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Nick Gallagher

The Black Tartan Food Co
Inverness, United Kingdom

Nick’s company is a Scottish-themed, pop-up restaurant and catering company specialising in gourmet burgers.

60-Second Interview

Who was your biggest hero when you were younger?
When I was younger, I was really into my music. I started playing guitar when I was 11 and my biggest hero and inspiration was Kurt Cobain. I went on to be in two bands, first one being Kaleidoscope Eyes which I played guitar. We had a manager and were signed to a label and recorded an EP you can buy on iTunes. I then joined another band, The Girobabies, playing bass which are still going and doing really well playing all the well-known festivals and venues in Scotland but I left for my family and career a long time ago now.
What initially attacted you to enterprise?
I’ve worked really hard all my life essentially making other people rich which really sunk in when working 12-14 hours a day as a chef. Having to make lots of sacrifices just to get by really made me think of better options for myself. So I decided that the best option is for me to work for myself using the skills I’ve learned and also giving me the freedom to cook what I love.
Can you tell us about the first £10 you ever made?
The first £10 I made was when I was 6. I was taken berry picking once by an older friend and made £5. One of the following weekends, without telling my mother, I left my house at 6am and jumped on the bus myself to go picking on my own. When I got home in the afternoon my mother was going crazy as she had no clue where I was from when she got up but I made £10 that day and was well chuffed. I had a paper round when I was 12 and lied that I was 13 so I could earn my own money so I’ve always had the drive to get out and work!
What has been your biggest challenge so far with your business?
The biggest challenge was getting my street traders licence which, without it, I wouldn’t have been able to operate. I had to go through a bit of stress getting it but I got it in the end along with a couple of grey hairs so was all worth it!
Who is it that keeps you going through any tough times?
Times are always tough, but I have a beautiful, 4-year-old daughter, Brooke, who I’ve looked after since birth on my own, and with the help of my mother. So she is my driving force for everything! She’s a really happy and bright little girl that I’m very proud of so makes it all worthwhile. I have a lot of support from my family as well so lucky to have that around me and want to make them as proud of me as I am them.
What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning?
Well it’s not my alarm clock because I’m always awake before it! But again would have to say my daughter and the determination to make something better of myself for us both.
How do you define success?
To me, real success is never achievable. Each goal or step reached is followed by more and even bigger ambitions so I’m always pushing forward trying to reach a new goal. I would say success is to be content with your life and be happy. Not measured on your bank balance or salary but your quality of life.
Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years’ time, the mobile kitchen will be well on the go providing my quirky, gourmet, Scottish-themed street food. My pop-up restraurant should be well under way by then doing pop-ups in venues all over the country with all my own high quality branded equipment.
If you could give your ’teenage self’ one piece of advice, what would it be?
I’d tell my teenage self to stop putting things off and face everything head on. Do it today, don’t put anything off.
If you could have any one person on your business contact list, who would that person be and why?
That would have to be the person that signs the dotted line in the bank and grants me the loans I need to fund my next steps. I feel I’ve made all contacts I need to do what it is I intend to do. The only thing holding me back now is funding.