• Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founder Of Go Faster Food

    Sundried entrepreneur life interview with founder of go faster food

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We spoke to Kate Percy, the founder of Go Faster Food, about building her successful brand from the ground up to now working with names like Jo Pavey in their latest campaign.

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Go Faster Food? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    How did it all start? I radically altered my family's diet to help my husband, Mark, who was struggling in his training for the New York Marathon. Mark's performance was totally transformed and the whole family felt more energised! I didn't last long watching from the sidelines. I decided to run a marathon myself and discovered the running bug. The rest is history!

    For me, my food has to deliver three things: great taste, a smile on the face of friends and family, and the right type of get-up-and-go energy. My first book, Go Faster Food, was published in 2009. Since then I've written 2 more 'Go Faster' books, specialising in 'real fast food' for busy families. Speedy food for speedy families! I'm in-house chef for 220 Triathlon and have also developed an education programme to get kids eating better and moving more.

    In 2017, I launched my first food product, Kate Percy's GO BITES, which are delicious, all-natural energy balls. Jo Pavey has recently become our lead ambassador which is very exciting for us as she is such an amazing role model.

    Our 5 x 2025 mission is for every child, by 2025, to be able to cook 5 simple, nourishing recipes by the time they leave home as well as understand the link between what they eat and mental and physical well-being. A penny a pack and 50p per book is donated to the Youth Sport Trust to help develop this mission.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    It's a very competitive market and the industry is really quite cynical. Say no more!

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Very badly! This is a major challenge for me, especially as I am in business with my husband, with whom I have just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We try not to talk about work in the evenings and at weekends, but it is virtually impossible! However, I try to do sport every day, usually a run or a swim, first thing in the morning, and we always sit down to an evening meal which I find very 'grounding'. My three children have now flown the nest but we try to get together as much as possible too.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Go Faster Food?

    It's all very exciting!

    Firstly, I just love seeing people enjoy my food, both adults and children.

    Secondly, seeing my product on the shelves in Tesco and Holland & Barrett makes all the hard work worthwhile, as well as people telling me how my books have changed their lives.

    Thirdly, we are starting to export now - our Go Bites will shortly be on the shelves of Carrefour in Spain.

    Fourthly, our 5 x 2025 mission is incredibly rewarding too. There is an absolute car crash going on around us with ever-increasing levels of obesity, type 2 diabetes and decreasing levels of exercise. We have a ground-breaking method of getting kids to just be able to cook 5 simple recipes (5 to thrive) as well as understand how food works in terms of helping their mental and physical well-being. We are in the process of getting things going to make the concept go viral, which is a major challenge!

    Go Faster Food Sundried healthy protein snacks

    What does the future hold for Go Faster Food?

    We have been overwhelmed by the response to our recent re-brand and launch of our new 2-ball, £1 pack. We are now putting together a pipeline of new products to launch over the next couple of years. Oh, and there'll be a new book on the way too!

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Every overnight success takes 10 years in the making.

    Quickfire Questions

    1. Coffee or tea? Tea in bed then coffee for breakfast
    2. Summer or winter? Summer (unless I'm skiing, then Winter)
    3. Gym or outdoors? Outdoors
    4. Weights or cardio? Cardio
    5. Sweet or savoury? Savoury (I'm a sucker for a pack of salt & vinegar crisps)

    As a celebration of Sundried's partnership with Go Faster Food, use discount code SUNDRIED10 for 10% off all products at go-bites.com

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founders Of Pulsin

    entrepreneur life interview with the founders of Pulsin

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We spoke to Nick Bildner, Ben Lewis and Simon Ashburner who are the founders of healthy snack food and protein brand Pulsin

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Pulsin? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    The beginnings of Pulsin go all the way back to 1997 when Ben, Nick and I were given neighbouring rooms in Halls of Residence at University. We soon discovered a shared fascination with food, not just as a source of fuel but how diet can enhance everyday life through impact on mood, energy levels, physical health and even social interaction. After university, Ben went on to study nutritional therapy at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition in London, which turned out to be a key factor in our decision to start a food business together. At the time, it was surprisingly rare to go into a shop and find a snack that was both tasty and nutritious. This gave us the belief and motivation to come up with something new and start Pulsin together.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    Persuading people that our idea would work from a standing start was difficult. Banks were not interested in lending us money, many landlords were resistant to offering us a lease for business premises (even more so when they heard the words “superfood” and “manufacturing start-up”) and persuading ingredient and packaging suppliers to temporarily reduce minimum order quantities was initially quite difficult too.

