Gran Grans Foods was established in 2014 by my wife Magaly and I, but our love for good food comes from a long way back and what a journey it has been!
I spent my first 12 years growing up in Coventry. My parents, both Irish, used to bring us to Ireland regularly to spending our summers here. What I remember the most; were the great smells coming from my granny Murray’s kitchen or GranGran as we used to call her. From her treacle bread to her roast pork with which she would make a fresh apple sauce, there was a never-ending beautiful aroma coming from her kitchen. It was around then, that I realized, that a career in the kitchen was definitively for me.
I met Magaly in Venice, Italy, in 1995 while both working in the hospitality industry. We began our journey together traveling to different countries and experiencing their food and culture. I 1996, we got married in Peru! A country rich in history which cuisine is a seamlessly blend of different cultures and ancient Peruvian food creating something utterly unique.
Soon after, we decided to open Peru’s first Irish Pub “Murphy’s” in the capital Lima, serving Irish traditional dishes with an international twist. We offered the locals and expats community the best of Irish food and entertainment. “Murphy’s Irish Pub” turned out to be a great success and it gave us the opportunity to open a second Irish pub, other restaurants and even venture in the music industry. Anyway, that’s for another website!!
After 10 years in business, we made the decision to come home to Ireland with our 3 young kids; Sean, Brendan, and Nicole. We fell in love with a small farmhouse in the countryside of Loughrea; Kilchreest, in front of the beautiful Slieve Aughty mountains and decided to raise our children there. I worked as a head chef at the Ardilaun Hotel as well as The Glenlo Abbey Hotel, whilst still keeping the dream of having our own business.
The opportunity came in 2014 in an industry that was relatively new to us. We decided to give it a go and create a range of sauces that not only capture the essence of my summer holidays in Ireland but also reflect the different flavours we learned through our journey and experiences in other countries. We built a customised kitchen at the back of our home in Kilchreest, where I cook our products using herbs and ingredients from my own vegetable patch as well as some fruits and vegetables from other local producers, while Magaly does her magic with the packaging and labeling.
It is never easy to start a new business. Your passion will only bring you so far and no one has the recipe for instant success, you have to be prepared for the ups and downs but mainly to learn and to adapt. After 4 years in the retail business and 12 years living in Ireland, we can proudly say we have found our place in the heart of the Irish consumer.
We have grown organically and now we not only deliver to small artisan shops and garden centres but also to speciality shops and some Supervalu’s throughout the country. We have had great support from our families and we still do, our kids, now young adults are an important part of our growth with an active involvement throughout our production.
We feel lucky and blessed we have found a “Jar” where to pour our experiences and passion for food and can’t wait to hear your comments and advise to keep improving and learning!