A Co. Down man is proving his dough is rising in popularity with the support of the Go For It programme and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
The Go For It programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) programme.
Emmanuel McMenamin from Downpatrick set-up his business Texas State Pizza just twelve weeks ago and already he has customers travelling from as far away as Ballynahinch and Newcastle for a slice of his pizza.
Crediting his success down to his pizza base, created from a recipe formulated by a Texan who works alongside Emmanuel and the temperature of the oven, he says, ‘people are even eating the crusts’.
The pizza maker shopped around for his equipment which was his largest investment and he also has invested in quality ingredients that his customers appreciate.
Using the power of social media, Emmanuel has utilised video content to create engagement and awareness of his pizzeria, attracting a large fan base online for his tongue-in cheek humour.
Emmanuel McMenamin, owner of Texas State Pizza, said: “I previously ran businesses in the hospitality sector but the landscape has changed so much, the Go For It programme helped me with the legal aspect of starting a food business and putting me in touch with the relevant bodies for compliance. The Down Business Centre is located outside of the town of Downpatrick, which is where I chose to set-up my business, renting a 600 sq. ft. unit.
“We’ve really hit the ground running and hope to move to a larger premises in the coming weeks so we can cater for sit-in customers as well as take-away. I am also developing the menu and expanding into burritos and ice-cream to cater for everyone.
“The advice I can give to anyone thinking of starting their own business is to focus on marketing. I didn’t invented the pizza but I needed people to taste Texas State Pizza and marketing has definitely helped create a buzz. Also, don’t compromise on hard work. You have to put in the graft to get the results and make sure you keep your business fresh with new ideas.”
...the Go For It programme helped me with the legal aspect of starting a food business and putting me in touch with the relevant bodies for compliance.
The Go For It Programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies. It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.
Joan Tummon, Business Advisor at Down Business Centre, congratulated Emmanuel for the way in which he has developed his idea into a successful business. “Emmanuel is an example of how people are using their experience to create a business. He has done this through his passion, hard work and creativity in marketing to highlight his product and offering. The Business Centre is delighted to have helped Emmanuel on his journey and we wish him and everyone at Texas State Pizza well for the future.”
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business call 0800 027 0639 or visit www.goforitni.com