawn Dunbier.

Speaker 2 (22:57)
Wow.

Speaker 1 (22:58)
Again, When I hear myself say this, I can’t believe I said, Well, I’ve just told you, I’ve started with two sachets of 40 grammes each, 35 grammes with no money. The exciting face of me personally as well as our brand. We have, like I say, the brand, the ingredients, and the commodities. The brand is what is just coming into phase 2 of its journey. So fortunate that with the Bordbeer Tesco programme, we had the opportunity of getting onto the retail space in 2013. We’ve stayed there, and now we’re about to hit the Accelerator button with We’re launching into the UK, potentially. We’ve got now a brand new proposition that we’re going to be the first Indian brand ever to cross category. So not just ambient like jars of sauce and spice, but to go into chilled convenience. We’ve just launched very successfully a range of fresh pots, and we also have a range of frozen meals ready to go.

Speaker 2 (23:50)
And are they branded Green Saffron Space?

Speaker 1 (23:52)
Absolutely. My brand will always be, I won’t ever work for anybody else other than my brand unless it’s to do with Dawn Dunbier.

Speaker 2 (24:00)
Have they come north yet? Have they come this far north about us?

Speaker 1 (24:03)
No, it’s been, like I said, it’s been an arduous journey, but I don’t want to say too much, but there’s very good things happening this year, shall we say, Colin.

Speaker 2 (24:11)
I’m really excited. I have to say, I’m going to give you an applaud here. Absolutely different class.

Speaker 1 (24:18)
Really well done. No, I’ve been fully supported by my wife, by my family, and clearly, I’m so fortunate to have started this business in Ireland because without the support of the locals, and let’s face it, the goodwill of those that were supplying me when I wasn’t paying them, initially, when I started the farmers markets, because of their belief and support, it’s where we are today.

Speaker 2 (24:40)
Well, really good. And obviously, as a proud Irishman, I’m so happy we were able to help you.

Speaker 1 (24:45)
Thank you.

Speaker 2 (24:46)
Good, man.

Speaker 1 (24:47)
Tell me- I’m a motherly courtman.

Speaker 2 (24:50)
Tell me, what about the TV work? Are we going to have a TV show?

Speaker 1 (24:54)
Well, funny you should say that. Yes, it’s a quick answer. It’s been in the pipeline for flippin ever. I’ve been really fortunate. I got introduced to RTE, The Today Show. Well, it’s now called The Today Show. I’ve done stuff on channel 4. I’ve done something with Richard Corrigan there. I forget what it’s called, the Kitchen Programme. I’ve appeared often on Sunday Brunch, the channel 4 show.

Speaker 2 (25:18)
I usually watch it. I’ve never seen it. I’m going to watch it. Well, there we are.

Speaker 1 (25:22)
I haven’t been on for a year or so, in all fairness, because we’ve been trying to keep things down on the download. But there’s something really quite special about to happen. I’ve teamed up with a company called ZTV, which many people over here won’t have heard of. No, I haven’t heard. Ztv is the third biggest TV company in the world. It’s based in India and Dubai. So they are backing the project. And RTE are going to be the production company. So it’s an Irish Indian coproduction.

Speaker 2 (25:50)
Very exciting.

Speaker 1 (25:51)
Couldn’t flipping wish for more. So 10 episodes, and it’s the Irish Spiceman.

Speaker 2 (25:56)
Oh, my God. I can’t wait. And when’s the launch?

Speaker 1 (25:59)
Well, We’re going to only start filming September, October. So I’d imagine, I don’t know, is it going to be Q1, Q2, 2020?

Speaker 2 (26:06)
So it’s very soon.

Speaker 1 (26:09)
Very soon. And I’m trying to not get over the exciting because for me, it’s a long way away. But yeah, I mean, how mad is that? My own flipping show.

Speaker 2 (26:17)
Absolutely amazing. If you think about where you’ve come from to where you are now, what a journey.

