Having launched the Start-up Stories series in June, this week Aldermore caught up with company co-founder Jeremy Wood to hear what the last month has brought for the business.
“June was quite busy for us really because it was the big local arts trail,” begins Wood, discussing East London’s E17 Art Trail, which saw hundreds of local artists showcase their work in galleries, open-houses and unconventional exhibition spaces.
“ We created lunchboxes for people to pre-order to take on the trail and enjoy whilst looking at the art,” Wood explains, mentioning that though sales were mixed over the two weekends of the trail, the event offered a vital promotional opportunity for Bestowed Kitchen.
“We got some good exposure for it because we had an advert printed in the trail guide and it had 20,000 copies printed, so it was a good thing for us to be involved with,” Wood confirms, adding that listings website London 24 rated the idea as one of the most exciting food events in June.
“You’ve got to try these things in business; it’s about learning and moving on,” Wood concludes.
The Arts Trail also presented a new challenge for Bestowed Kitchen, as the company took on a large-scale catering job for the initiative’s closing party, creating over 800 canapes.
“That was a first for us and certainly gave us confidence that we could pull off the unknown really. We’ve never really done something on that scale before,” relates Wood.
While these catering opportunities have opened up new avenues for the business, Bestowed Kitchen’s regular location, Beulah Road Market, is now closing over licensing constraints. For Wood though, this challenge also represents a move forward for the business.
“It’s going to push us to look at other things and the next opportunities really,” states Wood, sharing details of Bestowed Kitchen’s first corporate catering event this month at Build, along with a pop-up event held with forward-thinking estate agents Stow Brothers.
“We had to think on our feet and be flexible,” Wood states, commenting on the events. “I don’t think that’s necessarily just being a small business, I think that’s business in general, but I think the lesson is you have to be maybe more flexible because you can’t miss out on those opportunities.”
Wood credits social media as an invaluable tool in discovering these possibilities.
”I’ve only just discovered that I’m actually quite good at building relationships across social media and spotting the opportunities and just going for them,” admits Wood, advising, “Until I know more details, I don’t want to rule them out.”
The young entrepreneur has taken a similar attitude to building connections to promote his business.
“We’re trying to think of creative ways to fill our resource gaps,” Wood remarks. “We’re getting a friend round on Sunday and I’m going to cook some of the stuff we’d usually make and he’s a photographer.”
Aldermore wishes all the best until next month’s instalment in the Start-up Stories series, and hopes many other UK SMEs can relate to the young business’ experiences.
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