Guest post: Iain Burke-Hamilton of Soulful Food

Iain Burke-Hamilton imageThe Soulful Food Company make delicious pots of stew and curry – great for lunch at your desk or quick, hot dinners. They describe them as ‘artisanal meals for people on the go, that happen to be very good for you’.

As one of our small suppliers, they’ve got lots of useful insight to share with entrants to our Britain’s Next Top Supplier competition. So I quizzed Iain, their Managing Director, to find out more.

Can you give me a potted history of your brand?

I wasn’t enjoying my job, and was fed up with the daily round of sandwiches, so I started making homespun comfort food and taking it to work.

Image of Soulful Food Thai Onepot

My colleagues loved it too and convinced me that I should set up a business. So we got out there and started selling our OnePots at music festivals and street food events.

I think our brand encapsulates the wonderful fun we have at work as well as the vitality of our food. It’s simple really:

  • The name tells people that we are passionate and heartfelt about our food.
  • The logo and fonts underline the heartfelt nature of our quest but in a fun and wholesome way.
  • The colours and artwork underline the vitality of our food and pay homage to our music festival and street food roots.

Tell me a bit about being a small supplier that works with supermarkets. How did you make the leap from stalls to stores?

Ocado was a natural fit for us as your customers value quality and convenience. I came up and presented our product to Brian Hickey (our Category Buyer) and we launched with Ocado last September.

We have not tried any other supermarkets at present as we are taking time to establish a solid base through farm shops and higher-end retailers.

You’ve been with us quite a few months now. How have you found it?

We’ve loved every minute of it. Soulful has been topping search results both by review and by popularity, and the sales figures are steadily increasing.

This is the perfect way to launch a quality product.

We love your packaging. What was the inspiration?

The colours of our pots reflect the vibrancy of our food and, coincidentally, that also helps them to stand out.

Our logo reflects the home-style, wholesome comfort food we sell, and we love talking about our ingredients. After all, food is all about the ingredients.

Image of the Soulful Food range

Do you have any top tips for our budding suppliers on how to create a successful product?

Be true to yourself and your beliefs; don’t become distracted. We love what we do.

So, what’s next for Soulful Food?

We have been listening to our customers and will be launching a new OnePot in March to reflect their requests.

Our team are also gearing up for the Spring/Summer festival circuit – we can’t wait!

Thanks Iain!

James Markey, Marketing Executive

Save 1/3 on Soulful Food OnePots when you order by 21st January 2014

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