Speaker 1 (26:24)
Isn’t that the cool thing about life? I’ve been helped by so many people, and I’ve tried to always keep a smile on my face. And to have the support, like I keep saying, of Olive is just phenomenal. Olive, my wife. There’s a long way to go yet. I’m not there, but I am determined to get there. Here’s something for you. There’s a phrase that people use a word that people use in the West called entrepreneur. I’ve won these various awards being entrepreneur, this and that. I don’t really understand what entrepreneur means because there’s a Punjabi word called jogar.

Speaker 2 (27:00)
What is it? Say it again, sorry.

Speaker 1 (27:02)
Juggard. Juggard. Okay. Juggard. So J-U-G-A-A-R-D. Juggard. Juggard is an intrinsic spirit that certainly I and Indians believe we all have, which is quite simple column. It’s a very Irish mentality. If there’s a job to be done, just flipp and get out there and get it done. It’s nice to call me an entrepreneur, but if I wasn’t on the farmer’s market come hell or high water, rain or sun or shine, I wouldn’t have any money. I couldn’t pay my bills or my my food or anything. So I didn’t have a choice. If you put yourself in a situation, just flipp and get on and do it.

Speaker 2 (27:36)
Yeah. So it’s not this mythical entrepreneur word or this entrepreneurial spirit. It’s just go and get it done.

Speaker 1 (27:44)
Unfortunately, it’s as simple as that. My father told me about having a vision and life. My mother taught me about hard work, and hopefully it’s coming together a little bit.

Speaker 2 (27:55)
No, it really is. But I am so with you. There’s no substitute for hard and actually nothing’s ever going to be perfect. Just get out there and throw yourself in there.

Speaker 1 (28:04)
Correct. Because how do you know if you know unless you get out? What’s happening now? Yeah, well, exactly.

Speaker 2 (28:10)
Now see, once all that filming done, I’m going to have you up here to the studio in Belfast, And you’re going to tell us all about it. We will have watched it at that stage, and we’re going to have a bit of a chat about that and a bit of crack.

Speaker 1 (28:22)
We’d love to.

Speaker 2 (28:23)
Absolutely brilliant. Okay, so tell me this, Anne. You’re working with a lot of customers, okay? Probably increasingly more and more. How do you think that your customers, their expectations have changed over the last number of years? Is it better for worse?

Speaker 1 (28:39)
Yeah, no, 100 %. There’s two things I can talk about there. Like I said, we’re working in the local community in India, working with the farmers, and we’re also working in our local community. We still have our farmers market still. Okay, good. On a very basic level, on a consumer level, like I said already in the interview there, people used to ask me, Is that strong? Well, now people are wanting hot food. I started earning €7 a week. Well, thank gosh, we earn a little bit more than €7 a week now. Because I believe, particularly in Ireland, there is a more and more receptiveness towards our product. I’ve seen a customer profile change. It used to be the, how do I say, slightly older person, the 45 plus, but now it’s down for us certainly to 25 to 48. Brilliant. But the young people want to see going on in spice and want to experiment. So encapsulating all that commentary, I believe that there is now a want for people to try spicy food from my perspective.

Speaker 2 (29:41)
I absolutely love Indian food. Even the stuff that’s probably not really Indian, like chicken tigger misala, which was Anglicised, but I love it all.

Speaker 1 (29:48)
It’s spice. But you know what? I don’t give a monkey’s about what everyone wants to call it, so long as people enjoying food. Every meal, I believe, should be joyous, happy, and healthy. Why else the flip do we want to eat? Why don’t pop a pill or think you have to keep yourself on a diet for so long? Let’s just equilibralize. Okay, you’ve had a bit of a blowout last week or yesterday. Well, take it a bit easier today. As simple as that, it’s all about balance, I believe. Like I was saying, you’re asking about how do I see things changed? I think certainly on a consumer level, that, but also the industry as well. I’m really fortunate. You may even, well, I’m sure you will know Queens University.

Speaker 2 (30:33)
Of course.

Speaker 1 (30:34)
I’ve been introduced to a phenomenal chap called Professor Chris Elliott.

