Oishii means delicious in Japanese and is a word she learned on a student trip to the Land of the Rising Sun that left her with a passion for fresh sushi. Unable to find it back home, she began making her own and selling it at farmers markets.
Demand grew quickly, but she was so busy making and selling it that she had little time to think strategically about the business. It was only a chance meeting with someone from her local enterprise board that put her on a path to growth. “I was 18 months in before I realised there were supports out there for food start ups like mine,” she says.
Access to mentoring and a capital grant enabled her to buy her first proper piece of equipment – prior to that she had to do everything by hand – and the business began to scale up rapidly.
Today it sells into supermarkets across Ireland and recently expanded with the launch of Oishii Noodles, which are low in fat and sugar and high in protein.
Other innovations include the launch of a sushi catering service and sushi-making team building events which have proved a hit recipe with corporate clients – “they get their Oishii aprons and head bands and it’s a really fun event,” said Troy.