How I became interested in producing food.
I’m 17, I live in Wales, and I want to set up a food business. I don’t quite know how I’m going to do this, but I’m determined to find out! I’m going to blog about the journey for New Food Entrepreneurs from the beginning.
I’m a Welsh long distance runner and so food plays a hugely important part in my everyday life. It’s really important for me to eat enough good food as I spend every day constantly on the move.
Two years ago I started a small egg business. I bought 12 chickens of 6 different breeds, laying 6 different colours of egg, and I gave them a home in my garden. I called the business Abi’s Chicken Run, because of my running. The strapline was “We coach, so you can poach” and I labeled the eggs “high performance” – I really enjoyed the play on words for the branding!
I worked hard on the branding - eggs are beautiful things and a box of multi-coloured and multi-sized eggs is something special! I got the label designed in Sri Lanka using the Fiverr website for about £5.
I sold every egg to local people – over 700 boxes at £2 each. The whole business, including the chickens, cost less than £200 to set up: I got lots of equipment for free and sold the garden trampoline to help. The average net income each month was £41, so I was in profit within 5 months.
I loved everything about my first business – looking after the chickens, cleaning and packing the eggs, delivering them to my customers, talking to my customers, counting the money!
I was surprised at how much had to be done before even getting started with this business however: I had to work out what breeds of good egg-laying chickens to buy, I had get hold of the equipment as cheaply as possible, I had to work out the price for each box (I visited supermarkets to see how eggs there were priced) and I had to work out the brand and the product – not just eggs to eat, but eggs to be beautiful – and the long-distance running story to go with it.
I discovered this is something that I really enjoy doing and it wasn’t something that anyone else in my family had much experience with - this made the journey even more exciting!
So now I’m looking for my next business and I hope that New Food Entrepreneurs can help me, first by introducing me to people who can tell me what food products sell well. I’m also working as an intern for the organisation and I’ll be managing the Instagram promotion of Welsh food products to young people – it’s all very exciting!