Speaker 2 (30:40)
I’ve heard the name, actually. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (30:42)
An amazing chap. I mean, my God. We went over to India together. I took him to India. I’m actually working with Queens University now as one of their partners on one of their projects. They want to prove the provenance, and they want to help stop fraud in the food supply chain based around herbs and spices, and that’s a mission of mine as well.

Speaker 2 (31:04)
It’s a bit like Manuka Honey, which it’s not actually Manuka Honey, that type of idea?

Speaker 1 (31:08)
That type of idea, but with herbs and spices.

Speaker 2 (31:10)
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (31:11)
Why did I even start my spice company? For many reasons, like I’ve explained, but another one because I didn’t want the wall to be pulled over people’s eyes. That isn’t necessarily a curry. Maybe this is.

Speaker 2 (31:23)
Okay.

Speaker 1 (31:24)
Because people are putting so much nonsense in. So now the progression that I was there in the farmers markets, have the opportunity with someone amazing like Professor Chris Elian to actually prove the provenance, to prove the viability and the provenance of traceability of spices. I can’t believe what I’m up to.

Speaker 2 (31:43)
I’m beginning to wonder you’re reading my script here. My next question is, how important is provenance, sustainability, organic projects to your company?

Speaker 1 (31:50)
It means absolutely everything to me. Like I said, the reason, and this is actually something which is a very live matter at the moment, I’m actually presenting to a seasonal company in a couple of weeks time. Like I say, in the bigger boys world, 2020, they want their supply chains collapse because they want more linear line of sight from end products to producer. And by 2025, They want that 100% provenance. What I’ve been doing, what we have been doing at Green Saffron from day one is actually where the industry has been going and is absolutely definitely going. So, yeah, to me, it’s everything. When I used to talk about fresh spice, the first thing to ever did was with Sheila Dylan on Radio 4 on the BBC. She asked me, What do you mean by fresh spice? I always meant about vibrant flavour and proper spice as it should be, as if it’s just at the field. And the industrial definition that I’ve applied to fresh spice now is people think grinding it means fresh. No, it doesn’t. That’s too easy. Grinding it means fresh spice means going back to the farm, understanding understanding how it was cultivated, what was the terrain, how was it harvested, how was it stored, how was it processed, and how did it get on that plate?

Speaker 2 (33:08)
It was the journey from start to the finish, basically.

Speaker 1 (33:11)
Yeah. Why is there so much focus put on cocoa beans, on coffee beans, on chicken, and tomatoes, as there should be. All the beautiful produce, but why not spice? Spice is the fundament of flavour.

Speaker 2 (33:24)
Absolutely.

Speaker 1 (33:25)
It’s the natural flavour. So why do we dismiss spice? So this was the mission that I started 10 years ago. And like I keep reiterating, because we are talking about now, provenance and traceability. Yeah, of course. To come across someone like Chris Elliott, who is a world’s leading global expert, who has started the institution of global food safety, who has this budget with the Queens University to make sure that food is not adulterated or supply chain is not adulterated. I was like, oh, my God.

Speaker 2 (33:55)
I think I might be talking to Chris very soon. Please tell him for me.

Speaker 1 (33:59)
You’re going to do the I would love to. He’s a phenomenal chap, and I absolutely respect him, and I’m so pleased that he’s… Michael, for him, with the people that he works with and where he works, for him to even consider me when he did, I was just thrilled. And yeah, And I suppose, look, I shouldn’t be over to sycophantic about it. There is a common vision here. He has a mission, I have a mission. It just so happens those missions are very, very similar.

Speaker 2 (34:28)
I’m sure he’s delighted to have your acquaintance.

Speaker 1 (34:30)
I don’t know, but hopefully, yeah.

Speaker 2 (34:33)
You’re getting all shy now. So tell me, we know that the space has obviously come from India, and you know it’s obviously the provenance traceability brings important. Is Irish produce Pivotal in what you do as well.

