I left school at 16 and went straight to work in the city where I became a trader’s runner. At 21 I became a commodity trader and enjoyed working in London, New York and Singapore. After 25 years in trading I left London and moved to the South West to start a new adventure with a different aspect. Utilizing my experiences from traveling and living in major cities, I set up a street food stall with my business partner Katie in Bristol and across the South West and London. Whilst working on our street food stall we kept energy levels up by snacking on healthy nuts and seeds – and we discovered there was a huge gap in the market for healthy snacks. Boundless was born.
What skills can you bring as a mentor?
Helping people go through the pitfalls that I have been through myself. I have boundless enthusiasm and love to talk things through with people. I have experienced the transition from making small batches and selling directly to the consumer on a food stall, to scaling up with an actual manufacturer, a co-packer and dealing with major retail buyers. I now also have a good understanding of how to generate brand awareness and use newer marketing platforms like social media and PR opportunities.
What makes the difference between a good business and a brilliant business?
Fully understanding your product and where it sits in the retail market. Knowing who is your consumer, where they hang out – literally and digitally, what retailer is going to want it and how to engage with your target audience. Being aware of trends but also being mindful of longevity.
If you had your time again in business, what would you do differently?
I would just do it! I wouldn’t have deliberated for so long about whether to go for it and just done it sooner!