Dublin-based entrepreneur and restaurateur, Philip Martin today launched Blanco Niño, Ireland’s first agri-business crowd funding campaign to build Europe’s first real corn tortilla factory in Ireland.
Partnering with Irish farmers, Blanco Niño plans to have over 600 acres of farm land growing high-quality non-GMO corn maize for their tortilla, nacho chips and masa harina products by year five, giving a boost to the Irish farming sector. In addition, the company aims to create 30 jobs in the same period at their production facility in Fingal in North County Dublin.
Blanco Niño will produce quality, in-demand, home-grown products that will act as a catalyst for an alternative revenue stream for farmers in Ireland, as the company aims to replace neglected sugar beet fields with sustainable grown maize.
Blanco Niño’s crowd funding campaign via the Crowd Cube platform is seeking investment of £60,000 in exchange for 6.64%, but with a stretch funding goal of £200,000 in exchange for 22.15%. The Crowd Cube platform allows for investment of as little as £10, and has seen Blanco Niño already funded by over a third of its target in the first 10 days of its 60 day campaign.
The drive behind Blanco Niño is the owner of Dublin city’s award-winning Little Ass Burrito Bar, Philip Martin and his determination to bring what he calls the ‘Tortilla Revolution’ to the world.
Martin says: “There is no comparison in taste between Blanco Niño’s product and the standard supermarket tortilla.” He adds that, “we are already into double digit figures with enquiries from food service companies in Ireland and Britain.”
Martin has spent the last two years researching and developing the project and has spent time in Mexico learning the traditional cooking process of Nixtamalisation — a technique that will be used to create the authentic Blanco Niño tortillas. Nixtamalisation makes corn easier to digest and offers a variety of other health benefits, including improving the balance of essential amino acids and increasing the body’s absorbable calcium content by up to 750%.
Blanco Niño intends to invest 10% of annual profits into micro finance schemes in Central and South America, to encourage and develop sustainable farming. This is part of the company’s mission to be a force for positive change towards long-term sustainability both locally and internationally.