Welcome to the 4thEdition of Drogheda Chamber’s Member Spotlight Series.
Every week Drogheda Chamber will feature one of our Members on our website and across our social media platforms.
This week we spoke to Michael Burke, Commercial Director of Nature’s Best
Nature’s Best has a great back story that many people may not be aware of – can you tell us a little bit about the history of the company?
Absolutely, it’s a fantastic story.
It’s hard to believe sometimes looking at the company and the success it has had that it started over 30 years ago in a garage in Bellewstown.
The Founder and Chairman of Natures Best, Paddy Callaghan, started out as a Mechanical Engineer before taking the leap and becoming an Entrepreneur.
Paddy started out in 1987 growing beansprouts. It wasn’t a popular vegetable in Ireland at the time but it was one vegetable that grew quickly with very little minding!
Paddy started selling the beansprouts to local farmers markets and then to local retail and it just escalated from there.
It was small in the beginning and his family helped out a lot but as it grew Paddy began thinking about expanding the business.
He tells a great story about how in the early days the ESB called round to his house wondering why he was using so much electricity!
In the early nineties, Paddy turned his attention to stir fries and was the first person to bring the product to Ireland, that’s when the company really started to expand!
Paddy really had a belief in what he was doing and is incredibly pragmatic and always looking forward.
When he started the company his mission was for Ireland to eat healthier and he was the first person to introduce the leaf bagged salad into the Irish Market.
He was convinced that a leaf salad bag could become a staple item in everyone’s shopping bag – and he was right.
In 1997 he took a big risk and bought the site where Nature’s Best stands today.
At the time there was no M1 motorway, no Tesco or none of the units that are around us now.
It was a huge gamble but he really believed in the business and what it could achieve.
Since then the company has continued to thrive, employing over 350 people and feeding 1 in 4 Irish people every week!
What has been the biggest impact on Drogheda?
For us it’s all about the people and I think the biggest impact has to be security of employment.
Nature’s Best is a second generation family business and that family culture is evident in everything we do and everyone we work with.
We have the same transport people forever. We don’t chop and change. People are not just our suppliers, they are our partners, and we want to help them grow.
We have fantastic education opportunities open to all our employees.
It’s something we are very proud of.
What’s next for Nature’s Best?
We are launching our new food initiative called ‘Green Shoots’ in the New Year and we are all incredibly excited about it.
It’s a passion project we have been working on for quite a while now and we can’t wait to officially get started next year.
In a nutshell, Green Shoots is a programme that will help grow the next generation of Ireland’s food business entrepreneurs.
We want to find the best talent and bring them through a process that will test, educate and elevate their businesses.
It’s something that has never been done before but we are passionate about Irish Food and Entrepreneurship and wanted to develop something that was a combination of the two.
With our knowledge, experience and contacts we believe we can help so many entrepreneurs accelerate their business and that is something we feel very enthusiastic about.
Visit Nature’s Best for all the latest news and updates.
To feature your business in our Member Spotlight Series contact email@example.com