This spring a guy phoned to tell us about his idea: he and his associates intended to make a living through dipping. To be more precise, it is not dipping itself they wanted to do, rather persuading people to have, instead of pogácsa, cheap mayonnaise sandwiches and ham rolls, colorful, seasonal and delicious dips accompanied by veggies or fresh bakery products. Following a successful ‘Restaurant Day’, the Mártogatós was born; not only are they nice guys making cool stuff, they also care about environmental friendliness. After the crew was given the Sustainable Restaurant qualification, we talked with Gergő Pruda about the idea, its reception, and about open-air events.
They’re more dips, actually J Both of us love good food, but there are relatively few places in Budapest you can try several tastes in smaller portions, and we do not have enough spare time at home to make multiple meals. Gergő’s wife, Andi has celiac disease, so a lot of recipes were out. We decided to have a look at dips and before long we had to realize how much there was in this field. We decided early on that very well-known dips, things like mayonnaise aubergine dip, will either be ignored or pimped up with something new. Being gluten-free was also extended with sugar-free and, in the case of certain creams, lactose-free.
What do you use to dip with?
We offer fresh veggies with the dips (carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, radish, fennel, celery stalk) tastefully sliced, which looks very smart on our pop-up counter, along with fresh bakery goods, including gluten-free if there is demand. Except for the goose crackling cream, we do not even have any meaty products, so we also serve home-made snack sausages with the creams.
In what packages do you offer these?
Presently the company has three main orientations. The first is our catering service, where we set up a portable counter made out of wooden crates and this is where the portioned creams and pre-sliced veggies and bakery goods are offered. The counter is completely portable, can be installed in 30 minutes in a U- or L-shape, but it can also zigzag if that’s what the customer wishes. Practically, there is no event where we could not fit in with that, where we don’t contribute to the atmosphere. We’ve been at a theater press conference in the Műcsarnok, at corporate occasions, at open-air wedding and at festival launch event.
Our second service is the so-called Business Break package. The dips and sticks are portioned for the customer, but here we do not bring the counter, the site provides the space to set up the creams. It’s an ideal choice for company meetings, team building events, and workshops.
For family events or for friends, we created the DipBox service, essentially meaning home delivery, where the creams are portioned in 3.5- or 4.2-dl cups. The vegetables, bakery products and sausages are delivered in fully bio-degradable packaging.
Where do you get the ingredients from?
Beyond ingredient quality, which is a crucial aspect, we also make the effort to obtain everything we can from small-scale farms or producers. If this is not feasible, the next filter is that they should be Hungarian products, and if it can’t be done either, then we prefer products from the EU. We are really looking forward to contacting home producers, the lack of information is often a problem.
Do you make everything yourselves?
All the creams, yes. There are no semi-prepared products in our kitchen, but the dairy products and bakery goods come from contractors, of course. We do not use mustard, mayonnaise or other things like flavored yogurt.
What is/was the biggest challenge in making Mártogatós happen?
It has been a great task to pioneer in an unfamiliar market (for us, catering was such) with a product that had not even existed before. Fortunately, word spread quickly and we have recurring customers as well.
Which sauces are favorites and which are less preferred?
That’s very hard to tell. Cheese dip with prune and the bluecheese-walnut dip are popular with the ladies, while men tend to reach at once for goose crackling cream. Perhaps our peanut cream is really universally liked.
Why is getting the Sustainable Restaurant qualification important for you?
Being health conscious and environmentally friendly are both important to us. Starting a business quite reveals how much waste an enterprise can generate. It’s much more perceptible than in a household. Our conscience also prevents that we carelessly pollute our environment and thus, ourselves.
Thanks and we wish you best of luck!