Speaker 1 (34:47)
A hundred %. No. My father always used to say to us, we were living in Britain, okay? In Scunfield. Buy British, buy British. You’re not in India. We’re not in India. Yes, I’m Indian, darling, but we’re here in somebody else is country, and we need to be honourable to that country. When I went to Ireland, initially, not allowed to borrow money because until I have something to offer the nation, why should I expect anything?

Speaker 2 (35:11)
Very honourable and admirable, I have to say.

Speaker 1 (35:14)
It’s the way that we were brought up, and it’s what I believe to be… It’s just my belief. I’m not suggesting everyone needs to… It’s my belief. My premise from day one is I wasn’t on that farmer’s market stall. Okay, some people may have taken exception initially. Well, Well, hang on. This is an Irish farmer’s market stall, and you’re selling spices with an English accent. It’s like, Well, no. What I’m trying to offer here is, I’m your next generation. I’m not your yoghurts, your meat, your cheese. I’m an Irish spice company.Enhancing.

Speaker 2 (35:46)
Irish produce.Precisely..

Speaker 1 (35:48)
You can’t make my meal without local produce. Absolutely. That was always the point. It’s about adding nuance, adding embellishment. Like I’ve mentioned here, adding that sparkle, adding that colour, that twist, not necessarily every day, but every so often, why not just to keep things interesting? I love it.

Speaker 2 (36:07)
I have to say I absolutely love the idea. And I can guarantee you that I will be trying your spaces very, very soon.

Speaker 1 (36:13)
I’ll send her to the parcel up. So do you see that Irish food and obviously the Indian spices, is that going to be your platform to take on the world? A hundred %. A hundred % straight away, not even a question. I was very fortunate. Myrtle Allen, who’s who, sadly, passed away recently, took me under her wing because when I just moved over, she was a game changer in my life. When I just started to work in the kitchen there in October in 2004, closes down generally in January, February. So I started to work on a local producers guide. And so I really started to develop a relationship with her and start to understand from her directly about Irish producers and Irish produce. So again, that’s where I started And now look at this. Potentially, my TV show is called The Irish Spiceman. Absolutely brilliant. I love it. The people that I’m so fortunate to mix with, the Ross Lewises, the Richard Corrigan, all these amazing chefs. What a position to be in, the Wade Murphy’s, everybody. Do you know what I mean? Your name dropped on. What I mean by that is, I’m really fortunate to be able to talk to these lads because they love food.

Speaker 1 (37:26)
They’re cooking with my spices. I love food, and I love the fact that I’m learning from them. So if we learn together, this is brilliant.

Speaker 2 (37:31)
It is absolutely amazing. So it’s actually great to see that you’re a very passionate mum, but you’re passionate equally about your Indian spices and your Irish produce, which is amazing for our channel, for example, which is all about Irish produce.

Speaker 1 (37:46)
Let’s be very clear, I wouldn’t be here had it not been for Ireland. Yeah. My phrase is, it’s Irish home, English heart, Indian heritage. So heritage, heart and home. Because unfortunately, I’m the guy. I can’t be promiscuous. I’m very- Loyal? Loyal, there’s the word. And I know when my bread is buttered and I know how fortunate I am to have been looked after so much as I was by Merrill Allen and by the local people in Cork, and that’s never going to go on. I must repay that, and it will get repaid. Reciprocity.

Speaker 2 (38:24)
I like it. Reciprocity. Lovely. Absolutely lovely.

Speaker 1 (38:28)
Ireland looked after me, and I want to bring something back to Ireland to make it proud of me.

Speaker 2 (38:32)
That’s all. But I’m going to tell you this Irishman is very proud of you. Well done. Honestly, it’s amazing. What a story. My jaws are so smiling here. I’m not joking. It’s really good.

Speaker 1 (38:44)
Sorry. I know I can tend to I’m not talking too much, I know.

Speaker 2 (38:45)
No, you definitely aren’t talking too much. What are you doing to market this lovely journey that you’re on in this business? What strategy have you got in place?

