Supporting Irish business is a passion of ours at Image, and it's easy with so many entrepreneurial and innovative Irish businesses to buy from. From now until Christmas we are highlighting Irish businesses or business people that we are excited about. Today it's hand-cooked Clintons Crisps, brought to us by a multi-generational potato farming family.
What is your name, and what is your business?
Sean Clinton, Clintons Crisps. We make Irish farm-grown, allergen free, hand-cooked crisps.
How long have you been in business?
We've been producing Clintons Crisps for two years now but farming potatoes for the last seven generations. Myself and my brother Martin had always talked about our idea of 'the perfect crisp' and in 2018, we decided to try and bring that idea to life. While Martin runs the potato farming side of the business, I produce all the crisps, having worked in the industry for over 25 years. This means that we can personally stand over both sides of the business and ensure absolute quality and freshness.
What is your mission?
To create the best tasting treat for everyone to enjoy by bringing the crunchiest and cleanest hand-cooked potato crisp to the Irish market. We grow special varieties of potatoes and slowly hand-cook them in rapeseed oil, which makes them extremely crunchy. And we choose classic flavours that we know everyone likes but put our own twist on them.
Earlier this year we launched our vegan-friendly Farmhouse Cheddar & Red Onion flavour making our entire range allergen free, the only range in Ireland to become free from all 14 allergens.
Of what part of your business are you proudest?
Being a full-circle family business. Planting our potatoes in April, seeing them grow and flower in the sun and rain of Ireland, freshly digging them up in Autumn and turning them into Clintons Crisps to be enjoyed by families. We're also proud of becoming allergen free and being able to offer our crisps to so many people with specific dietary requirements.
Who are your heroes?
The small business owners finding their way through Covid, people who have weathered the storm and who have had to completely change their business to survive. Personal heroes? My Grandmother and Greta Thunberg.
How have you found the last six months?
Every day is a learning experience and we are having to find different ways to get people to taste our crisps, especially without events and in-store tastings. From a personal point of view, I've realised how important family is ... you realise how lucky you are.
What keeps you positive?
Family and Friends
What new perspective have you gained from 2020?
You can still make a deal without a handshake and always dress for Zoom.
Best/worst moment from 2020?
The best – Biden brings sanity; and the worst – not being able to attend funerals during the Covid crisis.
How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
As always with family at home. Even though it will be different this year, we'll still enjoy our family traditions.
Another Irish business you want to shine a spotlight on?
The Sweet Potato Pizza Company. A small artisan brand producing handmade pizzas – the bases are made from sweet potatoes – they are low in calories and delicious!
Anything else you would like to let us know?
We carry the Guaranteed Irish mark recognising our commitment to Irish provenance, something we were thrilled to get. We're now available in select Tesco stores and on tesco.ie and we've just launched our variety sharing boxes on our online shop in time for Crispmas.
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