Updated: Sep 14
We want to inspire the next generation, so we’ve asked some up and coming entrepreneurs (like our founder Jane Visram) to share their journeys with you
Starting your own business is hard work, but it can be incredibly rewarding. And the best thing about it is: anyone can do it. We hope that by being able to see yourself in our rising stars, you will have the confidence to chase your goals too. So, let’s see what they have to say about their entrepreneurial journey:
Anushi Desai (Plant Pops) started making “plant-based snacks from ancient grains and seeds” inspired by her childhood growing up in India. However, she started her career on a different path altogether: Anushi’s background is in management consultancy for banks! Now she has created award-winning snacks that are good for “the environment and the communities that create them.” With plans to grow the range even further, the future is looking very bright for Anushi.
She is not the only one who is trading in their career for the life of an entrepreneur. You may have seen Chris Crocker of GOOD KOFFEE appearing in hit musical Bombay Dreams or even in 2020’s Crisis charity Christmas ad, whereas Gabriele Grassi was originally studying to become an architect. They are both exploring passions outside of their chosen fields and chasing their dreams. You can now find Gabriele “playing with food @gabri.eats” combining his love for design and food with an epic Instagram account. While Chris has just completed an amazing crowdfunding campaign, during which he interviewed many small business owners, including our very own Jane!
So, it doesn’t matter where you are in your life, if you have a great idea or burning desire to do something, go for it.
There are, of course, challenges; we would be naive to think it’s an easy road. Kwaku Dapaah explains that he had to learn “everything from scratch through trial and error” and highlights “mishaps with production and logistics'' as an obstacle on the way to creating the award-winning Dapaah Chocolates. Nisha Menon, founder of Jack & Chill, had a similar experience “as setting up a business in the UK was completely new to me.” Patience is key. Despite initial setbacks with sending frozen samples, you can now find her products “in over 500 independent health stores in the UK, Europe, and Ireland.”
Kwaku and Nisha aren’t alone in navigating around obstacles on the journey to success, Chris has talked to us about how he balanced an intense job whilst finding the time and resources to learn new skills. For him, “[taking] the risk that there is a gap to fill” in the market for his business, whilst keeping “mental wellness and health in good form” has been a challenge. When starting on your entrepreneurial journey, being aware of these hurdles and how you will manage them is clearly key.
That’s the reality of being an entrepreneur. However, each and every one of these individuals has the will and determination to succeed. Why? Because they have a mission that goes beyond simply offering a new product or service. Nisha Menon is “looking to inspire all meat eaters to cut down their meat” while “bringing sustainable packaging in our products [to] contribute to a healthier planet.”
Having a business that has meaning, can bring you internal strength on both the good and bad days. Gabriele sees himself as “an active disruptor in shaking up the food industry,” while Kwaku lists family heritage as one of the reasons that drew him to it. Staying positive and focusing on your future goals is easier when you have this added motivation.
Need that extra push to go ahead with the idea you’ve had in mind? Then now is the time to do it. The resources are there to help you, and in our experience, other entrepreneurs are more than happy to share their advice. Remember, always do your research and never be afraid to fail.
If you want to learn more about our entrepreneurs, we will be publishing their stories in our Rising Stars series. Are you or anyone you know an entrepreneur in the Food & Beverage industry? We’d love to hear from you!
free-from, with love x
Follow our Rising Stars on social:
Anushi Desai (Plant Pops)
Chris Crocker (GOOD KOFFEE)
Gabriele Grassi (@gabri.eats)
Kwaku Dapaah (Dapaah Chocolates)
Nisha Menon (Jack & Chill)