We are very lucky to have such an amazing range of clients here at Valued and so we wanted to take a moment to celebrate their entrepreneurial achievements as part of a new video series, called, ‘Valued in their words’.
Our very first interviewee is the wonderful Gwen from It’s from Scratch. Gwen has a huge passion to help you make beautiful recipes a reality. From cook-alongs to those hard to find ingredients, Gwen is there to help you build confidence in your cooking. She has already inspired Stephen, our CEO to cook more from scratch!
Join Gwen and Stephen as they give an insight into what it is like to start up in business during Covid and both the successes, and the lessons that have been learned along the way.
Meet Gwen from ‘It’s from Scratch’
Gwen, tell us about your business, It’s from Scratch
We launched our business about two months ago, that's both myself (Gwen) and my business partner Alison. Our aim is to promote the enjoyment and wonder that is cooking from scratch, for yourself, at home.
We are still in the early stages of business development, but we are very clear on what our focus is and where we want to go with this idea. Now of course, as for many business owners, this year has been an incredibly strange year, so our original development plan of having a brick and mortar shop, with a cooking event space, has been shelved for now. Instead we are offering an online version of our concept with cook-alongs and recipe videos.
We also offer hampers online, which make great gifts for friends and family, as well as offering our clients a way to access a recommended recipe book and all of those speciality ingredients that you may need for one of our cook-alongs.
I come at this from my previous business which was centered around a successful veg box franchise, which I sold in June, so I understand ingredients and how to put offers together for the food industry. Working out what was next for me was easy, it had to be food related!
If my break during the Covid summer taught me anything it was that whilst I was happily devouring cooking shows, I wasn’t enthused enough to jump up and get cooking. That was because I wasn’t being given the full resources, either in food items, or confidence. That for me, is the one thing I want ‘It’s from Scratch’ to deliver and that’s how we prepare our offer, putting our clients at the centre of the puzzle. We believe that anyone can make something special from scratch, if given the right encouragement, skills and ingredients.
What is your biggest frustration in your industry? And how do you solve that?
I guess my biggest frustration right now, is that we are fast becoming a ‘take-away’ nation, especially during lockdowns. Larger businesses and even local restaurants (and I can’t blame them for being inventive) are offering easier options to access quick pre-prepared food options and those larger brands in particular, are almost pushing it as the ‘norm’. I think that is a shame, because I believe we are missing out on the enjoyment and connection you get in preparing food together at home.
We are aiming to do our bit to combat this by making our offer easily accessible too and showing people that this is the healthier option, for both mind and body. There is always something wonderful you can make in the space of 15-20 minutes and if we can deliver the ingredients and the confidence, through better skills, we know cooking from scratch can be a great alternative to ‘take-away’, after ‘take-away’.
If you could go back to the beginning of your business, what would be the one piece of advice you would tell yourself?
Be more organised with finance paperwork and budgeting!
Even though I ran a successful business before, I think it is all too easy to put finance matters to one side as you get busy. Now I have an accounting system that allows me to upload a receipt picture every time I spend something, which makes organising things so much easier to do (and remember to do!)
The other thing is to start your social media channels before you launch. That makes all the difference, especially at the moment where everyone is vying for online business.
Tell us about your proudest moment as a business owner
Although we haven’t been going for very long, we recently hosted a cook-along with family and friends. The response was amazing, we had 10 people who spent 2 hours with us, creating and accomplishing 4 dishes from scratch. We had some beginner cooks in there too, and they in particular, were amazed at just what you could make, if you start right from scratch.
That is a truly wonderful feeling, to help build someone’s confidence to have a go at something new.
What would your advice be to someone starting out as a new business owner?
Accept that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of a ride and there will always be wobble moments. I try to always remember this when I feel a wobble coming on - “tomorrow you will wake up and things will feel much better and much clearer.”
And if I was to offer a second tip… I’d say, “Just start”.
It is ok to start small, or even create a new business as a side-hustle. Once you have your legal matters and proof of concept through those early sales, you can really gather pace and build something bigger.
That’s the power of putting your client’s needs first
Thank you very much to Gwen for taking some time with us today, in the first of our series ‘Valued in their words’. It is great to see a new creative business getting off the ground so well, in what has been a very tough year economically for the country.
We 100% agree with you, that putting your client’s needs at the centre of your business endeavours is the most powerful thing you can do as an entrepreneur. We suspect we are going to hear great things about It’s from Scratch.
A final word
Gwen Young is one of the entrepreneurs behind It’s from Scratch, helping teach people the joys of cooking delicious and nutritious dishes from around the world, in their very own kitchens.
You can find Gwen at www.itsfromscratch.co.uk
This blog post first appeared on our old website.