I am so excited to have Pollen and Grace‘s blonde bombshell Steph and the brunette dream Kris at North London Calling’s head office today, and hear how its two female founders were able to unearth the capitals sweet tooth.
It looks like everything is going fantastically well having just celebrated your 2nd birthday, (congratulations) did you manage to get everything completed that you wanted in time for when you launched?
“We decided to just go for it at the beginning – we’d decided to just learn as we go rather than start with a foundation built. So all we had was a website, logo and a rough business plan, and it’s all evolved from there.”
Did you have any major setbacks?
“There are always set backs, but we have been very fortunate in that we’ve always managed to keep things going, even in the trickiest of scenarios. The most recent setback was trying to find an industrial kitchen, then waiting for everything to be finalised once we found one. We ended up working from a community centre temporarily and had to stall all plans to scale up and move forward with the business. “
What makes you different to all of your competitors? Obviously I think your food looks like a culinary extravaganza and I cannot wait to trial some.
“Our USP has always been that our products are designed so that every element works well together. Initially this was just on flavour, but now we also work alongside our in-house naturopath to make sure that the elements work together in regards to maximising the health benefits too. We also use only 100% natural ingredients, keeping everything gluten, wheat, dairy & refined sugar free, and make everything fresh by hand in our kitchen every day. “
Best and worst things about your job?
“The best thing is undoubtedly getting to eat the best food all day, but also working with such an amazing team of ladies. The worst – there are simply not enough hours in the day to do everything we want/need to do!”
Favourite dish of the range?
Steph – “My current obsession is the Raw Beauty Bar – I can’t get enough ” – At NLC we will second that they were delicious.
Kris – “I love the Probiotic Box, anything with sauerkraut! “
“Our most popular dish by far is our banana bread. We’ve sold more than 20,000 units since we started the business and it’s a big hit with our customers!”
What does healthy mean to you?
Steph – “Healthy means balance – eating well most of the time but also not feeling bad when you have a pizza.”
Kris – “To me, healthy means a balanced lifestyle and listening to your body and cravings.”
What tip would you give to others starting out?
“Always keep going, perseverance works. We’ve learnt that some how things always come together, even if it seems physically impossible at some points. “
Is there any other business you can compare yourself with and who would you say are your business heroes ?
“There’s not many out there we regard as similar to us, but Pret takes the spot as our business heroes – the execution is flawless and they’ve changed the way people eat.”
Last one where do you see the business continuing, I know you are in a vast amount of stores, do you have any more to add to that list?
“We have big plans! We aim to go national by the end of this year, and International in 2018 – and expect to see a pop up this summer! “
A big thank you to Steph and Kris and please do not forget to check out their website – Pollenandgrace.