Speaker 1 (38:54)
So you see, back in my music day, so when we had no money, when I started this company, it was all about PR. So I was everywhere, flinging myself all around the place doing everything I possibly could. That’s why I started doing little demonstrations in our little unit that we have now in Cork. That’s why I wanted to be on TV. That’s why I was making as many friends as possible in the journalist world And they wouldn’t write about me if they didn’t believe in the project. So it’s PR is where it started. Now, there’s a couple of pennies around, and don’t get me wrong, we’re quite the opposite of Rich, but we’ve We’re now very fortunate in the position that we’ve taken on the ex-marketing director of Pattyx, who might be considered a- I’ve used their jars for a number of years. You don’t need to use them anymore, Colin. But anyway.

Speaker 2 (39:42)
They’re gone now.

Speaker 1 (39:43)
There we are. They’re gone to you. Exactly. We now have devised… Here we go. All the phrases are coming out now. But my business model is now based around asset-light strategic partnership led, and part of that strategic partnership is the marketing team and how we put an aggressive five-year plan together, so whereby we want to be an island in the UK. Initially, we want to roll out into Europe, stroke Australia, and five-year to be in America. Brilliant. Yeah, we have quite an aggressive plan, but it’s all about trying to grow up, going back to phase 2 of our journey, trying to grow up so that we become not a corporate entity. Could I ever be corporate? I don’t think so. But the company must act like a big company. So we must have the various checks and balances, the various KPIs, the various organigrams.

Speaker 2 (40:34)
I think the phrase is think global, act local.

Speaker 1 (40:38)
There you are. And look, here I am working with the Dutch, with Maltese, with Indians, with French, and living in Ireland. And so we have a global network, not sounding too grand again, but we have a global network, and there is so much goodwill towards this brand and very fortunate to me. So now I have to get on with it and make it work.

Speaker 2 (40:59)
I knew better a man for the job, I have no doubt. So in terms of Ireland and its food culture, have you seen it evolving? Has it evolved? Is it getting more- Again, very much so.

Speaker 1 (41:10)
I remember in Cork, I used to think that all the restaurants, they all seem to have gone to Banamaloo because they’re all so similar. It was all soda, bread, and jam, which is beautiful.

Speaker 2 (41:21)
Yeah, but it was very samey.

Speaker 1 (41:24)
And now I see an explosion of so many different, not only cultures, I know it keep going on cross-cultural, but clearly, that’s in me anyway. Of course. So many wonderful things. One of the many things I noticed when I first went to Ireland is I’d almost grown up in supermarket culture. I was probably that person at a young age thinking it, well, that’s not quite true because my mother, but thinking a chicken, I could have been led to believe that a chicken comes out of a plastic wrap. You know what I mean? Essentially, that’s where it was. But Ireland was never, in my mind, Ireland was never that. Ireland didn’t really allow the conglomerates to come in and take over. So it still had these pockets of the local store, the local this. So Ireland has naturally had that. You add on top of that, the most amazing of fertile land, that is the land of Ireland.

Speaker 2 (42:15)
The rain does that, Aron, though.

Speaker 1 (42:18)
Do you know what? My wife says that all the time. Aron Dolling never complained about the rain. That’s why it’s so green. Whatever about India, it’s so green. But no, you’re right. Ireland is a phenomenal place for Food culture in general, north, south, east, west, wherever you want to talk about Ireland, people know about food.

Speaker 2 (42:36)
I think we’ve really come on. Genially, people’s tastes are more expansive. People are travelled. You’ve talked about that. And we actually realised how good our produce is, too. And it’s being enhanced with spaces and things from all around the world. It’s an amazing time to be in Irish food, I have to say.

Speaker 1 (42:54)
I absolutely believe so. And not only, look, you have the proliferation of the Irish cheese is winning various awards and beating all the Irish cheeses. You have a proliferation of amazing Michelin-star restaurants or amazing restaurants that are springing up left, right, and centre all over Ireland.

Speaker 2 (43:12)
And loads of TV chefs on RTE I’m on BBC across the world, in fact.

Speaker 1 (43:17)
Absolutely. Ireland has influenced the world culture in so many positive ways. And clearly, you know a lot more about that than me. But we punch above our weight.

