If this was going to be a success, I had to move the humous out of my kitchen.
I needed to find someone who could make the humous for me on a larger scale, with the quality standards required for food retail. This was one challenge, but it also needed to be a local facility so I could go there regularly through the product development AND it needed to be a factory that dealt in chilled food.
I discovered early on that I was going to face a lot of challenges with a chilled product, in production and distribution, but there was no way around this as I was determined to make fresh humous, whatever it took.
I looked online and contacted a lot of factories – living in the Midlands there is plenty of industry around the area – but they were either too big or too busy. It had to be someone who would take a punt on helping me and could grow with us as business increased.
After much searching, calling and waiting; eventually someone replied to one of my emails, it was a lovely man called Eddie from Midlands Chilled Foods. We spoke and he agreed to help.
Eddie told me about the British Retail Consortium, the industry standard for factories and one which I would need if we ever got to the stage of retailing in the ‘big boys’. Midlands Chilled has BRC accreditation and the staff there were incredibly helpful. To get started, I sourced ingredients and bought an industrial hand blender for the factory from ebay.
At the same time, I needed business advice from people more savvy than me. I’d worked for an airline when I first left University but that was my only real commercial experience. Now to find some mentors….