10 of London’s Most Creative Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories of Success

Last month at the London Specialty & Fine Food Fair, I had the chance to meet with a number of young start-up inventors who were humble enough to share their business ideas and what inspired them to build creative products.

1. Ginny and Caro

After being in great careers within large companies for over 20 years, Ginny and Caro decided to quit and start a new life where they could better spend their time serving their communities with wild food.

Inspired by “fruits, nature and culinary heritage” they built Wild at Heart Foods in 2011, a start-up that manufactures and sells traditional homemade accompaniments for meats and cheeses.

“We realized wild things had became very trendy but people were scared to pick things for themselves, and we wanted to help people eat wild things,” says Ginny while she kindly offering me a cracker dipped in their new wild garlic mayonnaise.

Photo: Courtesy of Wil at Heart Foods Facebook.
Photo: Courtesy of Wild at Heart Foods Facebook.

Their range of products includes natural and wholesome chutneys, wild garlic pesto, mayonnaise, relishes, preserves, jellies and fruit cheeses. You can buy their products at Lakeland, Selfridges or online.

2. Froosh

Inspired by everything fruit; Froosh specialize in 100% fruit bottling and nothing else. All natural fruit smoothies with no additives, no sugar and not from concentrate.

Froosh Smoothies is an independent Swedish company with more than 60 percent market share in Scandinavia. According to their website, Froosh Smoothies “give consumers a convenient, delicious and healthy way to get more fruit into their diet and make it a little easier to live a healthy life.”

After being offered a sample of the Starfruit &Yuzu, I could taste the ripeness of a mix of tropical fruits as if just freshly squeezed off the trees. A must have for healthy eaters and drinkers who want to save time and effort with an instant smoothie.

Photo: Courtesy of
Photo: Courtesy of froosh.com
froosh-2-my-copy-1
Froosh samples. Photo: The Urban Watch/Sherif Seda

Among their combinations are mango and orange, pineapple, banana and coconut, blueberry and raspberry, and orange, carrot and ginger. Plus there are fruits you’ve never heard of, like Yoozo – a citrus fruit from Japan. The complete range can be found here.

Find Froosh in specialty retail stores like whole foods and Harvey Nichols or contact them directly at info@froosh.com

Froosh not only specialize in award-winning smoothies but also in helping developing nations. They base their business on the trade not aid concept. “We want to purchase products which come from the developing countries and bring them out of poverty by buying their products,” says Christian Iönne, Froosh’s Export Manager who’s bringing a new definition of healthy smoothies to the UK market.

3.  Pulsin

“We started off just making energy balls in one of our mums’ kitchens in Gloucester; replacing bad confectionary snacks with healthy foods,” Andrew Powell, Business Development Executive at Pulsin says.

Tired of looking for an all natural and all healthy snack? Be tired no more – a protein bar from Pulsin will ensure you are stocked with enough energy for a hectic day. According to their website they use the best quality, natural non GM or ingredients, shaving minutes off your next healthy snack search at the food store.

They make a wide range of plant-based protein bars that promise to “give you sustained energy release, strengthen your immune system, make you feel fuller for longer, support healthy body function, boost your brainpower and enrich your life.”

Photo: Courtesy of Pulsin Facebook.
Photo: Courtesy of Pulsin Facebook.

But that’s not all. The good guys at Pulsin didn’t forget about the next generation, and have created a variety of delicious, healthy bars for kids. Also if you are a busy gym goer and want a quick whey protein boost during a golden hour, Pulsin have got you covered with their muscle recovery drink

Check their website to buy directly or go to Wholefoods or Planet Organic.

4. Nomnom Chocolates

What does it take to turn an old deserted factory into a successful business? A team of youngsters all under the age of 25 have built a start-up around their passion and favorite snack: Nomnom Chocolates.

“We like our confectionary bitter and our companies sweet which is why we want our little company to be owned by the people that enjoy our chocolate,” Liam Burgess, Nomnom Founder says.

Photo: Courtesy of
Photo: Courtesy of @nomnomcymru

These guys are so dedicated that everything is done by hand, from blending the best cacao beans in the world to even the wrapping. The bars are hand wrapped individually in a golden thin foil to seal ridiculously good chocolate.

After a taste of the orange marmalade filled chocolate; I couldn’t help but finish the whole 110-gram indulgence in under a minute.

Order today here or on Facebook, for yourself or someone you care about. The taste will take you to another level of chocolate consciousness.

5. Dark Woods Coffee

Particular about your morning coffee? Ever thought about having a relationship with coffee that isn’t via Starbuck’s or Costa? Have you wondered what separates good coffee from real good coffee? Dark Woods Coffee does exactly that.

Photo: Courtesy of
Photo: Courtesy of @darkwoodscoffee

“When we started, we wanted to go down the middle. Mid roast designed to have the freshness and fruitiness of quality coffee, which would work better with milk but not a roast so dark as to destroy the character of the coffe,” says Paul Meikle-Janney, Managing Director, who has been making coffee for 18 years. While he brewed me a long black expresso, the smell was so good that I’d picked up a bag of the Good Morning Sunshine blend before I’d even tasted it.

