Anyone who has been in the Main Street carpark in Donegal Town recently cannot fail to have noticed the tantalising aromas from the town’s newest ‘lunch on the go’ provider.
Thomas Hughes of Lisnamulligan Farm Produce has a food van with a difference – his main ingredients are all produced on his own Donegal Farm. He offers a delicious choice of tasty, quality food. His menu includes gourmet beef or pork and apple burgers, breakfast baps and freshly hand-cut chips.
As well as using his own homegrown produce, Mr Hughes is a big supporter of other Donegal food businesses. He gets his baps from O’Donnell’s Bakery and fries his chips in Donegal Rapeseed Oil. He hopes in the long run to grow his own wheat and rape flower.
“There are not many people who can make a living from a farm in Donegal nowadays," he told the Donegal Post. "But that is what I am aiming to do."
Mr Hughes is combining his agricultural and culinary skills with a background in sales and marketing. Indeed, he was a key part of the team which built Donegal Rapeseed Oil to the renowned brand that it is today.
“I was there for around seven years,” he said. “It was the most enjoyable period of my life till it came to the point where I was spending too much time away from my home and my family. I had made trips to the US and to Paris. It was moving towards a point where I was spending more time going all over the world than at home. So it was just time for a change.”
One of the biggest challenges for Mr Hughes in this new venture was going it alone.
“I was part of a great team at Donegal Rapeseed Oil,” he said. “Everyone played a part in the success of the company. This is well and truly standing on my own two feet, so it's up to me to make it work.”
The Lisnamulligan Farm Produce food van is parked opposite Aldi, to the rear of the former McGettigan’s Butchers. It is there almost every day, though Mr Hughes also travels to food and agricultural shows as well as festivals in Donegal and further afield. His farm is in Castlefin.
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