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27 November 2017

Case study with Primrose's Kitchen

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Startup Guernsey hosted a special Food Entrepreneurs evening as part of a schedule of events in Guernsey for Global Entrepreneurship Week this month. Speakers included Primrose Matheson from Primrose Kitchen, a Guernsey girl who now lives in Dorset and runs her business, Primrose Kitchen in Dorset. James Le Gallez from Aperitif, Charlotte Dickson from Guernsey Oysters, as well as representatives from the Community Kitchen, Mens’s Shed and Makerspace Guernsey also gave presentations at the event. I asked Primrose from Primrose's Kitchen a few questions about her business:

What is Primrose’s Kitchen?

Primrose Kitchen manufactures gluten free and vegan-friendly breakfast cereals, which are 100% natural using fresh fruit and vegetables which are slowly air dried. Her range of products includes muesli, granola, oatmeal, porridge, but butters, sprinkles and smoothie boosters.

What inspired you to set up your business?

As a child I didn’t say I wanted to be a muesli maker or a brand owner or a food manufacturer. I believe that life has a plan for you and it’s constantly asking you to listen and follow its lead.

The business all started as an inspiration from my own health. As a teenager, I had problems with ME, chronic fatigue and glandular fever. That started the journey for me seeing every heath expert under the sun. I worked out that making changes to my diet made big changes to my health and self-empowerment because I was taking responsibly for my own health.

I went to the UK to study Naturopathic and Complementary Health as well as a degree in homeopathy. Afterwards, I came back to Guernsey and discovered a love of foraging. I picked blackberries and elderberries and then sold them at the farmers markets. From that simple product, the idea of doing my own food product came into being.

I’ve found that when we get back to nature and our simplest pleasures, which children do naturally it’s often the place where we discover our passions.

How did you go about growing your business?

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs gave me the confidence to do what I do now. It got to the point when having forty sacks of oats in my kitchen became too much and I realised I needed to get some proper premises! Five years on, I have a range of products which are available in a number of stores including Waitrose, Holland and Barrett, Whole Foods Market, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

It hasn’t all been a bed of roses. Finding the right staff when I’m based in a rural location in Dorset was difficult. Financing and grants offered have been important to the business too. We had a fire in our factory which resulted in the loss of all the machinery and stock so I’ve had to deal with adversity. I’ve also had to teach myself a lot about marketing and would advise other entrepreneurs to seek as much advice from others as possible.

What is your business mission?

My intention is to empower people by food. When you start that journey with food you feel better, you feel more energised, and you start taking more exercise. This results in you feeling happier, attracting the right people into your lives, and wanting to place yourself into an environment that supports you because you want the best for yourself.

For us to flourish, there must be a healthy balance in all these areas. I’m hoping to get that message out to as many people as possible.

One top business tip?

Focus on gratitude and the intention of the projects you are working on and enjoy every moment!

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