A shake up call



“I started the business when I was 12 because I was too young to get a paper round”

Zac Burinski – Founder of Flava Shaka

Zac, an ambitious and enthusiastic pupil from Cumnock Academy in East Ayrshire has become a local success story due to his determination and entrepreneurial mind set to start up his very own business at the young age of just 13 years old.

In order to commend the success of young people within Ayrshire to celebrate #InternationalYouthDay, we decided to team up with Zac to find out exactly why he decided to start up his own business and what his advice to other youngsters would be should they wish to follow in his footsteps.

The business idea started from the kitchen in his family home in Cumnock, East Ayrshire. After his mother Nicola went through an operation she was determined to lose weight by having a more balanced and healthy diet. In order to help support his mum’s decision Zac started working his magic in the kitchen and made healthy spice mixes that did not have the salt content that pre packaged spice mixes had. He then added these spices to raw meat and vegetables in order to make healthy meals for his whole family to enjoy.

When he wasn’t occupied in the kitchen coming up with new healthy meal ideas, Zac was out looking for a part time job to earn some extra pocket money. However, he was soon faced with the fact this would be harder than he first thought. As he was only 12 years old the local newsagents told him he was too young to get a paper round and would need to wait until he was 13. This news however made Zac even more determined to make a success out of his spice mix idea and sell these locally to earn money.

Working round the clock to develop his spice mixes Zac’s hard work finally paid off. After contacting Entrepreneurial Spark to see what help and support they could give him they offered him a 9 week placement to help develop and grow his business giving him the support and business knowledge he required. When asked what skills he had to learn to run his business successfully on a daily basis Zac replied:

“I had to learn to communicate with people and to not use slang when speaking.”


flava shaka cooking
3 Flava Shaka products – Balti, Tandoori and Smoked Shredded

Although he enjoys making his own hours, running your own business can have its downside as he says he can never switch off and regularly has enquiries about the products whilst in school. When asked where he makes his products he informed us he now produces them in a cafe that his mum’s friend owns and has now got 7 products in his range. These include:

  • Tandoori
  • Balti
  • Creole Cajun
  • Salt & Chilli
  • Garlic & Chilli
  • Southern
  • Smoked Shredded


These products are sold locally not only by Zac but by other youngsters who are known as his distributors. Having these other young people in place allows for the products to be sold more widely in the local area also encouraging the profile of the business to be raised.

With orders now coming in from America and Europe Zac is excited about what is to come in the future for the business. When asked where he wants to take Flava Shaka he hopes he can get the product into supermarkets and is keen to inspire other young people to start up their own business as he concludes our interview with:

“Go for it, whats the worst that can happen?”


Watch the full interview by clicking this link:


Following on from our interview with Zac we interviewed Frank Gormanley – Enabler at Entrepreneurial Spark to find out what he finds so beneficial about having Zac on board and what his top tips would be for other people who may wish to start up their own business.

Frank’s job as an enabler is a very unique role and allows him to work with aspiring entrepreneurs within the ESpark ‘hatchery’ on a daily basis. So what do the other ‘chicklets’ think about having Zac as part of the team? Frank states:

“The other entrepreneurs were able to see that you didn’t have to be 42, 16, 85, 44 to start a business or have an idea. Zac was 13 so it inspired them. It also created a great atmosphere in the hatchery to have him with us.”

 While Zac was carrying out his programme at Entrepreneurial Spark this allowed Frank to spend time with him on a one to one basis and give him knowledge and advice on various different business topics including marketing, finance, branding, pitching his business and much more.

Along with spending time with Frank he was also buddied up with another entrepreneur within the hatchery who had vast knowledge within these areas to enable him to gain an array of expertise. This in itself allowed Zac to develop his business further and experience great opportunities including meeting Sir Tom Hunter and being invited to attend the Entrepreneur of the Moment Awards where he pitched his business to 100 people.

 Frank also explained they managed to get funding from Sir Tom Hunter to help with Zac’s packaging with one of the other chicklets Alexa Scott from SEM Events funding Zac’s rebrand including getting him a new logo, design, imagery for social media, a photoshoot and an advert.

zac and frank
Frank & Zac promoting Flava Shaka

So what are Frank’s top tips for people who may want to start up their own business?

Tip Number 1 – Validation

Do customers want what you can bring to the market? Do people want your product or service? Don’t make assumptions and think everyone wants your product/service just because you love it. Do your research – ask people!

Tip Number 2 – Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Don’t sit at home and expect people to come to you. Get out there, speak to people, be the brand ambassador. Get people knowing who you are!

Tip Number 3 – Have the vision of “please believe in me”

If you don’t believe it and you can’t persuade a group of 10, 50 or 100 people that you’ve got a passion and believe in your product or service then how can you expect anyone else to believe in it? Believe in yourself and people will follow!

You can watch our full interview with Frank by clicking this link:


We would like to thank Zac Burinski & Frank Gormanley for taking part in our interviews and for sharing their journey and experiences.

Are you interested in buying some of Zac’s delicious products? Visit his Facebook page by clicking here



Would you like the opportunity to showcase your business or the young people you employ through our blog and social media platforms? Get in touch today:

T: 01292 678666

E: info@dywayrshire.com

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