Thank you for having a chat with us, as you know, we’re celebrating 21 years by chatting to some of the people that we’ve worked with over the years in helping them start a business. So tell us a little bit about your business?
My name is Taoufik Hammami, originally from Tunisia. My business is a catering business. Plus, retail too. I established my business in 2013. I opened a restaurant called Sultan Cafe Restaurant and Shisha Lounge which was open until 2016. After that, I decided to open another business called Cork Sultan Delight, which is a unique business, similar to the restaurant. After a while, I opened cookery classes as well on the same premises, teaching people how to cook. And so I never stopped. I then got my family involved, and they wanted to run the restaurant. This was a good idea to leave the restaurant to the family, so I can take care of the other business myself, so I have two businesses. I was delighted with it. So the business is doing well and I’m very happy with it.
So I did open a third business, catering outdoors. So it involves a lot of events: festivals, private parties, private outdoor events. So, this is actually the business now, it’s called The Hand of Fatimah Cuisine, all international cuisine plus my speciality: Moroccan, Greek, Turkish, Lebanese style. Plus, Tunisian wine. as well. So far I’m doing well. I never stop. Always looking forwards, always looking for another thing.
What we’re hoping to do with this series of interviews is to inspire people who are at the stage of starting. We met you when you were just about to start. Can you remember what that felt like? Do you remember how you felt before you started?
Yes. Before I started the business, I had the idea. Before the start, I had the idea about the business. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if I was ready to open a business or not. Until I found the course. I said, ‘this is what I’m looking for’. How to set up your own business, how to be your own boss. I have to do that course. It helped me a lot for starting up my own business. I felt very happy when I heard about the course. When I started up in the middle of the course, I did open my own business.
You did! You didn’t wait till the end.
No, no, no. Actually, I got a lot information. I did focus a lot with it. I attended all of the course. I was always there, because this is what I was looking for. So after that, I did open my own business. I was using all the experience I gained from the course. So it has been helped me a lot, a lot, a lot. I am very happy after the course.
What we try to do, is we try to give people the skills to start a business. We try to give people the confidence to start a business and a create a network. Did you find that you made a lot of friends and good contacts from being on the course?
I met a lot of people on the course with me, and I keep talking to them. I got a lot of advice as well from them. I’m still in touch with you as welI, once a year, like the college around here. So it’s amazing.
What are you happiest with about starting a business?
I’m happy with it. I see my businesses still growing year after year, I’m the first person in Ireland with this unique business. I’m always finding something new in my business and I’m very happy with it. I’ll never give up, I’ll never stop. I’m happy to see my business grow and to be popular in the area where I am in Cork. It’s not only here, I’ve started going world wide too.
You’re in central Cork. That’s where people can find you – 21 Mac Curtain Street, Cork City and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CorkSultanDelight/
Is there any advice that you’d give to somebody, imagining yourself back in 2013? What’s the advice you would give somebody?
Absolutely. The advice I would give if anyone wants to see his dream come true. You can get it. The first thing is, he has to learn.
How to set up your own business, how to be your own boss, how you can get your dreams to come true, but you have to learn first. You have to go find a good course. Like the course I did, I would say, it’s easy when you know everything. It’s a hard when you don’t know everything? That’s important, the course I was taking myself. I used to work for somebody else. I didn’t have any idea about business or how to set up a business. But I wanted to open a business, but I don’t have any ideas about it. So, until I found the course where I can learn about it. But the course has helped me a lot in establishing my business.
Yes. I was confused. I was confused. I wanted anything like I mean, anyone want to open the business section I’m talking about as I did open a business. Anyone to open a business, just go for it. Don’t give up. Don’t go back. Go for it. If you stopped in the middle, you get confused. If I go back, will you continue.
What made you innovate in your business? Are there times when you really have to step back and think, what do I need to do? Do I need to change something or.
Of course, of course, I have had to change a lot of things I made a lot of mistakes, too. But for that, I’ve learned from the mistakes. I always go back to the experience I had. I always have to go back and remember what was said. This is the way I changed a lot of things in my business. A lot of mistakes can happen, but it’s I decided not to whine about it. I now know how to manage a mistake.
Thank you so much, lads. I want to thank you so much because you helped me establish my own business and I am so happy for what I did now. Thank you so much, all of you. Everyone who came to teach me about the business. Thank you so much.