    We got around this by making the bars by hand in the kitchen of a café owned by a friend of ours and buying ingredients from online retailers. We started selling directly to a few shops in London and then wrote a proper business plan using real sales data that we had collected. That broke the deadlock and within a few months we had a bank loan in place and had moved into our first factory in East London.

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    It was very difficult during the early days when we were doing so many different jobs between us like designing and printing labels, doing the books, delivering bars to shops and of course making the bars during all hours of the day and night. I remember performing emergency repairs to a packaging machine at 2am using a spring from a pen and a paperclip.

    Running the business was all-consuming and I did sometimes question why I had leapt from a relatively stable career into the unknown. Fortunately, on our journey we have been joined by some amazingly talented people with a wealth of knowledge and experience which has enabled us to develop and grow as a business.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Pulsin?

    The first thing that comes to mind is meeting and learning from all the interesting people that this industry brings together; shopkeepers, ingredient and packaging suppliers, engineers,  international distributors, nutritionists, consumers of our products and of course all of the wonderful staff who work at Pulsin. I also enjoy the buzz of launching a new product and receiving emails from customers telling us how our products have positively impacted them.

    What does the future hold for Pulsin?

    We have lots of exciting new products in the pipeline for later this year and next, including a new and unique range of functional bars for kids which, like all of our products, will be designed, developed and produced at our headquarters in Gloucestershire. We also have two big CSR goals to achieve which are to become an employer of choice and to become a leader in sustainability. This means maintaining the pace of change at Pulsin in a positive way for our staff and customers

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Establish your company purpose, vision and values at an early stage and write them down. Believe 100% in your product. Understand your customers well and listen to their feedback.  Plan your business thoroughly but get started as soon as possible. The longer you delay the more distant your vision will become. Have confidence in yourself and be prepared to overcome obstacles and setbacks on a regular basis. Lots of people may tell you that your idea will not work, It is your job as entrepreneur to make it happen. Never give up. Be part of a team of people you trust.

    Quickfire Questions

    Coffee or tea? Coffee, strong but in moderation

    Summer or winter? Winter in the Alps as long as it can be sunny too.

    Gym or outdoors? Outdoors – we spend too much time indoors

    Whey or vegan? Vegan is where all the excitement is.

    Sweet or savoury? Sweet but not too sweet.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founder Of Nibble Protein

    entrepreneur life business success interview with the founder of Nibble Protein

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We spoke to Erin Moroney, founder of healthy protein snack brand Nibble Protein, about life as an entrepreneur and her journey in growing her business.

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Nibble Protein? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    A few years ago, I was training for the marathon and I discovered I was protein deficient (I had been a badly-behaved veggie for years).  I was working in a very busy creative agency with little time to eat, so I wanted a bite-sized high protein snack that I could nibble on anytime (en route to meetings, etc).  I couldn’t find any yummy lower sugar, high protein snacks that I liked that weren’t dairy or soy based. Almost everything on the market was full of sugar.  So I created Nibble out of necessity!

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    The biggest challenge was cracking our recipe to make it shelf-stable.  I had no experience in the food industry (and I didn’t know a thing about food science) and I unwittingly chose the most complicated list of must-haves for my first retail food product. Technically, it’s very difficult to create lower sugar products because sugar helps extend shelf life.  It’s made even more challenging when it’s a high protein recipe because it’s hard to bind the batter without using a lot of sugar or fat. And making a bite-sized product creates a whole host of issues from a manufacturing point of view.

    I was also really fussy about how we sweetened our bites which didn’t make it any easier. I wanted to create an all-natural recipe without using common “low sugar” sweeteners like agave (it has to be processed by your liver to convert to energy) and malitol (comes with a laxative warning—no thanks!).  I also wanted to avoid the classic snack bar staple, dates—they’re high in sugar and they’re used in SO many bars/balls. In the end, we used antioxidant-rich and low GI dried plum purée as our unique base.

