Putting Money Where Your Mouth Is

Four UK entrepreneurs share their adventures in Foodland with Ed Cumming

May 4 2020



Your mission? “To never drink dull. We founded Double Dutch after realising drinks could and should taste better.”

Your opportunity? “My sister and I were frustrated with the limited selection of high-end mixers, so at university we started experimenting with making our own syrups and soda.”

Your failure? “Starting a business is about trial and error. We've had so many ups and downs, but we’ve learned a lot from picking ourselves up and trying again.”

Your triumph? “Selling our ten-millionth bottle was satisfying, but so is raising investment and being recognised by people we look up to, such as Sir Richard Branson.”

Your great surprise? “We’ve discovered plenty of unexpected flavour pairings, but we could never have predicted how open people have been to sharing their experiences.”

Your great anxiety? “As producers of low-sugar, all-natural soft drinks mixers, we are in a good place to meet current trends, and we can help venues meet today’s no/low revolution.”

Your advice to budding entrepreneurs? “If you have found something that you love and you can’t imagine life without trying, then do it.”

Alex Savelli
Alex Savelli, Pasta Evangelists


Your mission? “To create a new, premium artisanal fresh pasta brand.”

Your opportunity? “Pasta had seen little to no disruption for 20 years!”

Your failure? “We have gone from 30 portions a week in 2016 to more than 10,000 now, but we need to recalibrate the business to be more profitable.”

Your triumph? “Going from 30 portions a week in 2016 to more than 10,000 now!”

Your great surprise? “That although it has been amazing to be able to create a brand in just two years, we are still on a knife edge.”

Your great anxiety? “Making e-commerce work is difficult, because the costs of marketing are high. We need to become a more balanced business.”

Your advice to budding entrepreneurs? “The time is now, and you might as well get cracking.”

Laurie Timpson
Laurie Timpson, Savernake Knives


Your mission? “To make knives that can be infinitely tailored to the individual without costing the earth.”

Your opportunity? “The absence of knives for the market between the tattooed Japanese-knife wielder and the prosaic Wüsthof workhorse user.”

Your failure? “Persevering with a bad website for too long when we’re an e-commerce business!”

Your triumph? “Our blades were rated in the top 2.5% of all knives tested by CATRA (the Cutlery & Allied Trades Research Association), the industry standards body for ISO EN 8442-2 [Table Cutlery/Flatware Testing].”

Your great surprise? “Working with GF Smith papers to make amazing handles, aesthetically and functionally.”

Your great anxiety? “Finding and retaining top-class people when we‘re based in the middle of rural Wiltshire.”

Your advice to budding entrepreneurs? “Identify a market with a need that you can fulfil rather than create something amazing but wonder how to market it!”

Claire Blampied
Claire Blampied, Sacla UK

SACLA UK (est. 1939, ITALY; 1991, UK)

Your mission? “To make life taste better by being more authentically Italian.”

Your opportunity? “The gap in the market was really for pasta sauce. At the time, olive oil was for your ears and you bought it in a chemist.”

Your failure? “The biggest challenge to a new business is being ahead of the times and trying something the market isn’t ready for.”

Your triumph? “When we started out in the UK, customers didn’t know they wanted pesto. Now we have a 50% share of a £45 million market.”

Your great surprise? “Our ‘free-from’ pesto was a surprise bestseller, thanks to the vegan movement.”

Your great anxiety? “Changing consumer and shopping habits.”

Your advice to budding entrepreneurs? “You need to be curious and hopeful and dream big.”