An idea sometimes stays as an idea, but a vision to take an idea & implement into the real world is something that is not easy but has been achieved by Owner / Director Matthew Brownie – idea man & innovator of Scratch My Pork, the first meat savoury snack produced for the Irish Market.
Who is Matthew Brownie & what’s his Story?
The New Zealand man Matthew has been a professional chef for over 25 years, born & bred in Wanganui on the West Coast of the North Island, he arrived at professional chef college in Hawkes Bay Napier at the age of 20 where he completed his training & got a great grounding at the renowned Mission Vineyard Restaurant in Napier.
Three years in Wellington with one position at the famous Mondo Cucina under the guidance of Kerry Mackay, Kenny Burton & Paul Tweed was the break Matthew needed, getting the confidence, knowledge & skills were crucial for the progression of Matthews Career. Leaving for Sydney, Australia and finding work in the Lamrock Café in Bondi Beach, he not only found work but he found his future wife Ann working in the same establishment who happened to be Irish so the next stop was Dublin, Ireland.
After choosing various jobs over the 10 years stay in Dublin, Matthew ended up getting a Junior Sous Chef position under the talented French Micheline Star Chef Jean Michel Chevet. The attention to detail & how to organise a kitchen along with some of the best knowledge of food was gained at the 40 Foot Restaurant in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin.
Matthew & Ann went back to New Zealand in between to visit family where he helped bring up a relatively new restaurant back in his hometown Wanganui Vega Restaurant & Bar where he took on his first head Chef role at age 29.
Back to Dublin where his next Head Chef Role came about at The Davenport Hotel managing a kitchen team of 10 staff. A stint at the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook as kitchen manager and then a decision to set up home and have a family from where his wife Ann was born and bred in Skibbereen, West Cork, where they have their son Aiden and daughter Ava.
Matthew was employed in various head chef roles and senior chef positions in West Cork and the start of creation of Scratch My Pork was just ahead of Matthew when he made the decision to go back to college at Cork Institute of Technology in 2011 where he completed the BA Culinary Arts Degree. HIs class was asked to improve or find a gap in the Irish food market where Pork Scratchings became his answer.
“The product development module I really found interesting and adapted my chef knowledge, CIT’s teaching’s with a lot of my own study which I received top marks for and then won the Best Business plan for Scratch My Pork int the CIT Innovation Award in 2013. From here the interest kind of became an obsession to launch Scratch My Pork onto the Irish Market which by April 2014 I had managed to do so”.
A nine month test market followed, where he sold over 40 thousand bags, with help of the Supervalu and Musgraves Food Academy Program which showed that the Irish market was open to a new and innovated snack.
Matthew has been trading for over 4 years now and with his National Distributor Hr Foods Distribution (John Hannon) growing his business through the Irish retail chain stores, along with a local distributor growing his products through the on and off trade it goes from strength to strength.
“I’m delighted with the way my company is today, but it has been hard work, personal sacrifices have been made with a lot of mistakes, but learnt from the mistakes with the attitude and determination of never giving up. I have learnt from my chef background that attention to detail is so important and am excited to announce that there is another product range that will be coming out shortly that will surprise a few people”.
“I must thank the partnership with AIB Bank, West Cork Development Programme and the Cork City LEO Board that gave me much needed support”.
With a clever name, branding and packaging, Scratch My Pork provides Irish consumers with a new and exciting alternative to crisps, bacon fries and popcorn that is currently not available on the Irish market. Scratch My Pork is a delicious hand-cooked, Gluten, Dairy, MSG Free and High in Protein savoury snack in 4 distinctive flavours (Salted, Smokey, Salt & Vinegar) with an old but new flavour Cajun reappearing shortly.