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Ben Donaldson / Forty Eight Point One

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What’s it really like to start a business in hospitality? We started an interview series to find out.

This week, we talked with Matt Fox, Founder of Fox & The Field, about Juice, Brexit, Branding and the Costa del Suffolk.

Tell us about Fox & The Field.

We’re very new on the block. I’m pretty sure we’re Suffolk’s first and only mobile juice and smoothie business.

Fox & the Field is the result of my aspiration to have a brand in the food and drink industry, but one that could make a difference and help people. We make cold-press juices and smoothies using only plant-based ingredients, with a strong emphasis on supporting local, national and seasonal produce, whilst driving sustainable practices. Our goal is to make healthy and fun drinks, for everybody and every body.

So we’re now out and about in my VW campervan and stand, preparing and selling our juices and smoothies to the good people of Suffolk and Norfolk.

You’ve trekked back from Australia to England to start a brand based on fresh fruit and drink. Why on earth would you leave Oz?

It’s a question we get asked a lot, and sometimes still ask ourselves. Brisbane is a fantastic city, great lifestyle, amazing weather, and part of my inspiration for Fox & the Field.

The Aussies are always very patriotic about their home-grown produce, and juices and smoothies were an everyday part life. I’ve never been too keen on eating plate loads of veg, but I know they’re very important to a healthy balanced diet.

So I started juicing and making smoothies, and loved it. Over here we like to celebrate the best of British, but I’d not associated this with fruit and veg. And I’d never really come across cold-pressed juices or healthy smoothies in the region, so I thought, why not combine these with our local and national produce. Such was my desire to pursue this idea that it meant we had no choice but to leave life down under and return to sunny Suffolk.

We live in the era of brand purpose. Provenance, heritage, missions, and visions. Is there a place for a food & drink brand to just be cool?

We don’t want to preach and inadvertently alienate our customers. If you look at brands such as Oatly and Nutriseed, they seem to have a bit of fun with their branding, whilst making it clear they want to help the planet and people without the pretense.

We want the Fox & the Field brand to become synonymous with fun, tasty healthy, sustainable drinks that are just cool to enjoy on the go.

“Some of our costs may have gone up compared to pre-Brexit, but on a positive note, is there a better time to launch a business that’s passionate about using and promoting local and national produce?”

We don’t want to preach and inadvertently alienate our customers. If you look at brands such as Oatly and Nutriseed, they seem to have a bit of fun with their branding, whilst making it clear they want to help the planet and people without the pretense.

We want the Fox & the Field brand to become synonymous with fun, tasty healthy, sustainable drinks that are just cool to enjoy on the go.

You’ve migrated back to the UK at the same time as starting a new business. Clearly you’re not scared of change! What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking the leap and starting their first business?

Perhaps don’t do it whilst relocating your family 10,000 miles! But I had a concept and passion and wanted to get ahead of the market, so we had to come back and get it launched.

Personally, I wouldn’t rush into quitting the day job initially. I’ve self-funded my venture, and still consult for my old company part time, just to relieve some early financial pressures. Starting a new business is exciting and exhilarating, but worrying about bills can distract from giving your business the time it needs to flourish and grow.

We’re very London-centric over this way. What are we missing in East Anglia? What’s the food & drink scene like there?

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in cities like Manchester, Dubai and Brisbane, so have experienced my fair share of city dwelling and dining. But there’s something different about country life and this region.

We have an abundance of stunningly located pubs that serve restaurant quality meals, local gin distilleries, and plenty of farmers markets showcasing regional food and drink. The beautiful cities of Cambridge and Norwich have many on-trend cafes, bars, and independent micro-breweries. And let’s not forget the stunning heritage coastlines in Norfolk and Suffolk where there’s always an array of freshly caught seafood served in many of the coastal towns.

There’s certainly a strong sense of being local and proud that has been taken to the next level, which is great for our palettes.

Remote working and portfolio work are changing the employment landscape. People don’t need to work in urban centers like they used to. Do you think we’ll see fewer people feel the need to leave country life and make their way to places like London as a result?

I think this is already happening. I’ve been a director of successful consultancy businesses in the UK and Australia that have been built on people working from home. Technology and the cloud have made this much easier to implement  As an employee there are huge lifestyle benefits to this. As a business owner though, it’s vital to ensure there’s adequate structures in place to maintain communication, motivation and training for staff.

We shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of human contact in a digital age.

Many of the brands we talk to have seen their costs rise in the wake of the Brexit vote. You’ve launched a food & drink brand in the wake of this uncertainty. Are you better prepared as a result? And what effect do you think Brexit will have on the industry?

In much of life, I tend not to be a risk taker. I don’t bet or gamble, but I always believe in taking opportunities when they present themselves. There’s always going to be a reason not to do something, the key is to see beyond that.

The vote has been cast, and it appears Brexit will happen. Some of our costs may have gone up compared to pre-Brexit, but on a positive note, is there a better time to launch a business that’s passionate about using and promoting local and national produce?

And if we could have one cold-press juice and one smoothie from Fox & The Field, what should we have?

That’s like asking to choose your favourite child! But if I had to pick, it’d be the Costa Del Suffolk juice, and the Very Berry Smoothie. Both so tasty and full of seasonal and local ingredients.

Thanks to Matt Fox.

Keep up with Matt and the latest from Fox & The Field via their website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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What’s it really like to start a business in hospitality? We started an interview series to find out.

This week, we talked with Amarachi Clarke, Founder of Lucocoa Chocolate, about bean to bar chocolate, the great confectionary misconceptions and what it takes to change consumer habits.

It seems that, week-to-week, there’s a news story about how good or bad chocolate is for us; which is it?

I know, it’s crazy, isn’t it? Why can’t it just be simple?

The truth of the matter is that chocolate is complex and when we read these simplistic headlines about chocolate being ‘good’ they’re usually referring to the mass chocolate industry which tends to over roast beans to even out the flavour profile.

But the problem is that once the beans have been over roasted, the nutrients in the beans that are being used to make the bar, whether it’s milk chocolate or dark chocolate, have been destroyed. So, all you’re really talking about is the sugar content. Dark chocolate contains less sugar, whilst milk and white chocolate have more sugar.

What is our greatest misconception about chocolate?

There are three…If I can have three!

Number one, that all chocolate is created equal. It isn’t. Just as I noted before.

Two, the chocolate narrative goes something like this: ‘Dark chocolate is bitter, milk chocolate has too much sugar and white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all’ which is just not accurate.

And three, the misconception that chocolate isn’t really worth all that much; that it isn’t as nuanced or as complex in terms of taste and flavour as wine, coffee or cheese, three products that seem to be held in much higher regard.

The reality is that chocolate is just as valuable as them all, people just need educating on the subject. When chocolate is made properly the different origins and regions the beans come from give the chocolate bars a different flavour.

So, for example, we import beans from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The two countries share the same land mass but if you taste our bars they will taste worlds apart.

The 70% Dominican Republic tastes very chocolatey with slight berry notes but without being bitter, whilst our 60% Haitian bar tastes like a figgy Bakewell tart!

We’ve started to hear about ‘bean to bar,’ akin to ‘farm to table.’ Is this a new development in chocolate?

Not at all! It’s been around for centuries.

It’s the only way to actually make chocolate so, without it, there would be no chocolate at all! But very little of the chocolate on sale in the UK is made bean to bar by the company that goes on to sell it.

A fairly recent development is the rise of the smaller, batch bean to bar industry, which we’re obviously a part of and is now really flourishing.

How did this come about and where is the marketplace right now?

Until relatively recently only the big companies had access to machinery fit for the purpose of making chocolate but, over time, some pretty clever people adapted equipment from different industries and put them to good use to enable us to produce chocolate on a much smaller scale. Hence a surge of makers in the USA and a growing number in the UK.

“The misconception that chocolate isn’t really worth all that much; that it isn’t as nuanced or as complex in terms of taste and flavour as wine, coffee or cheese, three products that seem to be held in much higher regard”

The fine chocolate market in the UK is still very small in comparison but trends are showing that 90% of people eat chocolate confectionery in the UK, with just under half of that 90% eating it more than once a week and  a significant number of them now really interested in lower sugar and alternative sugar variants.

Small batch bean to bar chocolate makers tend to have a high cocoa content in their chocolate as standard and we’re no exception. What makes Lucocoa different from other brands is that we don’t use any white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Instead, we use coconut sugar and lucuma (a fruit from Peru) to sweeten our bars.

How did you get into chocolate?

I’d say that I’m pretty unusual for the industry in a number of ways, given that my background’s in computer science and project management, and I now find myself a self-taught chocolate maker!

I think there are advantages and disadvantages to coming into chocolate from a totally different angle to almost everyone I’ve met in the trade. I had no background in food so I’m completely self-taught and I’ve had to have the courage of my own convictions when it’s come to making decisions on pretty much everything.

So, I’ve come into it with fresh eyes which makes it easier to challenge the status quo and do your own thing rather than just follow the herd.

The history of food is riddled with vested interests which largely dictate consumer habits – bacon for breakfast, dairy as a vital food group, for example – Has this been the case with chocolate?

To some extent, I would say yes, mainly because of the misconceptions we discussed before, which have led people to view chocolate as a ‘guilty pleasure’, something that is as inaccurate as it is frustrating.

Over the centuries we’ve diluted the health benefits of chocolate right down by over-complicating the ingredients, to the point where something that used to be the food of the gods is now generally no more than chocolate flavoured sugar.

And how do we break this cycle? You mention education – what really makes people sit up and say ‘I want to try something new’?

Well education on what craft chocolate is, is definitely the key.

At Lucocoa we do a lot of sampling sessions, giving people the chance to try our chocolate at fairs and festivals as well as in stores. It gives us an opportunity to mix education with tastings, so they can hear why it’s different, taste the difference, and make that connection themselves.

What’s next for Lucocoa?

Well, Andy – my husband – and I have just got married so we spent a lot of the first half of the year attempting to run the business and increasing our stockists, all while heavily planning for our two weddings – A Nigerian one and a church one. We give ourselves a pat on the back for managing the two!

Right now we’re just putting together the next step in our strategy. And we’re excited about where we can be in in the near and distant future.

Thanks to Amarachi Clarke.

Find a Lucocoa Chocolate stockist here – trust us, you want to – and keep up with what Ama is listening too, where to be seen eating Lucocoa and some of the tastiest education you can imagine, follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

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Operational: Thriller.

Brand: Killer.

See you next week!

Ok, so that might need a touch more clarification.

Let’s start with a basic truth about branding:

Brand strategists, brand designers, brand whoevers; none of these people truly understand the brands they work with unless they live it. And great branding people will do just that. They don’t put themselves in a customer’s shoes, they become customers to experience it themselves.

Don’t be fooled. Developing great branding has as much to do with experience as it does with empathy. But empathy, for all its wayward interpretation, is what maintains a great brand as the business scales and experience ebbs.

When you can’t see, hear, taste, smell and feel everything, you need to imagine what people – your team and your customers – want, wish for and would love if they’d ever conceived of the notion.

The unpatrolled power of process

Operators, by their nature, work to refine a process: Ever smoothing a chassis for half a second’s more pace around the never-ending track.

Every business relies on operators to get shit done. Talented operators, or engineers if you’ll allow me to start analogising, are generally the most sought-after members of any enterprise (the getting shit done bit doesn’t go unnoticed) from day 1. And businesses bend to engineers more than any other function.

But there’s a very good chance that one of those initial engineers is also an architect, able to design blueprints for their team to follow and sufficiently communicative to successfully supervise their activity. The architect needs to consider who they’re building the structure for, how it will be used and how to make sure everyone that uses it stays safe.

Great architects align this with a sense of style and identity. They find ways to stand out and fit in at the same time. No easy feat.

Startups worth investing in have architects – a leader or leaders – with vision. They consider who they’re building a product for, how customers will use it and how to make sure everyone that works with them gets paid and wants to come back to work every week. And great startups align this with a distinct brand identity that enriches the value of the vision to workers, investors and customers.

“It’s hard to deny that customer service is a breeding ground for empathy. Our affinity for another human being’s challenges are not born from awareness, but from seeing the pain it causes them with our own eyes”

New organisations, understandably, favour sales to marketing. It takes far more time to foster the positive, widespread reputation required to generate inbound leads than it does to knock down a few doors. Less communication and direction too; BD is an intimate process, reliant on individual rapport as much as any product or value proposition in many instances.

Organisations, just as they bend to engineers, take on the personality of their salespeople. More specifically, the allowances made to them. And it doesn’t take long for a brand to break, rather than bend, to the wants of those that are stoking the corporate coals with new business.

A formal branding process might protect a business against some of these assaults, but few start-ups have the time, money and inclination to undertake it. While we’re inclined to argue that this is exactly the time to do so, we get why the engineer’s win out more often than not.

Strategy, brand and culture – conceptual triplets – are more often afforded to larger operations and established brands, ‘luxuries’ as they are.

Why > How > Who

One of the great, uncomfortable truths about running a business is that the person best suited to launch a company is probably not the best person to lead it at almost any stage of maturity. Entrepreneurs question the status quo and find gaps to exploit. They ask ‘why.’

But the skills required to question, to ask ‘why,’ are often deemed obstructive too soon rather quickly. Of course they are. Once you’ve extracted an insufficiently answered customer problem, you move on to solving it. ‘Why’ becomes ‘how.’

And ‘how’ necessitates engineers, voracious to solve problems: How can we do this faster? How can we charge more for the same work? Most of us are ‘how’ people at heart.

As time goes by, and those answers are found and feasted on, all that ‘how’ starts being replaced with ‘who.’ Individual responsibility, present in every small business, is traded for middle-management, process and bureaucracy: Who do we need to hire next? Who’s the best person to give this task to?

“Developing great branding has as much to do with experience as it does with empathy. But empathy, for all its wayward interpretation, is what maintains a great brand as the business scales and experience ebbs”

Necessarily so. Asking – and figuring out – how to do something every day is exhausting and unpredictable. A business must resolve the disputes that define its opening phase of operation if it is to recruit, retain and grow: Freelancers and founders may favour the pressure of urgency and expectation, but few employees will remain loyal to revolving goalposts.

And this reality dictates that – with very few exceptions – growth will dilute the brand, as processes replace conversations, as managers seek those that won’t challenge them, as the ratio of people that ‘get it’ diminishes in comparison to those that simply don’t.

An aside: The most valuable people in your business ask why with wildly annoying, juvenile regularity. Whether you christen them or otherwise, they are your leaders. They lead teammates and departments towards new processes which, if successful, start to define the business.

But there’s a very good chance that their naïve inquisition is treated as an unnecessarily surly obstruction by the people they report into. Particularly if these people have long moved on from ‘how’ to ‘who.’

Goodbye empathy

It should come as no surprise that most brands lose their luster at a regular stage. Bricks & mortar businesses suffer when operators can’t visit every site in a single day. If the brand is tied up in a few people’s minds and actions, as is commonly the case, then its withdrawal will quickly unravel whatever string was holding the mandate together.

Online businesses are no different, but geography is replaced with cognition: If nobody can engage with every facet of the business – probably because they don’t have any oversight or understanding of certain functions – in a single day, then the same applies.

Why does this matter? Day in and day out experience of the brand might have vacated, but empathy can live in the shed at the end of the garden forever, right? Sure. But who’s empathy is being relied upon, and how is it being translated?

More often than not, middle management defines the culture, wielding influence far beyond their understanding of the brand under the guise of empowerment. They recalibrate processes, incorporate their experience from previous enterprises and all too often, in the absence of a clear brand strategy, drive their own pernicious, personal agendas.

And it’s their agenda-driven translation of the customer problem that is now used to make decisions.

Why do operators kill brands?

At any stage of development, a brand is best defined by the attitude, behaviours and goals of the people that work in the business, coupled with the motivations, needs and demands of the audience. Or some variation on those nouns, anyway.

Who you hire, what you ask them to do, how you support and reward them, and what other team members are told about their failures and successes. The way that customers feel about the business, what they say when they share their stories, who they feel comfortable sharing it with. They all play a part.

Why do operators kill brands? Because their behaviour is reinforced by the businesses they operate in; they are rewarded for streamlining, not for expanding. And, before long, their focus on process over people becomes a mandate, not a choice.

How do they do it?

Every business is under acute pressure to act quickly. Urgency tends to override strategic, on-brand decision-making, should it exist, and nowhere is this felt more than in recruitment.

If you’ve ever stared down a restaurant rota, paradoxically full of empty shifts, then you know just how far you’ll weaken your convictions to find someone, anyone, that can help. Operational responsibility will test the resolve of even the most ardent brand advocate.

Danny Meyer famously fought for the cause of the 51% (that percentage give us an almighty shudder), preferring candidates with the right attitude over those with ideal experience. The warm, the friendly, the happy and the kind (Ok, we feel a bit better now). The theory has caught on, thankfully, and it’s nigh on impossible to attend an industry breakfast without someone espousing how many fifty-one-percenters they’ve recently recruited.

It’s stuck because it’s simple. It’s also reductive. Hiring lovely people with positive outlooks and a zest for service is, while laudable, less than half the battle. And yes, I know, which brand doesn’t want the warm, friendly, happy, kind types right? Sure, but they’ll benefit more from specific attitudes, behaviours and goals that complement and amplify their brand.

Who can fix it?

Whatever a team member’s makeup, it’s hard to deny that customer service is a breeding ground for empathy. Our affinity for another human being’s challenges are not born from awareness, but from seeing the pain it causes them with our own eyes.

Who can fix a brand that has prayed at the operational alter to damaging distraction? The people that see, hear, taste, smell and feel what the team and customer see, hear, taste, smell and feel. The people that can empathise through experience.

Hire from within. Find time to speak to the most junior team members and the newest customers. Challenge people on what the brand is, what it means and what makes you different. Tell people who you are not for sometimes. Experience other brands. Be a customer. Recharge the empathy cells. Go on holiday sometimes. Wear sunscreen.

Keep hiring people that ask ‘how’ and ‘who,’ just make sure they work to fit the brand values.

And, over and above all that noise, keep an ear out for anyone that asks why.

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Optimistic future-gazing on behalf of an industry bereft of good news.

We’ve been penning a little series entitled ‘the future of restaurants’ recently. It’s been fun. You should read it. Later.

We’ve also spent a few hundred hours in interviews, in the studio and out at dinner discussing what is to become of the once dominant, high street restaurant chains. Years of optimism have been replaced by a rapid decline and the industry is ill-prepared to handle the myriad of changes it is suddenly being asked to master.

Technology has summited innumerate hurdles, beckoning in new customer behaviours and dragging government policy along, often to its whim. And as a result, the high street is changing. Eating out is changing. Food is changing.

What will become of chain restaurants?

The restaurants of the future will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner; snacks, pick me ups and canapes; beer, wine and whatever else they can. Restaurants will be production engines, finding disparate ways to package, market and distribute their wares for our consumption, and experience lenders, pushing the boundaries of our expectations.

Here’s how:

Now

Savvy chain restaurant groups are already finding ways to personalise how they produce and communicate their offer. By incorporating a rich, single customer view – that’s CRM talk for combining every single breadcrumb of data into one tasty loaf of information – restaurants can predict what individual guests will want, when they want it and how they want it delivered.

“Estates will compartmentalise. Restaurants will be replaced with a wide array of audience-targeting venues, from kiosks outside busy office blocks, to pop-ups in contract catering strongholds, to meal kits to in-flight food to wherever else their ingenuity takes them”

Speaking of delivery, it won’t come as a shock that every food business, irrespective of size and scale, is considering how distribution can help them generate additional revenue, reach more customers and increase their brand awareness. For some, this means developing proprietary delivery channels. For others, it’s tweaking their offer to make it more applicable to a grab & go audience. More than ever, ‘restaurants’ are giving way to ‘food businesses.’

Transparency. Provenance. Authenticity. You don’t need me to tell you that this is where food is headed.

We’re also starting to see a change in how restaurants use their space. More collaborations. Fewer services (and fewer shifts and hours for employees). I’d say ‘more pop-ups’ but this isn’t an article from 2012. ‘More vegan restaurants’ is also assigned to the predictive past.

Soon

We’ve made a few predictions already:

Transparency. Provenance. Authenticity. Expect this trio to be joined by a new accomplice: Rather than tracking where ingredients have come from, attention will turn to where the money goes. A combination of the press, a new wave of operators and technology will empower guests to gain greater visibility into the workings of a food & drink business and choose where they want their ‘investment’ to end up.

This will include tipping certain team members, posting payments into ‘pots’ where they can allocate funds towards training & development, operational expenses or new site investment. Someone will come up with a better title than ‘live crowdfunding’ but let’s not forget who told you about it first.

The major shift, however, will be how eating out is perceived.

We’ll continue to be persuaded to eat out regularly by the galvanising quartet of working hard, living in small properties, residing far from our place of employment and lapping up our daily dose of FOMO. But we’ll be particularly swayed by places that amplify our preference for experience over possession.

High street retail, what’s left of it anyway, has figured out the value of experiences. Dining options increase dwell time, reward less engaged members of a shopping committee and basically make their shop a more favourable destination for more people.

Unfortunately for restaurants, there is little value in reciprocation. So, they’ll be forced to find novel ways to up the ante.

Don’t think live music, think augmented reality menu apps that show you what each dish would look like on your plate. Forget quiz nights, imagine VR changing your entire surroundings to match the flavour profile of each course, complete with characters to guide you through the story.

That takes some imagining today, but the non-tech building blocks are there: Personalisation, authenticity and experience.

Later

Even the best crystal balls start getting a bit hazy when we peer over the horizon, so we’ll step away from capricious consumer trends and veer towards business models.

Despite the success of challenger brands – they’re better placed to take advantage of the move towards transparency et al – restaurant chains can and will flourish in the future. Only, they won’t necessarily do so with high street locations.

Estates will compartmentalise. Restaurants will be replaced with a wide array of audience-targeting venues, from kiosks outside busy office blocks, to pop-ups in contract catering strongholds, to meal kits to in-flight food to wherever else their ingenuity takes them.

“More than ever, ‘restaurants’ are giving way to ‘food businesses”

Supplier and distributor will become closer. Farm-to-table exists on a micro-scale now, but reductions to agricultural stipends will wipe out any validity to the farming model, provoking restauranteurs to step into their own supply chain and take ownership.

On the other side, Deliveroo will run out of cash, UberEats will get distracted fighting for a bigger prize, and none of it will matter because Amazon is best set to win the war to import, export, send and receive everything. Chain restaurants will live with the ‘Amazon-cut’ having only just survived the ‘Deliveroo-tax’ of the here and now.

And, if you’ll allow me to keep dreaming, chain restaurants might just be revered for their invention, not just their reliability.

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Restaurants are in flux. Sweeping change is transforming the landscape at a frantic pace, which got us to thinking: What does the future of restaurants look like?

From time to time, we’ll be outlining the improbable, imperiled fortunes of the industry. Part 6 – The restaurants in disguise.

Restaurants are the queens of cosplay.

One minute they’re fancy, antipodean-edged brunch shacks, celebrating every moment of unrarefied communality with bottomless Bloody Mary’s. The next, they’re sophisticated, swanky destinations for people with prickly dispositions and names like Opal. And Gustav. And Xenia.

We probably wouldn’t trust a human that was quite so adept at reinventing themselves, and we’re not 100% committed to a restaurant or bar that possesses this kind of wizardry.

‘Wasn’t this the place that Gustav drank 16 Mojitos, passed out and only woke up to vomit on that woman’s shoe?’ asks someone that definitely isn’t advocating the place as a go-to set lunch option.

We’re judgemental creatures. We need to be to survive. We make immediate decisions that lead us away from potential trouble (and – woefully – into narrow, prejudicial phobias).

Daylight and birdsong good, dark corners and shrill noises bad.

Restaurateurs have long been nervous about how their food looks and tastes when it leaves the restaurant. Rightly so in many cases; if your first experience of the brand is subpar, would you give it a second chance?

“when I suggest that the restaurants of the future will embrace all-day dining, I say it because they’ll have no other fucking choice”

Operationally, few restaurants are set up to shift gears between services. Sure, you might see a junior team member scuttle into the back with a tray of half-day-old pastries under their arm after breakfast, or a hurried head waiter frantically rewriting an A-board before dinner, but legitimate transitions are rare.

Nor will it be widespread in the restaurants of the future.

Despite our longing for consistency and aversion to change, there are two, grim constants that we’d rather do without. Unfortunately, taxes are still inexorable, and death remains undefeated.

Sobering. And you thought I was writing this drunk.

Not that this pair needs any additional company, but it’s fair to say that humanity has uncovered another inevitable certainty: Over a long enough period of time – and we’re only talking years, not millennia – populations will swell and, as a result, the land that we occupy will be worth more tomorrow than it was yesterday.

That means property prices will continue to jump up and commercial rents will probably not get down.

And when I suggest that the restaurants of the future will embrace all-day dining, I say it because they’ll have no other fucking choice. Restaurants will have to maximise the cost of the space they inhabit to survive.

And they’ll do it by serving you breakfast, lunch and dinner, just not in the restaurant.

Breakfast is the fastest growing daypart. Sure, we might just be hungry after our 75-minute journeys to work because we can’t afford to buy rent a place anywhere remotely close to central London, but whatever.

In the future, you’ll still eat breakfast out – the avocado industry is safe – but it will be sent directly to your workplace, ready for you to enjoy when you arrive and personalised to your tastes.

For lunch, you’ll still be eating a sandwich at your desk – future or not, gluten and desktop dining aren’t going anywhere soon – but this will be less #BonjourArnaud and more #ThankFuckSomeoneMadeThisWithinTheLastHour.

Chances are, the same chef that made your breakfast had a hand in making your egg & cress (big flavour in the future, big). And this will be packaged together with an after-sandwich coffee at a local kiosk so you can stretch your legs, get some air and take a mandated, caffeinated lap.

“Restaurants will no longer need to camouflage themselves as generalists, putting on dodgy accents to pass as breakfast or lunch places when they speak fluent dinner.”

Snacks? Provided by the very same restaurant. Dinner too: Wine to the office so you can share a glass with the team, before starters and mains on site, and dessert waiting for you in the fridge when you return home.

You’re eating restaurant food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you’ll only be spending an hour or two of your day there – if at all – connected as you will be by systems that seamlessly synthesize distribution to your office, your home and wherever else you frequent.

The restaurants of the future will transition from offline to online, using bricks & mortar venues to grow brand awareness and convert offline ‘guests’ into digital ‘users.’

Restaurants will no longer need to camouflage themselves as generalists, putting on dodgy accents to pass as breakfast or lunch places when they speak fluent dinner. Instead, they’ll open the front doors for their key service and send everything else they produce out the back, onto a bike and into your futuristic lap.

To read part 5 of the series, click here.

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What’s it really like to start a business in hospitality? We started an interview series to find out.

This week, we talked with Karis Gesua, Co-founder of LICKALIX, about how to win at Crowdcube, how to prosper on Ocado, and how wholesome, family brands can build a following.

Number 1 with an icy bullet: Why ice lollies?

Good question. It’s really sunny and lovely now so…

Fair point.

So, I suppose it all started in 2013. Dom, who is both LICKALIX’s and my other half, and I were unhappy in our jobs, overworked and overstressed, and we’d both wanted to launch our own company together – that was always our goal.

We were on holiday and we just decided to take the leap. We told ourselves ‘we’re going to start, let’s do it.’ We already knew the ethos and the principles that we wanted the business to be based on, but we didn’t have the idea.

We were meant to take a few months to figure that bit out but as soon as we returned, Dom resigned. And I quickly followed suit. It might sound silly, but we had little non-work headspace and we felt we knew roughly what we wanted to do. My background was in branding, marketing and design with top agencies – think Mars, Diageo – while Dom worked in sales, advertising and media. If you’ve seen a billboard in central London for Nike, Apple – that’s Dom.

“We wanted to run our business, to work for ourselves, to make a difference and do something in the right way in order to help people live better lives. These things came first.”

Nothing to do with food of course. But I love food. I’d been making ice lollies for fun for our friends and family and, one day, we went looking for lollies in a supermarket and figured out that there was a fun, cool idea that nobody was doing.

Ice cream and frozen yoghurt had already been through a revival, using more premium ingredients with real provenance, and providing people with a healthier alternative to the mainstream, whereas ice lollies were all sugar and E numbers.

We launched the business in April 2014. We bought Kenny, our vintage VW ice lolly van – who is still with us today – and took him around the country with our lollies, trying out different flavours and narrowing the range down to our original 4.

You started values-first. In hindsight, could this have been a business in another vertical?

Maybe, yes. We did have another idea originally along the lines of glamping, which would have obviously been very different, not least from a lifestyle perspective. But we saw challenges in that model that sent us in another direction.

The ethos came first and, this is really corny, the dream came first. We wanted to run our business, to work for ourselves, to make a difference and do something in the right way in order to help people live better lives. These things came first.

Did the seasonality of ice lollies bother you? And what do you do in the winter months?

We knew it would be an issue but we’re not the only business faced with that challenge. Seasonality is incredibly challenging – you need to make money in the summer to sustain yourself through the winter – but the plan was always to diversify.

We’ve just launched a baby food brand called Baby Cübes, which is all about helping people feed their little ones more fruit and veg. They’re basically frozen ice cubes of pure fruit and veg; less food waste, less packaging waste, all organic and a real time saver for parents.

That took a while to launch but we’d always worked towards developing non-seasonal products, and there are more on the way.

Supermarket sales will always be there too. We’ve been with Ocado for a few years and that length of tenure has a cumulative sales effect. And for our particular business, there’s an awful lot of work to do in the downtime to prep for peak periods.

Let’s talk about Ocado. For many FMCG start-ups, an Ocado *is* the goal. What does it take to make a listing work?

Oh, that’s tough. Many things. Ocado is often the initial stepping stone, as you said.

I personally love shopping with Ocado because I can find so many great brands that just aren’t listed together elsewhere. They don’t have the bricks & mortar constraints that other ‘supermarkets’ do so they can simply carry more lines.

I’d say that you have to be different. You have to stand out. And you have to develop something that appeals to their target market in particular. The Waitrose demographic & profile that want high welfare food with provenance and don’t mind paying for it.

And there’s a strong family market on Ocado too. Consumers are happier to spend their money on the people they care than themselves. They want to make sure their loved ones eat nutritious, quality food. Our products are perfect for that.

Looking ahead, could Baby Cübes be the core product eventually? Or do you see it as part of a suite of products?

Both. I’d like it to be both. Everything will come back to the core values of the business; to help people lead healthy lives more easily. We’ve asked ourselves this question a few times.

We only launched Baby Cübes about 6 weeks ago, but it has the chance to be a perennial product; it doesn’t just have to be for babies and toddlers – we’ve seen parents use them for their smoothies, for example.

The market might be smaller than lollies right now, but we’re seeing a general move towards frozen products. People are starting to understand that not all frozen food is bad, that freezing can lock nutrients in and that frozen products are obviously very convenient. Jamie Oliver is pushing it now too, which helps.

Where can we find LICKALIX right now?

Well, Ocado obviously. We’re in Jamie’s restaurants too, Whole Foods and Planet Organic, along with 600-odd more places that are lesser well known, from the South to Scotland. Find any family-friendly place that is keen to provide healthy alternatives and we’re probably there.

You initially raised funds on Crowdcube. What’s your advice for raising money on a crowdfunding platform?

Ok, so that’s a whole other interview…

Number 1, you have to be proven. We were one of the youngest businesses to be funded, but the more proof of the team, the model, and business, the better.

You have to have a great video…

A lot of people miss that. They don’t find a way to stand out.

Exactly that, you need to be different. So many are too long, too boring. And it needs to be relatable. You want to be able to grab people that are generalist investors and might not know the ins and outs of your particular industry.

Are you still in touch with all the people that were part of that raise?

We are. We did loads of outreach and people got the concept instantly. We also kept the minimum value intentionally low so that we could build an initial group of brand ambassadors. Now, we have 250 people around the country that are selling our brand into their families and local shops and cafes.

“Consumers are happier to spend their money on the people they care than themselves. They want to make sure their loved ones eat nutritious, quality food. Our products are perfect for that.”

This also helps with visibility on the platform. On Crowdcube, you’re ‘ranked’ by the last investment received, so making it easy for people to invest even small sums increases the chances that someone – and that someone might have much more to invest than the minimum – sees your proposition first. That’s another reason to get as many people involved as possible.

We send a quarterly newsletter to everyone, and we have close ties with our major shareholders. We try and keep in touch whenever and wherever we can really.

There seems to be a great sense of community around the brand. How do you maintain that?

I think it comes from the essence of the brand and how Dom and I wanted the brand to be in the first place. It’s a really personable brand because we are so heavily involved in everything. Our team really believe in the brand.

We also have plenty of physical touchpoints, which makes a huge difference. We take Kenny out every weekend, and more in the summer. We go where the audience is.

The product is very family-orientated too. We’re not pretending to be anything we’re not; it’s nice, clean family fun.

Speaking of family, you work with your partner. Many people wouldn’t dare. How does this work and do you ever stop chatting about lollies?

Ha! Sometimes I have to say, ‘let’s stop talking about work now.’ I don’t know how we do it because we spend so much time together.

We have our business together, we live together, we’re married with a son – Rocco – we share all our hobbies together, all our friends seem to be together.

I love it. I really lean on him and he really leans on me. It’s another reason why we’ve been successful and how we can compete in a space with the likes of Unilever. We couldn’t have done it without each other. But I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone.

When you run your own business you’re on it 24/7. And on the rare occasions when we do get the chance to go out we have to tell ourselves to stop talking about lollies!

It feels like challenger brands are in the ascendancy and the bigger brands are having to find ways to stay relevant and almost ‘catch up.’ Is this what you see day in and day out?

I always knew that there would be smaller companies chasing us and bigger companies squeezing us. We had first mover advantage but that never lasts for long.

One of my main focuses is production. To source everything we want in an organic format is so challenging at scale. We’re free from all allergens now, which is a major point of difference, and it matches where the market is heading.

Mums come up to me and say ‘I’m so pleased that my kids can have your lollies’ and I love that. We were at a family festival recently and a child came up to me, thrilled that he could have a chocolate lolly for the first time – he’d never had one before. That was amazing.

Organic, free-from, whole real fruit rather than syrups, no refined sugars. This is where we started and, ultimately, we’re pleased that people are catching up because we want the market, in general, to be healthier.

Brexit. Has that changed anything within the business?

I don’t think we’ve seen the big changes just yet.

Everything has got more expensive of course. We buy some of our ingredients from Holland and we’ve had to swallow that, but we can’t forever, and I can’t see how these prices won’t continue to increase.

If ordering terms change then that will have to change our pricing. And it will make it harder for us to sell into Europe – not just us, all British companies. We might see labour challenges too, but we saw a cost change immediately.

And what’s next for LICKALIX?

We’re developing some new, top-secret products.

And we want to increase our reach and find our way into places that Ocado can’t so that anyone that wants healthy, free from, organic treats can walk to their local supermarket or café can find them.

Thanks to Karis Gesua.

Check out LICKALIX and Baby Cübes here, or find out when Karis, Kenny and the team are bringing ice lollies near you by following them on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.  

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What’s it really like to start a business in hospitality? We started an interview series to find out.

This week, we talked with Wyatt Cavalier, Founder of Underdog Coffee & Bibium, about coffee, coffee machines, more coffee and the business of coffee. This is a serious pick me up.

Underdog coffee. Nice name; what’s the story?

We’ve always believed in supporting the little guy – smaller suppliers making outstanding coffee.

The name is one that also lets us do some interesting and creating things, brand-wise…coffee roasts named for specific underdogs throughout history, perhaps.

We’re out drinking coffee all the time (who isn’t?). Where should we be going? And where should we avoid?

Go anywhere that’s not a national chain. Because they buy and roast such vast quantities of coffee beans, they’re forced into producing a very homogenous (average) product.

Find a place you like the feel – so much of a cup of coffee is the atmosphere in which you consume it.

What’s the most common barista mistake you see?

Not spending enough money on a decent grinder. We see loads of baristas buy £9,000 espresso machines then pump inconsistently ground beans into it.

Bad coffee in = bad coffee out, no matter how good your espresso machine is.

Coffee culture has put a fair few pubs out of business, right? And what is this doing to communities?

I’d say it’s not coffee culture that’s done it but an evolution of general attitudes in the UK.

People are choosing healthier lifestyles, moving toward wine, and want a meal with their pint. So typical boozers are feeling the pinch. That said, a number of pubs are changing with the times, opening earlier, serving a decent coffee provision – Wetherspoons offers unlimited coffee in all its pubs now.

Starbucks just launched in Italy. What’s your prognosis?

I think they’ll struggle. Now isn’t the time for imperialist America to invade old world Europe. Plus the coffee is terrible.

You might say nothing, but what should we admire about Starbucks?

Starbucks propagated the second wave of coffee, moving beyond a hot cup of brown liquid and towards a focus on good coffee as a thing to be enjoyed.

We wouldn’t be where we are today as an industry if it weren’t for Starbucks.

You’ve taken the step of adding user reviews to your site. Why? And won’t this piss off a few of your suppliers?

No one else does this, and perhaps it will annoy a few suppliers, although studies show a certain number of negative reviews actually increase conversions.

“Bad coffee in = bad coffee out, no matter how good your espresso machine is”

We’ve done it because nearly all our clients are buying a coffee machine for the first and only time and don’t really know anyone else who’s bought one. So their only source of information is the company selling them the machine, which obviously isn’t great. Buying a commercial coffee machine is far harder than it should be, and we want to make it a bit easier.

If your customers had to review you, what would they say?

All good things I hope! We spend an inordinate amount of time making customers happy and doing things no other supplier would, and I hope that comes through.

The rise of domestic espresso machines – reliant as they are on plastic pods – good or bad?

Short term, bad. But ultimately good.

I think we, as an industry, will solve the plastic problem, creating eco-friendly technologies, sooner rather than later. Nearly 90% of consumers still drink instant coffee at home, so anything that nudges this toward decent coffee is a good thing.

Milk seems to be evolving faster than coffee right now. Why do you think that is?

There are far more problems to solve with milk than there are with coffee. Lactose intolerance, fat content, refrigeration requirements etc.

Every change to coffee is an enhancement rather than removing a problem, and people care more about getting rid of the pain.

‘Farm to fork’ dining is commonplace. Are there ‘farm to cup’ examples? Should there be?

Coffee farms are a lot farther away than carrot farms, so it’s much more difficult and expensive. And harder to verify.

It’s something we’re working toward and hope to achieve soon, but generally speaking, once a coffee company is big enough to do this sort of thing, they’re too big to worry about this sort of thing.

The ethics of coffee are complex. Who is getting this right? 

“As a company, we’re leading the charge toward an end to the tyranny of information asymmetry”

I don’t think anyone has really got it right because no one controls their entire supply chain.

There are 15 – 20 steps along the coffee supply chain – more if you add in machines – and beyond the complexity, no two people can really seem to agree with what’s ‘right’.  

Thrive, in the US, is doing the best job we’ve seen so far. They promise the farmers themselves a cut of the final roasted price of the coffee, which ensures they see some of the value-add to their beans. That still leaves out the 1785% markup a coffee shop puts on the beans, though, as they transform 14p worth of coffee beans into £2.50 worth of espresso.

‘Your margin is my opportunity’ and all that; what’s coming next in the coffee industry business model?

Great tasting coffee is getting easier to make via technological advances and automation, so we’re going to see the bar get a lot higher in terms of what’s expected by an average consumer. Because of that, you’ll probably see a lot of coffee shops and vendors coming out with gimmicks trying to differentiate themselves.

As a company, we’re leading the charge toward an end to the tyranny of information asymmetry. Put simply, we think coffee lovers have been kept in the dark for too long, and we’re trying to pull back the curtain a bit.

Thanks to Wyatt Cavalier.

If you’re in the market for a coffee machine, head to Bibium’s website. If you want to read what Wyatt and the team have to say, check out their blog. Or to chat to Wyatt himself, go find him on LinkedIn

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Restaurants are in flux. Sweeping change is transforming the landscape at a frantic pace, which got us to thinking: What does the future of restaurants look like?

From time to time, we’ll be outlining the improbable, imperiled fortunes of the industry. Part 5 – Compartmentalisation: The one without any French restaurants

French restaurants have been the mainstay of popular cooking culture since cooking culture became popular. We eat from a la carte menus. We pop into cafes. I’m off for a petite aperitif with a chic brunette shortly. You, me and Steve (remember him?) are all Francophiles.

So, I’m guessing the following won’t come as a joyous bit of news: When we look at the restaurants of the future, not a single one will be French.

Disclaimer, French pastry shops aren’t going anywhere (thank Christ) for reasons to become apparent shortly.

Here’s what society does. We take a pure, unadulterated, innocent idea, strip it bare and sell it for parts. We’re pragmatic, unappreciative bastards with a magpie-like eye for any shiny detail prone for compartmentalisation.

We appropriate food, drink, fashion, design, <fill in the gaps> from other cultures and integrate it into our fluid, agitating lives.

“Think tacos and tequila. Or pizza and beer. Basically, you’re playing Neil Rankin concept bingo until something sticks”

And while our predecessors might have lauded and lionised French food, younger generations will predictably place less value on something that lacks the novelty, rarity and aura that it once did. Call it progress.

We’re also much more likely as consumers, in an age of mass distribution, to find specialists for niche services at a click of a button. In food terms, a 6/10 restaurant within 20m of the office might have taken most of my lunch money a few years back but sinks into irrelevance in a Deliveroo / Just Eat / Mealpal powered presence when their competitive landscape includes 7, 8, 9 and 10 out of 10 restaurants around the digital corner.

There’s a saying in marketing – well, a question anyway – that goes like this: What do you want to be famous for? Pick something, do it, do it well, get better at it, focus your business on it, tell everyone about it, and you’ve got a shot at being the ‘x company.’ Sure, you might make the ‘second leap’ and dive into a few more fun things later, but start by nailing that first idea:

  • Sell books online (Amazon)
  • Be a private social network for colleges (Facebook)
  • Offer a taxi service that can be booked online (Uber)

These are, or at least were, niche concepts. Oh, they’re all tech companies huh? Sure, so go and look at the origin of you favourite fashion brands. Or car manufacturers. Or whatever.

“Banh mi, Lobster roll, Bifana, Shawarma. 4 different cuisines, and 4 different restaurants in 2018. In the future, you’ll be able to find these – along with a whole bunch of other sandwiches – in the same place”

Restaurants are fairly transactional businesses. You’re hungry and you need filling, or you’re lonely and need company, or you’re bored and need something to entertain you.

The nature of this blatancy dictates that most consumers make very quick decisions (this obviously doesn’t include your parents or anyone over 60 that is still trying to figure out where to go for Lunch. On Tuesday. In 1978.)

Most restaurants respond by distilling their offer into something simple to understand. Think tacos and tequila. Or pizza and beer. Basically, you’re playing Neil Rankin concept bingo until something sticks.

The pesky internet has honed demand even further. Where once we would visit an Italian restaurant, now we go to a pasta bar. Chinese? I only want dumplings. Indian? Why doesn’t someone just open an Aloo Chaat kiosk outside my flat?

If you’re after a quick and easy identity, pick a dish and run with it. Pick two. See what I care.

Banh mi, Lobster roll, Bifana, Shawarma. 4 different cuisines, and 4 different restaurants in 2018. In the future, you’ll be able to find these – along with a whole bunch of other sandwiches – in the same place. That restaurant will be ‘the sandwich place’. And there’ll be a orzo / spaghetti / fideos / sorrentinos place too, obviously. Breathe.

Buying decisions will be made by dish, not by cuisine. But everywhere will still serve pastries at breakfast, potatoes at lunch and more potatoes at dinner, so croissant, frites and dauphinoise should be safe.

But Coq au vin? Escargots? Fougasse? These tasty morsels cling onto their more famous, French brethren today. And will be cut adrift in the future.

What will this do for the identity of national cuisine? How damaging will this be for the education, training and development of the next wave of kitchen teams? Where the fuck will I get my damn fougasse? Find out none of this, and more, in the next edition of the future of restaurants.

To read part 4 of the series, click here.

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What’s it really like to start a business in hospitality? We started an interview series to find out.

This week, we talked with Abigail Scheuer, Founder of Le Choux, about the difference between Paris and London, Yorkshire puddings and choux buns, and why crème pat is the stuff of nightmares.

Choux seems to be very much in vogue right now. Why has a hundreds-year old French pastry suddenly become everyone’s favourite treat?

This pastry has transformed dramatically in the last few years, especially in Paris. Pastry chefs have developed and refined the pastry, from controlling the oven temperature, the consistency of the pastry and baking it with a crumble topping.

A choux bun used to look like a Yorkshire pudding with icing on top. It’s now been developed in the same way a macaron has, to a perfect bun glazed and filled.  In the same way, you can find doughnuts with all different flavours and the same can be done with choux!

The pastry is baked and contains only a little butter so it’s lighter than most pastries.

What’s the one pastry that all bakers hate to make?

I’m not sure about the pastry, as everybody has different things they love and hate, but I know that every pastry chef has a creme patisserie nightmare story.

They normally start with “when I used to have to make twelve litres of creme pat to make…” I hated to be on crème patisserie duty when I was at work!

Paris is like Mecca for pastry chefs. What do they have that we don’t?

Parisian pastry chefs are like scientists in a lab, for a start.

In Paris, they are constantly innovating and use progressive ideas alongside a respect for tradition, which means they are able to achieve the highest standards.

When I worked in Paris, I was always hearing about ‘savoir-faire’ which means ‘know how.’ You must know and understand the way things are made before you can manipulate and change them.

Every pastry chef in France needs to qualify and pass a CAP Patisserie exam before she or he can work, he must know ‘les bases’ – the fundamental skills, like shortcrust pastry, croissant pastry, creme patisserie, creme anglaise – before being able to make changes and improve them.

“Markets and pop-ups are cool and are the place to find high-quality artisan products. I love that so much about London”

This makes room for progressive ideas with a twist on the traditional technique, and the result is phenomenal. We simply don’t have this strict rigour and determination that they have.

This may also be due to it being very competitive in Paris; there are so many patisseries and boulangeries so the pastry chefs strive to make their work stand out. Pastry and cuisine are both highly respected professions in France, whereas in the UK, often the chef is the dessert chef as well.

We obviously have a lower barrier to entry here. Does that help English bakers be more creative? Or are they just more likely to cut corners?

Honestly, I think a bit of both.

I think that English bakers are very creative, but also more likely to cut corners. On the positive side this leads to innovation because they find a way of doing things in another way, but in France, they have to stick by the rules!

What will it take to make baking – and hospitality in general – more respected on this side of the Channel? 

It already is becoming more respected, as people have started thinking about where their food and ingredients come from, and people are more conscious now than ever of what they are consuming.

I think this will continue to increase with the excitement of artisan and handmade products being more respected than mass-produced alternatives.

Food & drink is suffering a major skills shortage right now. Is this the case in pastry too? And what can we do to solve this riddle?

There are ways we can solve this, and I feel very passionately about this.

With Brexit, it will be harder than ever to share our skills and bring in new talent to innovate ideas in all industries, particularly in food and drink.

To be honest, things aren’t looking so good for pastry as last year was the final year that the government offered pastry apprenticeships. I was willing to take on an apprentice this year however I could not do so because I was not able to teach them cookery.

The new apprenticeship is only available for a commis chef, not for a pastry chef. And to solve this problem, they should bring back pastry and bakery apprenticeships and promote them more in schools as a valued option.

Le Choux has popped up all over London. What do you think pop up culture has done for the London food scene?

Markets and pop-ups are cool and are the place to find high-quality artisan products. I love that so much about London.

Pop-up culture has given chefs and foodies the opportunity to test their concepts out on the public at a relatively low start-up cost. This means people can build on a business and see if it works before developing it further, or before investing in bricks and mortar.

As a result, top chefs and bakers are open to starting up on their own, elevating the quality of the food and making it exciting for everyone.

Provenance and heritage have never been more celebrated in food. How does this translate to pastry? Is it something that people ask you about?

Yes of course. It is always a pleasure to work with great raw ingredients.

People consider what they consume now more than ever – as we discussed earlier – so it is natural for artisans to be increasingly focussed on sustainable practice and championing their producers and suppliers more.

People do ask me about this, and I like to work with a focus on ethically sourced ingredients wherever I can.

“I know that every pastry chef has a crème patisserie nightmare story”

And I’m not a vegan, but my eyes are not closed to the damage that we are doing to animals and to our planet.

Most of our products are sourced locally, especially the dairy and eggs – which we use a lot of! I’m open to new ingredients coming in as countries and passionate suppliers start to make their products widely available.

We aim to work with high quality, ethically sourced ingredients with new creativity and a luxury angle, but with a low damaging impact.

As people’s perceptions of dairy change, can you see traditional bakeries moving to more ‘free from’ ingredients? Or is this a no go?

I certainly think that bakeries will move towards ‘free from’ ingredients, indeed they’re doing it right now; I’ve seen this done so a lot this year.

We’ve been working towards a vegan choux as we know that more people are turning towards a vegan lifestyle. It is something that we are conscious of.

I believe in a balanced diet, but I do agree that animal products should be consumed a lot less than they are. But I also really love butter and cream…so I’m having particular difficulty getting rid of these!

Thanks to Abigail Scheuer.

Stare, salivate and buy Le Choux here, or save up for the weekend and start by following them on Twitter or Instagram. And for dessert, head to Abigail’s former blog about all things pastry.

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