I spent the first 20 years of my working life designing record covers and building hotel website systems. Having sold up in 2016 I worked for a year running a cashmere weaving business in Kathmandu, renovating Edmund Hillary’s house up near Everest, and managing a wilderness camp in Mongolia. Hiking in the wild has always been my hobby and after six years making my own dehydrated lightweight meals at home I set up Firepot in 2017 to make these on a commercial scale. Winning the Seed Fund in 2017 has helped us expand rapidly and we are now selling worldwide.
What skills can you bring as a mentor?
I am totally new to both the food and the retail industry and as a result I am very aware of everything a new food business owner needs to master to be successful. Firepot has launched purely through word of mouth and social media recommendations so this is also an area I can help a new business navigate.
What do you think makes the difference between a good business and a brilliant business?
Passion and enjoyment. I think a customer can very quickly detect when a product has been made with passion by people who enjoy what they do.
If you had your time again in business, what would you do differently?
I would swap career sooner. You can spend years dreaming about what you would really love to do but until you make the jump you will never know.
Founder, FIREPOT and Seed Fund Winner 2017