Shaper: Monika Linton

Show aired on 19th September 2015

Transcript

Monika Linton is the Founder of Brindisa Ltd and Co-Founder of its sister company, Brindisa Tapas Kitchens Ltd. Brindisa is an importer, wholesaler and retailer of Spanish foods; while Brindisa Tapas Kitchens is a group of Spanish restaurants in London and Barcelona. She maintains a hands-on approach in both companies, as Managing Director of Brindisa and Brindisa Tapas Kitchens. The name Brindisa comes from the Spanish word, “brindis”, the act of raising your glass, so both companies are a celebration of Spanish food.

Monika’s love of foreign foods and culture was inspired from an early age in her birthplace, Africa. The exotic sights, sounds and smells of the local markets fascinated her throughout her early childhood and teens and were a stark contrast to life back at home in the U.K. She has now been running her import, wholesale and retail company for 27 years, and her restaurant business for 12 years.  She lives in South London with her partner Rupert, their teenage son and daughter and their family dog.

Follow Monika on Twitter @monikabrindisa

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“I found selling wine to the wine trade in the late 80’s extremely difficult. I knew nothing about wine except that I enjoyed it.”

“I am a bit like a dog with a bone.”

“When I started approaching retailers and restaurants in London, they all thought I was barmy. I mean, these cheeses are really expensive, they are not going to work, nobody knows how to say their names.”

“My original training was as a teacher, so if you teach you need to communicate….that was completely behind my method of selling.”

“I mean, there are an awful lot of people in Britain who never have to buy any Spanish food at all.”

“I was given the opportunity to turn it into a restaurant and I thought, ‘oh Holy Moses I don’t know how to do that, I’ve got to find someone who is going to help me’…”

…nearly everybody who comes to work in Brindisa, whether it’s the restaurants or the shops, say they are so proud of the food they are serving.”

“We are not going to just go and find more and more weird ingredients that people don’t necessarily need.”

“I think I am a sort of accidental entrepreneur, really”

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