Updated: Sep 14, 2021
Our Rising Stars share their thoughts on diversity and representation
The Food & Beverage industry is exciting to be a part of. We interviewed a friendly cluster of rising stars within the industry, who were all drawn to it for the same reason: “food has the power to bring people together.” Gabriele Grassi is one who wholeheartedly agrees with this and even goes so far as to say it can: “trigger incredibly profound experiences.” But despite the inspiration from many cultures and cuisines, most of our Rising Stars feel underrepresented within the industry.
Before we get into it, let us introduce you to the lovely lot we spoke to:
Nisha Menon set up Jack & Chill as she is “passionate about showing everyone how versatile and healthy Jackfruit can be. The fruit that comes from my home state Kerala (India).” Kwaku Dapaah co-founded his business to: “create added value to the raw cocoa grown in our homeland of Ghana.” Both have slightly different opinions on diversity in the Food & Beverage industry as a whole. Nisha thinks it is diverse across the board, whereas Kwaku thinks it’s diverse except at the top.
Like Nisha and Kwaku, all of those we spoke to are bringing an outside influence into the UK. Chris Crocker “fell in love with coffee whilst travelling down the Pacific Coast of America over 10 years ago.” While Anushi Desai was: “inspired by my childhood growing up in India” and Gabriele says: “it would be silly to disregard my Italian roots as a strong contributor to my passion for food.”
In the UK, the food and drinks we consume are diverse, but the people within the industry itself need to catch up. When asked if they felt represented in the industry, our Rising Stars felt either “somewhat represented” or “not at all.” However, despite their thoughts on representation, they feel positive. Anushi mentions how “the food and drink industry is an incredibly supportive one.” Chris agrees that “overall the industry seems to be highly supportive.”
At Mama Dolce, along with wanting everyone to have access to tasty treats regardless of food intolerances, we believe that everyone should also be able to follow any career path they choose, regardless of their gender, economic background, or ethnicity. Diversity in the workplace is lacking across many industries, not just Food & Beverage, and we want to change this as we achieve our ambitions.
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)