Posted: Mon 20th Apr 2015
When Stephanie Peritore attended The Food Exchange in March 2014, she was in a day job, with an idea for a business. This aspiring entrepreneur had just completed research into the market size, trends and needs. What she needed was industry contacts and confirmation that the idea could become a business.
'I was convinced the business idea was good. What I had never had was the opportunity to speak to people who had done it all before and get a 'sanity check' on their journey, compare notes, understand what the experience had been like for them.
The Food Exchange got me to see that the idea could indeed become a reality and somehow helped me to view the idea as a tangible business proposition. I also realised that each day spent in my previous job carried an incredibly high opportunity cost of missing out on creating a great business. At the event I made contact with other entrepreneurs and industry experts whom I could get in touch with and ask for advice.
Mindful Bites represents a different offering and aims to become a cult luxury brand of snacks / food on the go, positioned at the higher end of the market; we are targeting health-conscious eaters who regard food as a positive addition to their well-being.
We are launching officially at the Be:FIT event to be held in London from 1st May to 3rd May. We will have a stand and hopefully start making sales. We are also planning a digital launch via a rewards crowdfunding campaign.
The sales plan is to focus on online channels as well as specialist retailers. Strategic partnerships with other businesses who target the same customer are also crucial to increasing awareness and potentially sales. The ultimate vision is to create a strong enough base to aspire to some shelf space in a large retailer!
Manufacturing is the real beast of the process and therefore I've had extensive conversations with a number of experts in the field from manufacturers to food technologists to chefs, to understand every step of the value chain. I found MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) useful and they offered me a small grant towards consulting services. I have relied on some market experts to understand the costs involved from sourcing ingredients to production to shipping / fulfilment and the very important retailers' margins.
The biggest thing I've learned in the StartUp process so far is the importance of the inner circle! If you invest in creating a network of strong good trusted people, the journey can be really rewarding, providing positive energy, important lessons to be learned, but also fun!'
Meet experts and entrepreneurs at the 2015 Food Exchange on 30 April.
Click here to view the full agenda and book here: