Georgie is the Co-Founder of LEAFY, a Cotswold based dried vegetable crisp company. Unsatisfied by the range of savoury snacks on the market that were actually nourishing Georgie, along with her partner James, left their jobs and started making kale crisps in a converted garden shed in The Cotswolds. LEAFY has since outgrown the shed and now operates out of a bespoke SALSA certified drying facility.
Since the launch in 2017 LEAFY kale crisps have achieved listings in Harvey Nichols, Whole Foods Market and 100’s of independent retailers. LEAFY has been an exciting journey, Georgie and James have remained resourceful by keeping as much of the process in-house as possible, from production and packaging to branding and marketing.
Georgie’s family have farmed in Worcestershire for over 400 years, primarily growing apples for cider and hops for beer, so she was keen to start a business that supported British agriculture. She studied BSc (Hons) Marketing at Newcastle and prior to LEAFY worked in business consultancy.
Georgie is joining our Shoptalk Panel on “Producing yourself-How to build your own factory” on Friday. Get your tickets here.
Anna is one of the co-founders of Two Chicks. Anna and Alla launched Two Chicks in Selfridges in 2007 to introduce the first liquid egg white into retail in the UK.
In 2005 Anna took a trip to the US and was instantly stuck by the popularity of egg white as a fat and cholesterol free, lower calorie alternative to whole egg. Aware that they didn’t have such a product in England, she and her friend Alla identified a gap in the market. Two Chicks egg white is now available in every multiple in the UK, as well as having listings in France, Belgium, Holland, UAE and Hong Kong.
The Two Chicks range also offers an ambient egg white, a liquid whole egg, a fresh pancake mix, and a healthy snacking product – Chirps – high protein bites made with egg white. In 2016 Anna and Alla won the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the Variety Catherine Awards, set up to celebrate inspirational women in business. Just one year after the company launched they made the national finals of the HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards, the UK’s premier competition for young businesses. Prior to founding Two Chicks, Anna worked in television news, journalism and PR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of York and a Masters in Broadcast Journalism from City University of London. In her spare time, she enjoys horse riding and writing poetry.
Anna is joining our Shoptalk Panel on “How to access and approach buyers” on Thursday. Get your tickets here.
Simon has spent 23 years of his career working in commercial and marketing 'roles' primarily in the food & drinks as well industry. From large international blue chips - Carlsberg, UB & Colgate to fast-growing premium SME food companies such as Kettle Chips, Plum Baby and Lily's Kitchen - in all of which he led the business through a period of dynamic sales growth across a wide variety of trade channels.
In addition, Simon has focused on two other ventures. Firstly, in 2011, Simon established Idea To Shelf Ltd, a specialist consultancy business focused on fast-tracking high-potential start-ups and SMEs – inspiring them to deliver step-change through strategic thinking and customer insight, both in the UK and increasingly overseas. Over the last six years Simon has helped more than 40 brands launch and has widened his portfolio to include brands launching into the Health & Wellbeing sector. In 2015, Simon co-founded Grocery Accelerator, the UK's first food & drinks accelerator which offers funding, business coaching and networking opportunities.
Simon's commercial acumen and energy, combined with extensive experience in building strategy, negotiating with suppliers, leading business-change and creating multi-skilled teams, means he is uniquely placed to accelerate your business. Simon's approach is results-driven and solutions-focused, and he has won continual praise across the industry for successful project-delivery. Current Projects include an Apple Cider Vinegar Juice, Dairy Snack and Chocolate bar.
Simon is joining our Shoptalk Panel on “What’s your plan B?” on Friday. Get your tickets here.
EJ is a leading PR practitioner developing insightful comms for FMCG brands. Working at world-class agencies on global brands, such as P&G and Arla Foods she has a huge variety of experience to draw on for effective food & drink communications.
In 2014, Emma-Jo co-founded The Forge Communications with Holly Ward. After finding their feet and armed with the realisation that launching a new business was no mean feat, the agency started helping food & drink start ups as well as more established brands.
With the combination of big agency PR experience and the ability to be more nimble and reflective of individual clients needs, the agency landed the prestigious PRCA gong of ‘New Consultancy of the Year’. The Forge has an enviable client list with innovative brands such as The Collective, Gousto and Lizi’s Granola and is regularly selected as the ‘go-to’ food and drink specialist agency for new businesses and bigger brands alike.
From trade to consumer relations, business profile & funding news, events and influencer engagement, The Forge offers the type of comms campaigns that will break through the noise and get your voice heard. Go and see them to find out how you can get the best possible coverage for your brand.
EmmaJo is joining our “Working with media” Shoptalk Panel on Thursday. Get your tickets here.
A former corporate lawyer, Carlo left the profession to follow his passion for organic and natural food and drinks.
Now Business Opportunities Manager at Healthy Food Brands, his role includes looking at strategic opportunities for product and brand growth. Carlo has worked with various organic and natural brands over the years both domestically and in the US, including launching Mr Organic into the UK market.
Carlo is joining our Shoptalk Panel on "The power of awards and certification" on Friday. Get your tickets here.
Dan has been in the industry for 17 years, having worked in startup, small, medium and large brands. Working with successful brands such as Pete & Johnny Smoothies, Green & Black's, Cadbury, Cawston Press and now Dalston's - this has given Dan a wide knowledge of how survive, thrive and scale FMCG businesses.
He'll be joining our Shoptalk Panel on "Branding and telling your story" on Thursday. Get your tickets here.
Rich started his working life buying wings for commercial aircraft and then moved into investment banking. He founded MOJU in 2015 with his best mate Charlie, and now heads up brand and corporate strategy.
Rich is joining our Shoptalk Panel on "The power of awards and certifications" on Friday. Get your tickets here.
After graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Food Science, James started a career in new product development in 2007. His career covered many chilled food categories including sandwiches, salads, soup, sauces and ready meals for companies such as Bakkavor, Greencore, Hain Daniels and Samworth Brothers.
In 2014 he and wife, Pam, started Sauce Shop from their home kitchen. The couple sold their sauces on local food markets and moved on to supplying shops locally. In 2015 they went full time into the business, initially outsourcing the production and then in 2017 took the decision to set up production in-house. Since then the range has gained 12 Great Taste Awards and seen them stocked in Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Whole Foods Market and Daylesford as well as in Ocado and Sainsbury's.
James is experimental in the kitchen and a keen a food DIYer and so setting up a factory was a challenge he readily took on. Making that switch has allowed him to take the product quality and innovation beyond what was possible using a third party.
James will be joining our panel on "How to produce yourself - building a factory" in the Shoptalk room on Friday. Get your tickets here.
My day job is running a design and marketing agency specialising in food and drink called The Collaborators. The Seed Fund is a rather large and really rewarding 'side project' that has taken root and grown far more than I ever expected it to. It's supported by a plethora of incredibly generous industry professionals. Between us we now help 12 brilliant new businesses each year.
My own background started in retail with M&S in the 80's, then off to London design and innovation agencies, before setting up The Collaborators 10 years ago. I've been involved in the launch of some wonderful brands for many global food companies, but these days my heart is with the brave founders that want to start their own food enterprises.
Jayne will be chairing a panel on "How to Seed Fund your business" on Thursday in our Shoptalk Panel room. Get your tickets here.
I have over 12 years experience of working in the food and drink industry; spread across consumer exhibitions, events, marketing, social media and food writing. Having managed the speciality food content for the BBC Good Food Shows, I formed strong relationships with food groups and associations, chefs, buyers, influencers and of course the producers too. This experience has given me valuable insight, knowledge and connections in the industry and I love to use this to help producers grow their businesses.
I set up my own business, Fabulous Food Finds which has two sides; consulting exhibition organisers by helping them source the best food and drink producers and also promoting amazing producers to food lovers through my website, social media channels and partnerships with other print and online publications.
I am the go-to artisan and speciality food consultant for the BBC Good Food Shows and Historic Royal Palace Food Festivals. This role includes supporting producers in their exhibiting experience and helping them to maximise ROI and success at the shows.
I regularly judge for the Great Taste Awards and use my tasting expertise to approve producers and curate the BBC Good Food Show Champions scheme, along with acting as chair of judges and coordinator of their Producers Bursary Awards.
I relocated to North Norfolk 5 years ago where I love living by the seaside with my family, eating fabulous food and juggling work, life and my toddlers Alfie and Lottie.
Fine Food Digest has been read by the UK’s independent food retailers and small producers for more than 30 years, but even industry stalwarts can improve. That’s exactly what the magazine’s editorial team has done with a comprehensive re-design, enhancing the mix of new products information, business advice and relevant news.
Michael joined FFD’s publisher, the Guild of Fine Food, in 2011 after working as a business journalist, covering commercial property, travel and construction for various national magazines. He became editor of FFD in 2017.
A serial entrepreneur, Natt has fed this desire having identified and developed successful businesses since the age of 15. From media to food, there isn’t anything Natt won’t try his hand at. The latest venture, Chilli Mash Company, came about from a culmination of these experiences and the realisation of a direct gap in the market.
Per contingency theory, Natt has put this success down to finding that there is nothing that can be called the ‘right strategy’ since one can be improved/adapted in the next scenario. No single set of circumstances is the same; understanding the need to adapt and understand the environment is of upmost importance.
