Updated: Sep 14
We speak with Dara and Joe Hodgkinson, founders of Pure Recharge Ltd, to discover the story behind the business, what it’s like working with your life partner, the company’s challenges and successes, and their advice for upcoming entrepreneurs
Give us your elevator pitch.
We are Pure Recharge, a husband-and-wife team dedicated to delivering flavour in a natural, nutritious way, whether it's a breakfast smoothie or a decadent dessert. Our passion has always been creating meals from scratch and bringing natural, healthy ingredients together to create something delicious.
Our smoothies appeal to anyone who wants a delicious breakfast. Whether you’ve got the time to make a beautiful smoothie bowl or just need a quick blend as you rush out the door, our mixes are designed to fit your day.
Our ready-to-eat Açai sorbet has a rich and creamy mouthfeel and an abundance of fruit flavour. We call it our Velvet Sorbet because of its vibrant colour and texture. And, it’s dairy and gluten-free, and vegan-friendly so anyone can enjoy it.
What drew you both to the food and drink industry?
Dara: We became more conscious about what we were eating but couldn’t find the foods we wanted that would work with our busy, active lifestyles. We wanted a natural, healthy and simple way to get the same results as cooking from scratch in a fraction of the time – that was the origin of our dinky smoothie pouches, which have become the core of our business.
Joe: It was at my BJJ class where I first tasted Açai, and I was instantly hooked. The flavour was incredible. I wanted to create a ready-to-eat version that was versatile, and I knew it would slot right into the Pure Recharge offering as a super berry that packed a punch. The reaction we received from our customers is what launched Pure Recharge into the sorbet arena.
Who takes on what role within the business?
D: We tend to do most things together, but we have our own specialities. Joe is the man behind the flavour. He’s our Recipe Wizard. Joe creates all our delicious products, as well as driving the business forward by getting our products into the best academies and retail spaces. As well as this, he’s our chief DIY expert. He’s built all our stands from scratch!
I’m Head of Operations and the digital guru. Basically, I work on everything from the website to the packaging and do all our event coordination and accounts.
Do you find it easy or hard to switch between being business partners and a married couple?
D & J: The business is part of us as individuals and as a couple. As entrepreneurs, we never really switch off - the business is always on our minds. We spend a lot of time on our business when we can, but we love it because it’s something we’re building together for our future. It’s exciting, creative and hard work, but because we support each other, it makes it all worthwhile. We’re not great at taking time off, but when we do, it’s always just family time.
Did you always want to start your own business - either as an individual or together?
D: I’ve always wanted to have my own business. I’ve always been inspired by my parents that both had their own businesses. However, I didn’t think it would be in food or with my husband.
J: No, it’s not something I ever really envisioned. My background is in Engineering. It all started out as a hobby we enjoyed, and it grew from there.
"There’s no feeling greater than being out at events and seeing people enjoying our products."
What challenges has the business faced?
D & J: Pivoting from events to purely online was a big hurdle for us, especially with our sorbet. Events were so great when it came to samples. However, with a lot of research and some creativity, we have found a way to get all our products out across mainland UK. We’re still learning, but we’re getting there and are feeling positive about the future.
What has been Pure Recharge’s greatest achievement?
D: The incredible feedback we get from our customers. There’s no feeling greater than being out at events and seeing people enjoying our products.
Who or where have you turned to for support while building the company?
D & J: Our family and friends have been absolutely amazing in so many ways. From listening to our moans to helping us label pouches and transform our food trailer, they’ve even chipped in to help us at events. Over the years, we’ve also made friends with other entrepreneurs who have been a great support.
Where do you see Pure Recharge in 5 years time?
D & J: Making more flavours and products. Our current products were born out of spotting a gap in the market that we were looking for, so who knows what we'll come up with next. We’re hoping to be able to get to events across the country and perhaps even overseas.
Do you have any other advice for the next generation of entrepreneurs?
D: Show up and working hard. I grew up with strong, successful people around me. With this and the belief from my mum, it inspired me growing up to believe that I can succeed in life. I hope that I can show my son that he can be successful in life too.
J: I’d say that anyone looking to start a business should join groups to meet other entrepreneurs and share ideas. It’s invaluable. Do lots of research into your idea to see what’s already out there and what’s missing. It’s important to understand where you can fit in.
It's fantastic to see Dara and Joe combine their individual talents to create a successful business. If you spot a gap in the market, but you need help getting your idea off the ground, never be afraid to ask for help. It may be the start of a successful partnership.
free-from, with love x