Tipperary businessman proves himself a future leader with national food award


Tipperary businessman proves himself a future leader with national food award

Blanco Nino's Philip Martin with his award

At its biennial Food and Drink Awards at the RDS Dublin, Bord Bia presented nine awards for excellence to some of Ireland’s foremost organisations and brands. 

Phillip Martin, CEO of Blanco Nino from Clonmel received the Future Leader award. 

At the age of just 31, this is Philip’s second successful business, having set up Little Ass Burrito a restaurant in Dublin previously.

Unsatisfied with the quality of corn tortillas on the market, Philip travelled to Mexico to learn how to make authentic versions in the ancient Aztec way.

Back in Ireland, he identified that he would need to set up a tortilla factory, and in 2016 began producing premium Mexican-style corn tortillas for the Blanco Niño brand in Clonmel.

 More than 15 million of its tortillas have been sold to date, including to major UK players such as Wahaca, The Restaurant Group, Casual Dining Group and Peach Pubs. Philip, as CEO, has since established relationships and routes to market across 14 European countries via 25 distribution partners. 

The judges said, “The ongoing demand for leadership and management talent is a challenge facing the global food and drink industry, but with rising stars such as Philip coming to the fore, the future looks bright. A CEO at just 31 years old, Philip is not just an outstanding entrepreneur; his ability to inspire and influence others, exhibited through his fundraising and team assembly, sets him apart as an emerging leader. A great story of real passion and commitment.”

 Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Michael Creed T.D. said – “Today is a wonderful celebration of some of the most exciting, innovative and forward thinking companies working within the Irish food and drink industry. As we work towards the ambitious goals set out by Food Wise 2025, the winners, and indeed the entire shortlist, have proven their commitment and ambition to driving the sector forward.

“I’m conscious that new business is not easily won and Irish food and drink companies are to be commended for their success in developing strong brand strategies, sustainable practices, and cultures of inclusion. From small artisan producers to major multinationals the rich tapestry of industry is here today and I applaud all nine companies for their vision and determination to succeed.”