Getting an innovative project kickstarted in a rural area, away from the large business centers, may seem like a utopia, but there are times when you see a chance and you have to grab it. In the case of Castañam– one of the main catalysts was the actor Rubén Riós who began the project with his brother and this family business is deeply rooted in his family. “We had both worked in the family businesses (shop, supermarket) that my parents had in Riós (Ourense), where classic products were sold and we wanted to invest in something innovative,” explains Rubén.
The abundance of organic chestnuts in that environment led them to take an interest in the possibilities of developing a new chestnut flour and after a process of trial and error, which took them over a year, with the important cooperation of the local bakers, managed to find a formula to make bread with a high percentage of this type of flour, with high quality standards and that would become the star product of the project.
“It is a product that is marketed to restaurants and businesses alike because its price is high compared to the common bread loaves (between 10 and 13 euros a kilo). The top end of the catering business is an important niche market for us and we have the support of chefs like Iván Dominguez and Juan Crujeiras who use it in their restaurants, “says Riós.
In addition to bread, Castañam sells other products made with freshly picked up organic chestnuts such as Galician jam, jelly, marmalade and muffins. They only have just opened their own store located in A Coruña and do not plan to open more because it is intended to distribute the products through stores specializing in gourmet foods in a growing market, such as Coren (which has landed them a distribution deal) in several localities.