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Food & Drink
You can find us at:
5- 6 Lee Street, London E8 4DY, United Kingdom
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Tell us your business story to date...
I have always been passionate about eating well and enjoying healthy food so when I was travelling and discovered a unique way to create amazingly crunchy crisps directly from fresh produce, I saw a great opportunity to inspire people to eat more fruit and veg.
Returning to the UK, I shared my idea with my life partner, Alex, who was as excited as I was to embark on a project to create the world’s most delicious fruit and veg crisps. We worked long days and nights to perfect the technique, an innovative cooking method which reduces the absorption of oil, ensuring that the vitamins, nutrients, colour and most importantly, the taste of the fruit and veg are preserved. We’re proud to say that our crisps are one of your five a day, gluten-free, vegan-friendly and free from preservatives and additives.
For us, it’s important that people are not only inspired to eat healthier but also tastier. Over the last few years, the market has been dominated by so many fad diets that we think our relationship with food has become broken. Diets of heavily processed snacks which may be low in fat and calories are often stripped of nutritional value and taste. Our aim is to encourage our customers to fall in love with food that is more natural, nutritious but most importantly, delicious.
What can we look forward to seeing from you?
We have some really exciting plans for 2017. We have secured some brilliant new stocklists so we can make healthier snacking available to even more customers. The quality of our crisps means that we will always be a premium product but it’s our aim to work to make our snack accessible to as many people as possible across a variety of channels. We’re also working hard to offer more choice as well so are working on some amazing NPD which should be out before the end of the year.
Can you share your 3 bits of advice for fellow entrepreneurs or anyone starting their own business?
1. Aim to understand what matters to people
This applies to your consumers, investors, employees and even yourself. I think this is one of the most important and useful pieces of advice for any entrepreneur. Truly making the effort to understand what matters to people involves listening, challenging and testing, constantly in every situation that matters. Doing this well means admitting you don’t ‘know it all’ and inevitably leads to feedback, that may be hard to hear but it’s so important and I think it’s as close to a recipe to success in business as one gets.
2. Get comfortable with failure
Many of the traits which define your typical entrepreneur—passion, confidence, self-belief, determination, doesn’t leave much room for failure. I think we’re all programmed to be exceptionally hard on ourselves, especially if it’s a decision or action which was within our control. One of my rules in life is that we’re going to get it wrong most of the time and sometimes it will be costly. I can either agonize or learn from it, get focused again and move on. Those extra mins/hrs can always be spent on activities more useful or enjoyable.
3. You are not alone
Reach out and connect with people. Although it may not feel like it at the time, there have been others who’ve done it before, who gone through the same challenges you’re facing right now. It’s so important to make the effort not just to learn from their successes and failures but to have that support network. I speak to my fellow entrepreneurs, both within my industry and outside, all of the time whether it’s to share knowledge, experiences or just to enjoy the company.
What has been the most fulfilling startup experience to-date? What did you learn?
The positive feedback that we get from our consumers is something that I always find really rewarding and insightful. One of my favourite emails came in from a mother who was finding it near impossible to get her son to eat fruit until she came across our crunchy apple crisps. She wrote in to tell us how much he loved them and also to ask us to please consider changing the packaging to a more masculine colour as he loved to eat them at home and in the car but was still deciding whether to take something so pink to school. While a funny story (and we took her feedback on board), seeing our crisps help a child build a healthier relationship with food was the most satisfying moment.
Is there anything you can offer to help other startup businesses?
I think the single best piece of advice I could offer is to master the art of simplifying. I made the transition from the corporate to start up world and I would have to say one of the biggest challenges you face as a business owner is that unless you can afford to hire the actual number of people you need (which is almost never the case), demand for your time will always outstrip supply and you’ll very quickly be dragged out of your comfort zone in terms of knowledge and experience so it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Being able to break problems and situations down into steps and pieces so that one is able to digest, prioritize and make decisions quickly is absolutely key. There is a divide, conquer, move on mentality that I think is important to have in order to survive any start up.
Is there any help that are you looking for?
I think the old proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ applies just as well to business. For me, it’s always been important to keep this in mind as business owners, especially founders can become very possessive and precious about what they’ve built. It’s completely understandable but I believe that to be really successful, one always has to bring in the right people at the right time to share the journey. For us, a major milestone for the business was the decision to take on investors last year. We did so not only because we wanted to significantly increase the speed of our growth which requires funding but we also wanted to bring on the right people with the experience, networks and guidance to help us become a better business and for me to become a better leader.