Chilli Mash Company has grown from strength to strength, with an ever-expanding client list and facilities. This has now further extended to the production of products for other companies and the hiring out of facilities during kitchen down-time. From assisting with up-scaling from the home kitchen to large chains requiring support. This aspect especially has been quick to grow and Natt has been in the centre of this, working with clients and helping them understand their own potential. An example of the company’s recent success, is one of the company’s products reaching the Amazon Top 80 over Christmas, outselling many top brands, including Cadburys and Hendricks Gin.
Natt will be joining the panel on "How to find a manufacturer" on Thursday in the Shoptalk Room. Get your tickets here.
I'm one of the two co-founders of Doisy & Dam, the superfood chocolate brand. I'm responsible for making sure we bring to market the most innovative, interesting and delicious chocolate products available in the UK. I look after all things financial as well as managing the production and operational side of the chocolate.
Richard will be joining our panel on "The power of awards and certification" in the Shoptalk room on Friday. Get your tickets here.
After 25 years working in FMCG brand marketing for brands like Quality Street, Smarties, PG Tips, Lipton and Arm & Hammer, I set up TrooFoods with my husband Mike late in 2015. We’re both passionate foodies and had been seeking out an exciting new food business idea.
After all those years working for other companies and building brands it felt right to try to do this for ourselves. With Troo we felt like we’d hit the right opportunity and so we would do our best to make it happen. Troo’s values mirror those of our own - authenticity, simplicity, being straightforward and good in every way we can. We want to make a difference in many ways – for our consumers, our suppliers, our customers, our family and ourselves.
TrooFoods' purpose is to help people with their gut health, scientifically proven to be essential for both physical and mental health and wellbeing. We do this by creating delicious prebiotic-packed food and by helping people understand more about the importance of gut-healthy eating through lots of different communication channels. As well as making people healthy and happy, we want to play our part in caring for our planet too. We have made a commitment to be as plastic-free as we can - this includes being the first granola in plastic-free packaging.
We’ve come a long way, but still have miles to go! We love being part of something with such huge potential and look forward to sharing this with you
Helenor will be joining our Courier Panel on "Packaging" in the Shoptalk room on Friday. Get your tickets here.
My career started by beating a random chap in a pub at table football who then asked me to help launch Innocent drinks across Ireland and make it Ireland's No1 juice brand.
After that, I helped launch Monster Energy across EMEA taking it from nearly nothing to €250m in sales in 3 years. Now I am focused on helping people cook the best possible meals by growing Belazu's market share in supermarkets and our B2B foodservice business.
Peter will be joining our panel on "How to access and approach buyers" in the Shoptalk room on Thursday. Get your tickets here.
Angus is a brand development and food product entrepreneur in premium, organic and children's food sectors.
Since 2000 he has been founder and MD of multi award winning Miniscoff Organic Children's Food.
Angus will be joining our panel on "What's your plan b?" in the Shoptalk room on Friday. Get your tickets here.
Ben is the Founder and Managing Director of Capsicana Ltd. Capsicana is an up and coming challenger brand leading the quality innovation in the Latin American segment of the world foods category.
Ben will be joining our panel on "Crowdfunding" in the Shoptalk room on Friday. Get your tickets here.
Jamie is founder of LOVE CORN the UK's first Premium Roasted Corn brand. His delicious crunchy corn kernels are packed with flavour and made with love.
Vegan, sugar and gluten free LOVE CORN is the perfect savoury snack. LOVE CORN is available across 2,000 stores nationally.
Jamie will be joining our panel on "Non-retail routes to market" in the Shoptalk room on Friday. Get your tickets here.
Sarah Hilleary is the Founder & Chief Temptation Officer of B-Tempted Cakes, specialising in luxurious Free-From baked goods.
Unsatisfied with the gluten free cake market, Sarah decided to tackle the problem herself, leaving her job in the City and taking her passion for baking to create gluten free creations at home. Since then, she has turned her baking hobby into an award-winning cake company, winning multiple golds in the Great Taste Awards and sold in prestigious stores including Harrods, Selfridges, Whole Foods Market, Harvey Nichols, and Fortnum & Mason. In 2017 Sarah entered the Dragons’ Den in which she walked away with an offer of investment from Dragon Tej Lalvani, to support the company’s inevitable growth.
Baking from its fully dedicated Gluten Free and SALSA-accredited site in Leytonstone, East London, B-Tempted Cakes is run by a devoted team of innovative bakers led by Sarah. With its popularity growing, the innovation has not stopped. The company’s new Vegan & Gluten Free muffins and cupcakes are set to be launched in the coming months, positioning the company to be one of the most influential and sought-after brands in the Free-From market.
Sarah will be joining our panel on "How to produce yourself- building a factory" in the Shoptalk room on Friday. Get your tickets here.