By MICHAEL LANE
A Yorkshire businessman is looking to rival Brindisa with his new Spanish food and drink import operation – Grey’s Fine Foods.
Spanish-born Javier De La Hormaza’s (pictured right) venture is currently supplying products, such as acorn-fed Ibérico ham and 100-year-old Peinado Reserva brandy, to delis and restaurants in the local area but wants to expand the business nationwide.
De La Hormaza – who has previously held managerial roles the Martha & Vincent Restaurant and the Mint Hotel in Leeds – plans to begin deliveries in cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester in the next few years, combined with the launch of new Spanish gastro bar concept.
“Yorkshire has been my home for 15 years and it’s a brilliant starting point for this business as there is nothing like this around here,” he said. “We have lots of plans but first and foremost we want to become the Spanish gourmet specialist in the North.”
Together with business partner Alvaro Del Portillo (pictured left), De La Hormanza spent 18 months researching, developing, and sourcing foods and wines directly from small producers.
“There are no middlemen, we know all the producers and visited them,” he said. “I’ve had a crazy diet over the last 12 months, tasting and testing each product, but from some 500 wines we’ve selected just 50, and from 6-8 ham producers, we’ve selected one. It’s not a case of ‘this will do’, we believe in each and every product.”
As well as the 100-year-old brandy, Grey’s wine portfolio includes premium Cava, Burgundy-style wine from Bierzo and reds from Ribera Del Duero. In total, it carries more than 100 products including milk-fed lamb from the Castilla y León region and caviar from Granada.