In London Dark Woods coffee can be found in Harrods. It’s also available in lots of farm shops and can be purchased online.

6. Olly’s olives

One of the most enthusiastic people I met at the fair was Oliver Hiscocks. He quit his full time job and founded Olly’s olives,  admitting “I am an absolute olive fanatic.”

His daily passion for olives starts at 6 a.m. in the morning  when he gets up, heads to the production unit, gathers the olives and marinates them all by himself with no additives, preservatives or chemicals. He just makes “natural olives in fresh and flavorsome marinades.”

Olly. Photo:
Oliver Hiscocks. Photo: The Urban Watch/Sherif Seda

Olly wants to revolutionize the way we incorporate olives in our daily eating. “I was bored with olives and someone needed to jazz it up, shake it up and help olives achieve 100 percent of their potential,” says the 24-year-old entrepreneur.  He offers six different flavors – Fiery Chili, Garlic & Basil, Sweet Ginger with Chili & Spring onion, Gherkins & Pesto, Silverskin Onions & Vinegar, Honey & Lemon.

“Olives have been around for centuries and those Ancient Greeks didn’t have any chemicals at hand to quicken the process. We are following in their footsteps to make sure our olives are produced in the most natural way possible. This not only looks after them but also gives you the best tasting olives,” adds Olly.

Try a box today and don’t blame me for the addiction; blame the maker.

7.  Upwards!

Upwards! provide amazingly scrumptious, all natural gluten-free calzones oozing with delicious fillings wrapped in a perfectly crispy pizza base. The innovative packaging means they can be freshly heated from frozen, becoming crisp and crunchy in just 3 minutes flat.’ So says Geoff Hunt, Upwards Founder.

There are four indulgent flavors to make your on the go snacking experience one to remember: Hunter’s Chicken packed with olives, garlic, peppers and onions.  Greens & Grains with Kale, spinach and cream cheese. Margherita plus with tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onion. Lastly, for the sweet toothed – and my personal favorite, Hazelnut & Creamy Chocolate.

Hazelnut
Hazelnut & Creamy Chocolate Calzone

The product is about to hit the market, and you can order by contacting Geoff on geoff@upwardsfoods.co.uk or visiting Upwards Foods.

8. Nina Bakery

While cruising around the many food and drinks stands, I lay my eyes on Nina Bakery, producers of authentic stone oven Pita bread from Israel since the 1930’s.

Laffa
Laffa. Photo: Courtesy of Nina Bakery

The fresh smell was present all around the stand and I couldn’t resist trying the artisan six centimeter pita filled with cream cheese and strawberries. “Our pitas are baked according to a special slow baking process in authentic stone ovens. Both this and an old, well kept family recipe provide the most delicious pita,” a young Israeli lady at the stand tells me.

After the bread is warmed it’s so easy to cut open by hand, – no need for a knife. The bread is also firm and won’t break easily, meaning you can fill it with as much as you’d like.

The bread comes in many different shapes and sizes. “If you would like to provide your customers with an artisanal product, slow baked in a stone oven, with the best quality entirely natural ingredients, for almost 80 years according to a family recipe, you should have them experience the Nina pita” says Marlies Wolters of Nina Bakery Europe. For more details visit www.ninabakery.eu

9.  Poptang

Staying in on the weekend and watching the latest hit on Netflix? Grab some of the new – and only, tangy popcorn on the market. Poptang, a tangy, fruity flavored and yummy popcorn.

Photo: Courtesy of
Photo: Courtesy of @poptangofficial

Currently Poptang comes in two delicious flavors – orange and apple, both in 20g and 70g packs. You can find them in major supermarkets but be warned, they’re surprisingly addictive!

10. Tyga

Fan of Indian food? Want to create authentic dishes yourself? Then order the new meal kits by Tyga: Beautiful spice and paste blends posted to your home so you can cook up delicious curry recipes with half the faff. Just add a few fresh items.

The recipes change every month and are created, inspired and infused by Matt Griffiths and his wife, who love everything Indian.

Photo: Courtesy of
Dinner party kit. Photo: Courtesy of @tygabites

Matt likes to keep things simple. By following the 3 steps below, he promises to up-skill your cooking experience.

The idea is:

  • Tyga chefs create mouthwatering recipes using authentic ingredients
  • The ingredients are smartly packed in Tyga spice boxes and delivered to your door
  • Then they’re prepared by you. Just add a few fresh items and follow the chefs at Tyga.tv

Follow their latest recipes and watch training videos on their Facebook page.


Edited by Sarah Huntington

Sherif Seda

Contributor

Sherif is a dayenjoyer who writes about ways to have a good day. "My favorite aspect about London is that there is a lot happening: business events, comedy shows, music, arts, fairs, festivals. And there’s always something for everyone to learn or do."

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