A “black leg” business

Enrique Tomás has already begun his expansion, with which he intends to open 300 stores in 3 years.

Source: 9/1/2013. Entrepreneurs Magazine.

Sale and gourmet tasting at an adjusted price: this is the proposal of the Enrique Tomás Iberian ham shops, which, thirty years after its first opening, reinvents its offer to launch a strong expansion plan. Its founder started at the age of 16 and has learned everything behind the counter.

Enrique Tomás was born in 1966. He is the youngest of eleven siblings in a family in which everyone knew that they had to pitch in, so at the age of 8 he was already helping in the family business: on Saturdays, dispatching at the grocery store; on Sundays, serving chickens à l'ast. His full incorporation into the store was almost automatic. "As soon as I finished the EGB, naturally, I started working full time," he says. But he did not settle. At the age of 16, he opened his own stall in the La Salud market . It was the cornerstone of the chain, which, having just turned 30, has 46 points of sale and expects to close the year with 60.

How will do? Its expansion is based on these pillars: homogeneous and powerful brand image ; and own openings .

A model of success

The company has grown at a good pace in recent years, something that is not easy in a crisis and with a traditional product such as Iberian ham , which is experiencing a notable drop in sales. On what do you base your success? Shop and tasting . It was transformed some time ago to accommodate both direct sales and tasting at the bar. “That the customer can try anything they want to take away or simply go in to eat a ham sandwich. And if you like it, there is a store next door to take away the product”, explains Tomás.

Quality and trust

Quality is a fundamental premise. “There are still those who think that people are idiots. When a customer spends money and doesn't get what they expected, they don't come back. A sale doesn't end when the customer pays, but when he comes back . We have removed the rancidity from the ham. When someone arrives and asks which ham is better, we tell them to try it ”, he clarifies. The company offers prestigious brands and own-brand products and does not sell ham below 29 euros/kilo. “There is a range from 10 to 29 euros that we ignore. Nobody needs to eat ham. When someone thinks of ham, they think of pleasure . And this is only found after a certain point.

Competitive prices

However, “things are worth what they are worth, not what has been charged for them over time. To those who tell me that I sell very cheap, I tell them to change the prices to pesetas. 2.20 euros is almost 400 pesetas”, explains Tomás. Thanks to the suppliers, we try to offer the product at an adjusted price .

comprehensive process

Enrique Tomás can offer good prices because he approaches his business from a comprehensive business approach, from production to sale . References with our own brand are manufactured to order by selected trusted producers. It also offers parts from other brands . But that's where the work of outside companies ends. Enrique Tomás is in charge of deboning the hams and assumes all the logistics.


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