Cardiff born and bred, Graeme Hooper and David Mitchell have known each other in business and as friends for over 28 years. Passionate about food and drink, and Spain in particular, they’ve set up their fantastic online business Productos Del Marco and, being lovers of food and drink (and Spain) ourselves, we leapt at the chance for a chat with them.
How have you grown your business from an idea to where it is now?
I (Graeme) visited Jerez de la Frontera in Spain around ten years ago after seeing a Lipizzaner horse display in Cardiff and tracked them back to the pure-bred Andalucian horse. Jerez is the home of the Real Escuela de Arte Equestrian (Royal School for Equestrian Art) and so I decided to visit. I fell in love with the city and its traditional laid back lifestyle so I’ve been returning three to four times a year.
During my visits, I met many local people and started to discover the incredible food and drink culture and, in particular, the sherry from the region. This sparked my interest, leading to considerable research in Spain generally and the region in particular – so much so that I also embarked on learning the language.
I wanted to start an e-commerce business and felt that something you’re passionate about is obviously a great place to start.
I met with two friends in Jerez and discussed the idea with them, they previously owned a high-end restaurant in the town and they confirmed they’d love to help so we set off on the journey of sourcing web design, social media etc. Dave confirmed he was interested in being involved; we both flew out and the four of us have been on the journey since.
It sounds great, you’re living the dream. Tell us about the products you sell?
All our produce comes from the sherry triangle region called El Marco de Jerez, hence the name Productos del Marco. We sell sherry, brandy, sherry vinegar, wines, oils, charcuterie, cured cheeses, cured fish products from Barbate, chocolates from Cadiz, and hand crafted Andalucian pottery.
Who do you sell to?
Our business is purely online sales; we sell to the public and also to delis, restaurants etc. We deliver anywhere in the UK.
Do you have any plans for the future?
To further develop our products range and expand our outlet base. We’re currently looking to add rare breed Retinto beef, Iberian pork, and organic honey to our ranges in the near future – once again all from the El Marco de Jerez region.
Boasting more than 3,200 hours of sunshine per year the Marco de Jerez region is an area with a deep-rooted wine producing tradition and a great deal to offer those of us who love gastronomic delights. Take a look at the Productos del Marco website for the very best from this stunning region.
Productos Del Marco
Viking Place, Cardiff, CF10 4UU