The owner of a brand new burrito shop opening in Portadown has told of how she took the plunge despite having no culinary background.
While Paula Cullen from Gilford admits that she has no experience running a restaurant – having worked as a bookkeeper in the past – her kids will tell you that she makes one mean burrito.
Paula noticed a gap in the market when she realised that she had to travel to Armagh or Belfast for a burrito and decided – armed with her business experience – to jump in.
PICO Burrito will be opening its doors on Monday, March 13, at 11a Market Street in Portadown. They will be open from 11:30am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday and from 1pm to 7pm on Sunday.
Speaking to Armagh I on her journey so far, Paula, who loves cooking and Mexican food, says she used her business sense from her bookkeeping job to come up with a plan to get the project off the ground.
“I thought one day that maybe I should open a burrito bar…and I did,” she laughed. “I just knew the concept and thought to myself that I could do it.”
Said Paula: “Me and my husband had been thinking about it since last summer and finally decided in November to start looking with the hope that we could maybe get something open in the new year.
“We secured the property in December and we basically tore the building apart and put it together again.”
Paula believes that the PICO Burrito is something completely new for the Portadown area, both in its style and commitment to fresh, healthy and exciting new ingredients that you may not find elsewhere in town.
“We do burritos, tacos and nachos and everything is freshly cooked, protein-based and healthy. There are no artificial ingredients at all, it’s all fresh herbs and spices.
“We will have pulled beef, pulled pork, pulled chicken and chilli, along with a range of salads. You can mix and match and choose what you like.
“I thought the town was lacking something a bit different, so there was a bit of a gap in the market for this sort of thing.”
For Paula, it has been all hands on deck getting ready for Monday’s opening.
“I am excited and we’ve had lots of people there to help out and spread the word,” she said. “I have three kids and they have been helping out and coming up with ideas to help try and make it appealing to the younger generation.”
She added: “People I have spoken to say they cannot believe that something new like this is coming to Portadown. They’re all finding it quite refreshing.
“For me, it’s just about bringing new food and a new vibe and just adding something to the town.”