Stephanie Johnson, 32, co-started balanced, plant-primarily based meals firm Pollen + Grace in March 2015. The meals are stocked in Co-op, Tesco and Ocado. She lives in London.
I was working in occasion administration in 2014 when I discovered I was intolerant to wheat, gluten and dairy. I’d initially properly trained as a chef with a history in high-quality dining, so it strike me very tricky. All the foodstuff I loved (French cuisine, bread, butter, etcetera) had been off the menu.
My consuming out or on-the-go selections were being quickly constrained. So I started experimenting with healthful still enjoyable meals, working with ingredients these types of as quinoa, chia seeds and superfoods, which I took into function.
This sparked the curiosity of my colleagues who questioned if I could make them lunch, too. I realised there was a gap in the marketplace.
I gave up my work on the Friday and, on the Monday, began making lunch bins and juices at house with the help of my mum, providing them to close by offices.
My fiance informed me to contact my now business spouse Kristina, who had formerly labored with me in the situations enterprise. I stated: ‘Why would she want to get associated with a really dangerous commence-up, exactly where she’s heading to get paid almost nothing?’ But, fortunately, she claimed of course.
At the commencing we just had a bike, a website and our property kitchen. We commenced delivering to community yoga studios and that is how our initial retail assortment commenced.
Our eyesight was to make it effortless and exciting to consume nicely. One particular of our bestsellers is continue to the Abundance Box (beetroot quinoa, sweet potato hummus, cabbage slaw, pomegranate jewels and tahini dressing).
In 2016, we had been stocked in World Natural we just despatched them an email. Then arrived Harrods, Self-ridges and Complete Foods. In 2018, we started functioning with Ocado.
Currently, we have a 30-solid woman-led crew, and a naturopathic nutritionist operates with our staff of chefs. We provide 16 plant-primarily based solutions spanning breakfast pots, lunch containers and snack bars which are cost-free from wheat, gluten, dairy and refined sugars.
Lockdown was hugely fast paced as we commenced house-shipping and delivery once again. Family members property-education purchased our breakfast and lunch five-working day bundle. We also donated a lot more than 4,500 healthy meals to 31 hospitals and GP practices.
Our refreshing merchandise are ready by hand with no preservatives. Pollen + Grace was born out of a passion for real, trustworthy food stuff and that is far more crucial than at any time.