• 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 Founder Of Precision Hydration

    Precision Hydration founder Andy Blow interview with 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 with 'sweat expert' and founder of electrolyte supplement brand Precision Hydration Andy Blow to talk about building a successful business off the back of a true passion and learning how to balance work with life and travel.

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

    As an athlete (I used to race triathlon at a decent level) I really suffered in the heat in places like Kona or even in southern Europe. I'd often get severe cramps and drastically under-perform when compared with races in cooler conditions. Eventually, I learned that as well as sweating a lot, I lose a lot of sodium in my sweat (about 2-3 x the average) and once I'd corrected for this in my fluid and salt intake in races it was like night and day for me. I was able to do much, much better in long, hot races from then on.

    As I was also working as a sports scientist and coach back then I was very interested in the physiology behind what was going on and started to look into it to see if what I'd learned might also help other athletes. This gradually lead me into the world of sweat testing, sweat testing equipment, and eventually also hydration products. From that process, the business that is now Precision Hydration emerged.

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

    Probably a lack of experience or any sort of training in running a 'proper' business. Whilst I'd run a small consultancy business, with a single partner, running a larger operation where we needed to coordinate manufacturing, sales, marketing, staff and invest quite a bit of money to get off the ground was a bit of a baptism of fire.

    How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

    I'm not sure I always do. However, a key thing I've learned in the last few years is that balance does not have to mean that everything is 'balanced' all of the time. I enjoy (and find it productive) to work very hard for prolonged periods but I have started to recognise that I then have to take some extended breaks to recover and recharge. In the last 4 years I've taken most of December off each year, for example, and gone abroad with my family and this has worked really well. I have also become a dad twice in the last 5 years and making time for my kids has been an important catalyst to change my lifestyle. My office is also now ~800m from home whereas I used to have quite a long commute and this has really helped.

    What's been the most exciting part of developing Precision Hydration?

    At first, it was the travel that running the business demanded. We're incredibly fortunate to work with many top professional sports teams in the UK and USA in particular so I get to go on the road quite a lot and see some cool places and meet some amazing people. I've spent a lot of time in LA, New York and most places in-between and that has been a great buzz. However, more recently as the PH team has expanded it is more about the challenge of building a long-term, sustainable business that employs some great people and is a fantastic place to work. That is what excites me now. 

    Precision Hydration founder Andy Blow

    What does the future hold for Precision Hydration?

    In the next few years, we're planning to do much more research into all aspects of sweat, hydration and performance as it is still an area of science that is not fully understood. We are employing someone full-time in a research role and to work with a top University in the UK to achieve this. The aim is that the outputs from this role will inform how we improve our current products, guidelines for usage and give us ideas for new products in the future as well.

    What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

    Back yourself, with your own money whenever possible. 'Skin in the game' is critical. Early on, try lots of small things out, discard those that don't work and double down hard on those that do. Listen to the advice of others, but decide what you think you should do and then commit 100% to it. Read a lot (start with 'Shoe Dog' if you've not read it already). Carve out time to just sit and think on a regular basis. Get comfortable with uncertainty. Prioritise customer service.

    Quickfire Questions

    1. Coffee or tea? Coffee, strong with a dash of cream.
    2. Summer or winter? Summer
    3. Ocean or mountain? Mountains
    4. UK or abroad? UK (as long as I get to go abroad a few times a year. And don't get me started on Brexit...)
    5. Sweet or savoury? Savoury
    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
  • Affected By The Clocks Changing? 'Sleepy Monday' Is A Real Thing

    From an increase in workplace accidents to getting a harsher prison sentence, everyone getting an hour less sleep when the clocks go forward can cause 'Sleepy Monday' to be an unusual day.

    Sleepy Monday research sleep health clocks change daylight savings

    Chances are you've been quite looking forward to the clocks springing forward and thrusting us into the warm, embracing arms of British Summer Time. Longer, lighter evenings and the promise of warm weather and BBQs are always welcome. But no doubt you've also heard people spouting that old adage, "but we get one less hour in bed!" Well, a researcher in the US has gone to extraordinary lengths to prove that 'Sleepy Monday' – the Monday following the clock-change – and the ensuing fatigue does indeed cause us to act strangely and reduce our cognitive function.

    University of Washington business professor Christopher Barnes coined the term after he discovered that the day after we put the clocks forward is the one day a year that almost no one gets enough sleep, and the effects can be felt far and wide. 

    sleeping health wellness Sleepy Monday daylight savings

    It's common knowledge among most scientists, researchers, and anyone in the fitness and health industries that sleep is vital for proper cognitive function and that even one bad night's sleep can cause you to be irritable and hamper your work performance. The British Sleep Council conducted a study in 2017 that they termed The Great British Bedtime Study and found that the average bedtime for adults in the UK is between 10pm and 11pm and that only 1% of Brits are in bed before 9pm! 19% of us go to bed after midnight which means that with a wake-up time of 6am, those people will only be getting 6 hours of sleep a night which is not enough. 

    The National Sleep Foundation states that a healthy adult needs between 7 hours and 9 hours of sleep a night to function properly, although some adults need over 10 hours to feel at their best.But whether you're a night owl or a morning lark, the effects of Sleepy Monday could catch you out anyway.

    sleepy monday sleep health fitness wellness clocks change

    Researcher Christopher Barnes examined and analysed decades worth of data to discover interesting statistics and unusual behaviour that occurs on Sleepy Monday. He found that court judges tend to hand out harsher sentences, with criminals receiving on average a 5% longer sentence on Sleepy Monday. He and his team also found that work accidents increase by 5.7% on this day and fatal car crashes rise by a massive 6.5%. 

    So, what does this tell us? Apart from wanting to tell your boss that you'll be working from home that day, it shows just how much a little sleep deprivation can affect us. If you're trying to live a healthy lifestyle or lose some weight, don't neglect your sleep habits! Six hours a night is not enough for a healthy adult and you should be optimistically aiming for 10 hours of glorious shut-eye every night. It's even better if you can get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same times every single day, weekday or weekend, and not trying to catch up on sleep at the weekend. 

    Sleepy Monday stats work place productivity sleep health

    Posted by Alexandra Parren