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Asia Market Launches ‘Bring It To Market’, A Development Programme For Small Irish Businesses

Dublin’s Asia Market – Ireland’s premier Asian supermarket – is honouring Lunar New Year with the launch of a brand new Year of the Dragon development programme, Bring It To Market, that will provide precious funding and mentorship support to an up and coming Irish food & drink business throughout 2024.

Submissions for the store’s new ‘Bring It To Market’ fast track initiative are open and Asia Market is encouraging budding business owners, chefs, and entrepreneurs from across the country keen on creating a unique new Asian-inspired product to apply.

Over the coming months its development programme, which is offering funding and support valued at €15,000 including invaluable commercial and retail mentorship expertise, aims to assist the victorious venture in developing their idea from concept stage all the way through to product launch.

Not only that, once finalised Asia Market will also proudly stock their product, providing it with valuable retail shelf space across all three of its stores. This, combined with opening up nationwide distribution of the item to a network of other retailers, generating online sales via its webstore, www.asiamarket.ie, and facilitating next day delivery of their product to consumers living throughout Ireland, will help catapult its release.

The Application Process

In keeping with Chinese culture, where the dragon is seen as the ultimate symbol of power, fortune and prosperity, the initiative is inspired by the ancient practice of awakening the dragon within; a transformative process of self-discovery that enables personal and professional growth. 

It aims to provide budding business owners with the financial support and professional expertise that will enable them to unleash their inner fire and display the dragon-like qualities of charisma, intelligence, confidence, and power that are essential to achieving business success.

In order to be considered for ‘Bring It To Market’, chefs, business owners, and entrepreneurs wishing to participate in the programme must be living in Ireland, aged 18 years or older, and already be registered either as a sole trader, or a limited company. 

Those that fulfil these criteria are invited to submit an application to Asia Market containing detailed top-line information on their proposed product idea via email to bringittomarket@asiamarket.ie by Sunday April 7th 2024. 

Asia Market’s Commercial Director, Eva Pau, and her Management Team will then keenly review the entries received and shortlist a handful of products that they believe have the potential to succeed.

Stage 2 of the application process will see the selected businesses invited to Asia Market’s HQ in Dublin a few weeks later to present their ideas in person to an assembled panel of industry experts.

In a competitive Dragons’ Den-style pitch scenario, Programme Ambassador, Kwanghi Chan (Commissioner General of Euro-Toques Ireland, Restaurateur & Owner of East By Kwanghi) and fellow judge, Irah Mari Pebredo (the Content Creator behind popular Dublin-based food blog, Foodstagram.ie), will assist Pau in reaching her final decision.

What Funding & Support Will The Winning Business Receive?

The successful business will be announced on the day and awarded a cheque for €7,500, with the ring-fenced funds to be used to help cover business expenses directly associated with the development of their product – things like kitchen hire, cost of ingredients, shelf-life testing, and the procurement of packaging.

The driving force behind the store’s new ‘Bring It To Market’ initiative is Asia Market’s Commercial Director, Eva Pau, who quite literally grew up in the family-run store on Dublin’s Drury Street, which is owned by her parents, Helen and Howard Pau.

In her professional capacity, Eva has played a pivotal role in establishing the Asia Market brand, modernising the in-store shopping experience, expanding the business out to their second location in Ballymount, Dublin 12, and turning her family’s store into an online triumph –  which now offers over 4,000 products for delivery anywhere in Ireland. Needless to say, she knows exactly what it takes for a product on her shelves to succeed.

In addition to the €7,500 funding, the winner will also be able to tap into Eva’s vast commercial and retail knowledge, and expertise. Over a six-month mentorship period, she will dedicate time one-on-one to helping them refine and develop all aspects of their product, and bring it to market. 

Asia Market will also provide the venture with access to its in-house Finance, Food Safety, Labelling, Design, Packaging, and Retail Strategy departments, who will advise and support them in all of these key areas.  

The culmination of the programme will see the final product given valuable retail shelf space in both of Asia Market’s Dublin stores (Drury Street, Dublin 2 and Ballymount, Dublin 12), plus its newly opened Mini Asia Market in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, with the launch also supported by a calendar of social media content and in-store samplings. 

The item will also be listed for purchase on Asia Market’s website, www.asiamarket.ie, and made available for Asian food fans to order online for nationwide next day delivery.

Proudly Supporting Irish Artisan Producers

The new ‘year of the dragon’ development and investment initiative for 2024 is a continuation of the stellar work that Asia Market has done over a number of years in passionately providing a platform for small artisan Irish food & drink businesses to sell their products and flourish.

All three of its stores have spaces dedicated to proudly showcasing Irish-made products. These currently include the likes of White Mausu’s and Rivesci’s chilli oils, Too Savage’s plant-based Wasabi and Curry flavoured mayonnaises, the Japanese-inspired range, Conbini Condiments, and ChanChan Foods’ wide array of Asian products.

Commenting on the launch of ‘Bring It To Market’ and her passion for the store’s new development programme, Asia Market’s Commercial Director, Eva Pau, said: “We’re extremely excited to launch our new product development initiative. Asia Market is hugely passionate about supporting Irish producers of Asian-inspired products and each of our stores has a section specially dedicated to showcasing them. 

Our hope is that ‘Bring It To Market’ will provide a meaningful platform that enables a fledgling business to succeed and ultimately sees their finished product proudly stocked on our shelves.

In addition to the cash investment, our team, whose expertise include Finance, Food Safety, Labelling, Design, Packaging, and Retail Strategy, has a great wealth of knowledge that will ably assist the lucky winner in navigating the many challenges involved in bringing a new product to market.”

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