In 1954, Murphy started his own crisp company, Tayto, in O’Rahilly’s Parade off Moore Street with one van and eight employees, some of whom were to work for him for more than 40 years. His great marketing coup was to invent the world’s first cheese and onion flavour and put paid to the dull crisps of his childhood. The product flourished at home and abroad and within two years the business had moved to Mount Pleasant Avenue in Rathmines. In 1960, the company acquired an additional premises in Harold’s Cross.
Joe ‘Spuds’ Murphy’s marketing flair led him to become one of the first sponsors of a Radio Éireann programme. He also rented space for a neon sign on one of the premier locations in Dublin at the junction of D’Olier Street and Westmoreland Street. The Tayto sign became one of the great landmarks of Dublin in the 1960s and 1970s.