Speaker 2 (43:27)
There’s no doubt. There we are.

Speaker 1 (43:29)
Well, there we are, not only in boxing, but in poets and artists. And in the last 50 years, really, people are starting to recognise the beauty of its produce, its food. And I want to help push that.

Speaker 2 (43:43)
Brilliant. And here’s The $6 million dollar question. I’m going to end on this. This has been amazing. What’s the future for the food sector in Ireland? I mean, it’s a big question, but what do you see on the horizon?

Speaker 1 (43:56)
I see a I see the trust that’s out there globally about Irish food culture through project such as Our Origin Green. What an amazing, unique, expansive programme, Origin Green is. To be the first country to have a whole island sustainably producing food. Phenomenal. Do I think that there’s… I think clearly the dairy is always going to look after itself. Meat, because why wouldn’t you have… It is the best meat in the world when you the pasture that it has to graze on. But is there a missed opportunity? I’d like to think there is. Because of this amazing fertile land and because of the way that Ireland works, I think that and what is the one of the food trends in Ireland in the world, vegan in vegetarianism, clearly growing. Yeah. Hold a minute. Why aren’t we growing the most amazing vegetables, which we do? I know. But why isn’t that a focus? Let’s start to actually get back to the basics of Yes, amazing meats. No one could beat meats in Ireland. Amazing dairy. But is vegetables and is there something there between the grains, the pulses, the vegetables? I don’t know. I think there’s something there.

Speaker 1 (45:13)
And I think that’s where Ireland could be going if it were to focus there.

Speaker 2 (45:19)
It sounds like there’s a massive opportunity.

Speaker 1 (45:22)
I believe so.

Speaker 2 (45:22)
Are you going to go in that space yourself?

Speaker 1 (45:25)
Funny you should say that.

Speaker 2 (45:29)
Well, I I definitely think veganism and flexitarianism and vegetarianism is not a fad any longer. It’s serious there.

Speaker 1 (45:35)
Absolutely. And that’s the range that we have just launched into Fresh is vegan, vegetarian, 100 %… Well, all of our products are 100 % natural. There’s no gluten and all these things. Good for you, healthy, low in the sugar and salt. But yeah, and our frozen range is also vegan, vegetarian. Yeah, no, but I’m very fortunate that the young lady I married is a farmer’s daughter. So there’s a bit of land there that could certainly do with some spices or some Yeah, you’ll put that the good use, no doubt about that.

Speaker 2 (46:04)
Well, listen, I have to say, I’m sure our viewers will absolutely love this. I am absolutely delighted to have you on, and we’ll definitely see you again in Belfast when you’ve got the TV show over and done with. But honestly, really so much thanks. Sorry, go ahead.

Speaker 1 (46:18)
I love Belfast, and I’m really thrilled that you invited me to talk to you. And it’s pretty good of you to ask me to talk. I’m thrilled to be involved. So thank you very much for inviting me.

Speaker 2 (46:28)
You are too welcome. I I can genuinely tell you it was our pleasure. And I really hope that everyone has enjoyed Aaron’s story. It’s a wonderful story. And hopefully we’ll see that the space is in our shops very soon. So green saffron space. And Aaron, just before we go, actually, where can people contact you? Have you got a website? Are you on Facebook? And we’ll put all the links underneath the video. Sorry, I’ve forgotten to say that.

Speaker 1 (46:51)
Absolutely. So we have a website. We have a good Facebook page, good followers. So Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, So we’re all of those.

Speaker 2 (47:00)
So they’re all green saffron spice?

Speaker 1 (47:03)
Yeah, green saffron spice, except I think typically one of them, I think it’s Twitter is green saffron, but just generally at green saffron spice. Yeah. And the website is greensaffronspace.

Speaker 2 (47:12)
Ie or. Com?. Com. Okay, brilliant. Well, Aron, thank you so much, and I can’t wait for our viewers to see this. Thank you very much. So speak to you soon on Amazing Food and Drink TV.

Speaker 1 (47:23)
Thank you for your time.

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