    While I was still working on the recipe, I approached dozens of manufacturers and all of them told me that what we wanted to create was impossible.  It took a good year and hundreds of test batches to crack the recipe, but we got there in the end.  After all the challenges, it was all the more satisfying when we won an Innovation Challenge Award the month we launched!

    Nibble Protein healthy low sugar high protein snacks

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Uh, I might not be the best person to answer that one—I’m still working on it! A healthy work-life balance is really hard to achieve with a start-up (especially when you are manufacturing a product).  But I find exercise really helps—running is my mental laundry

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Nibble Protein?

    It’s incredibly satisfying seeing a product I’ve developed out in the market.  I was so excited the first time I saw all 7 Nibble flavours on the shelves of Whole Foods!  And it’s great developing a product that helps to solve a problem.  Our bites typically have half to two thirds less sugar than most other all-natural snack bars/balls on the market.  Nibble has been developed with low GI ingredients, so our bites provide slow releasing energy which has a wealth of health benefits. Eating a low GI diet is a real game-changer from a physical and mental point of view (learn more here). 

    And we’re also super excited about our nutrition partnership with the Mintridge Foundation. Mintridge is a registered charity that helps get kids into sports and wellness. Working with pro athlete ambassadors, Mintridge goes into schools and provides mentoring and training for youths (ages 4-18).  The charity and (and its athletic ambassadors) give out our Nibble Brownie Bites in schools (and other events) to encourage healthier snacking.  We’re excited to hopefully help start healthy habits early!

    Nibble Protein low sugar high protein diet lifestyle Sundried

    What does the future hold for Nibble Protein?

    Although our current products are all protein based, our main USP is the lower sugar element.  So we plan to expand our range to include other lower sugar snacks (non-protein based). We are also fielding a lot of export requests at the moment so we are launching soon in the Middle East and Asia.  And I’m from Boston, USA originally, so I’m also on a mission to bring Nibble to the States soon!

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    It’s really tough starting a business, so you need to be tenacious, believe in your idea, and do your homework.  It can be a really steep learning curve (I went from working in photography/advertising to food manufacturing), so don’t be afraid to ask questions.  And most importantly, make sure you are surrounded by a great network of loyal friends/family.  You’ll have those nightmare days when you just want to give up, but the support will be invaluable!

    Quickfire Questions

    1. Coffee or tea? Coffee
    2. Summer or winter? Summer
    3. Gym or outdoors? Outdoors
    4. Weights or cardio? Cardio
    5. Sweet or savoury? Savoury

    Nibble Protein is available from Ocado, Whole Foods, As Nature Intended, Harvey Nichols, Harrods Pharmacy, Farm Girl, John Bell & Croyden, Revital, Amazon, and lots of lovely indies!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founders Of Squirrel Sisters

    Interview Q&A with founders of Squirrel Sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell by Sundried

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We spoke to sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, founders of popular health food brand Squirrel Sisters, about developing and growing a thriving female-only business with no investment. 

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Squirrel Sisters? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    We are Gracie & Sophie Tyrrell founder of Squirrel Sisters (and we are actually sisters). Squirrel Sisters is a health and wellness company with range of award-winning healthy snacks that are available across the nation in Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado, Selfridges, Whole Foods, Planet Organic, BP M&S forecourts and WHSmith.

    Health, wellness, food and how it makes us feel has always been a passion of ours so we started Squirrel Sisters as a blog in 2014. Our blog gained a large following quickly; People connected with our mission and the fact that they are two normal girls with a busy lifestyle that want to enjoy life while feeling great.

    With a growing following we saw an opportunity to turn our blog into a business so after much planning and preparation we launched our snack bars in November 2015, which we already had the recipes for (Gracie used to make them for Sophie due to her gluten intolerance).

    We have had no investment to date and are an all-female team and big fans of female empowerment. Not only are we entrepreneurs but we are also authors, having recently published our cookbook, Naturally Delicious Snacks & Treats, which was just named the top 9 best healthy cookbooks by The Independent.

