Tom began his trade as a butcher as a young boy in Kidney’s Butcher Shop, Carrigaline.
From there he did a stint in Denmark curing and smoking meats and opened his first shop in Douglas. A stall later came up at the English Market and he hasn’t looked back since.
Tom specialises in sourcing and selling the finest quality local meats from dry aged Irish beef, succulent Irish spring lamb, locally produced fresh Irish pork and the freshest homemade specialty sausages.
With a prime location at the heart of Cork city — the English Market — the meat business has been providing the people of Cork with the finest quality meats for decades since it was first established back in 1985.
In fact, Tom Durcan Meats is famous on a global scale with orders from abroad piling in every Christmas for his famous spiced beef and other cuts.
Speaking to The Echo, Tom explained his business provides the “finest meats available locally”.
However, far from resting on his laurels and playing it safe within his English Market domain, Tom is keen to innovate, branch out and take on new adventures.
His latest venture comes in the form of Nua Asador, which combines the Irish word for new with the Spanish word for tasty barbeque.
However, Tom and his business partner on the venture, Victor Franca, had to wait until August 2021 before they could open the new stall at the Marina Market.
Tom explained that while Covid-19 might have impacted physical business, it allowed Tom Durcan Meats online offering to flourish.
“We still did very well as we previously had an online presence which flourished during Covid,” he said.
With society now on the road to reopening and 10 staff ready and raring to go, Tom explained they are preparing for a busy festive period.
However, he did admit that Covid-19 and Brexit are continuing to pose problems for businesses like his that have a lot of overseas business.
Still, it is a busy and exciting time for Tom and his latest venture Nua Asador is sure to have people queuing out the door.
With the pandemic starting to slow down towards the end of the summer this year and the vaccine campaign well underway, Tom and chef Victor felt the time was right to establish the Marina Market location.
“I have been trading in the English market since 1985 and I branched out setting up Nua Asador in the Marina Market in August 2021,” Tom explained.
For Nua Asador, Tom has teamed up with Victor, who is the head chef at Cask on MacCurtain Street.
The new venture will see Victor go back to his roots but with a twist.
This time, he’ll be cooking the finest Cork beef, pork and chicken by searing it on wood chips from various trees including orange, olive and lemon trees.
This is known as the ‘Asado’ style, which is a style of cooking based on Gaucho-style, large open ranges.
Announcing the new business earlier this summer, Tom said:
“Who would’ve thought at the age of 56 I would be starting a new business.
“The best time to start is now.
“I hope Nua Asador will redefine how dry aged beef, pork and chicken should be cooked,” he added.
“Looks like retirement isn’t starting as soon as I wanted. Enjoy Cork, spread the word.”