    Squirrel Sisters products are for people that are hungry for easy, energising, positive choices. Choices that feel good to make.  Choices you don’t need to think twice about.

    We are on a mission to help you your TREAT YOUR HEALTH... because we believe healthy doesn't have to be tasteless or restrictive. It can be indulgent and delicious!

    Squirrel Sisters healthy food protein snacks Sundried interview entrepreneur

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    The biggest challenge we’ve faced is hiring; it’s really hard to find people that are as passionate as you are about your own business. We’ve made a few mistakes with hiring but it’s all a learning experience.

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    Balance is so important… it’s so easy to burn out these days so we do take it seriously, especially because we are a health and wellness company. We eat really well because we know that it helps us feel good and we both have ways that we like to wind down like going to a gym class or having a glass of wine with friends. If you’re tired then you won’t be productive so in order for the business to run smoothly we need to be feeling good so we do a lot to make sure that we have a good work-life balance.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Squirrel Sisters?

    The best part of our job is getting to work together. We get to bring our passion to life and do it together, which has been an incredible experience; supporting each other through the ups and downs and being there for each other through more stressful times. The other amazing thing about working together is that we completely trust each other and have each other’s best interests at heart, which is invaluable in business.

    healthy food snacks protein gluten free recipes Squirrel Sisters

    What does the future hold for Squirrel Sisters?

    We are already available in over 1000 stores across the UK including Waitrose, Morrisons, Whole Foods, Planet Organic, Ocado, Selfridges, WHSmith and hundreds of independents delis, cafes and supermarkets but we want to double this!

    By end of 2019 we want to have doubled our distribution by rolling out into more stores that we are currently stocked in and securing new retailers including more major supermarkets (who we are already in talks with).

    We have new product development (NPD) that is ready to go including some new flavours as an extension of our current range as well as slightly different formats including share bags.

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Success doesn’t happen over night. It takes a lot of hard work and you need to stay motivated. Passion is crucial; you have to be passionate about whatever it is that you are doing because if you don’t have the passion and the belief then it won’t work. It’s all about passion, persistence, and patience

    Quickfire Questions

    Coffee or tea? Tea

    Summer or winter? Winter

    Gym or outdoors? Outdoors

    Weights or cardio? Cardio

    Sweet or savoury? Savoury

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Entrepreneur Life – Interview With The Founders Of Whey Box

    Whey Box founders interview entrepreneurs success business

    Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.

    We chat with the founders of Whey Box, a brand we've loved working with over the past few years, about their lives as entrepreneurs and to get an insight into the running of this exciting company.

    In a nutshell, what is the story of Whey Box? What motivated you to develop the idea?

    Whey Box was born out of a desire to make protein more convenient, more accessible and more engaging. Hence the single-serving format and soft branding!

    Me and the guys have all used protein powder since our early teens and we grew up with the masculine, aggressive brands that can be quite intimidating, especially for women.

    What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?

    There were so many but for us, it was mainly around getting the product fully produced. There was an issue with the packaging on our first run of sachets and we basically had to start again which cost a fortune and delayed everything by a number of months.

    Wheybox entrepreneurs British brand Sundried

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    I don't think we're great at it as when you run a business you're always 'switched on' to things. Whether that be calls, emails or just thinking about everything. But exercising and going out for a few gins certainly helps!

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Whey Box?

    There are four founders, myself and three other guys (they're brothers) so one of the most exciting things has been working with my best friends. That's closely followed by the excitement of a retail launch and seeing your product on shelves all around the country.

    What does the future hold for Whey Box?

    Growing our brand awareness and becoming known as 'the most convenient whey'!

    Wheybox founders interview protein brand UK Sundried

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Try and be patient, accept that it's going to feel like an uphill struggle, definitely make sure you're cut out for it as it can be stressful, and enjoy the process.

    Quickfire Questions

    Coffee or tea? Coffee

    Summer or winter? Summer

    Gym or outdoors? Gym

    Weights or cardio? Weights

    Whey or no whey? Whey all the whey!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren