Sustain London Food Link Articles

The Start Ups feeding London better food

At a time when London’s food system feels more fragile than ever, we turn to the incredible Feeding the City Start Up entrepreneurs who are taking action to bring Londoners better food. 

The Ferm. Credit: Travain Russell

The Ferm. Credit: Travain Russell

Over the last year, with the support of Impact Hub King's Cross, six inspiring food social entrepreneurs have been taking the leap from idea to start up enterprise. Here Hannah Crump chats with two of them about their businesses, what they’ve learnt with Impact Hub and their love for London’s food scene. 

The Breakfast Collective

Team Lucy and Evan are all about making breakfast the most delicious, nutritious and climate conscious meal of the day by serving up their granola.

The Breakfast Collective. Credit: Julia Clark Cabrera
The Breakfast Collective. Credit: Julia Clark Cabrera

Spurred on to do something to curb the climate crisis, they’ve turned their passion for mixing granola into a business venture and now work directly with farmers and packaging suppliers to bring organic granola, muesli and porridge made with UK-grown organic oats and packed in woodpulp to our shelves. Their biggest learning from their time with Feeding the City Start Up has been:

‘that it’s better to start and find your way through rather than not starting and waiting for ‘perfect’ – done is better than perfect in the beginning – then you can iterate and improve from what you have’.

Their love of the London food scene centres on its diversity and they celebrate their local area, Stoke Newington, for how it represents many different cultures and ideas about food. Their favourite shops include Jarr and Harvest N16 and for fresh produce, they love the Growing Communities farmers market and Stoke Newington Green Fruit and veg shop on Church street. For eating out, Aun and Everyday Sunshine for coffee & a treat are particular favourites. 

The Ferm 

The Ferm. Credit: Rebecca Ghim
Rebecca, The Ferm. Credit: The Ferm

Rebecca runs The Ferm, a fermentation company that upcycles commonly discarded parts of a harvest, such as cauliflower leaves and beetroot stems to create delicious, vegan kimchi.

Rebecca, who is from Gwangju, South Korea has been participating in Kimjang, the practice of the whole neighborhood coming together to make kilos of kimchi, since she was little. After writing a dissertation on biases within food systems, she decided to reclaim her heritage and take up space in the UK kimchi market. Now, she’s on a mission to challenge our collective ideas of what’s edible and inedible and to create circular food systems that are more self-sufficient and culturally diverse.

Being part of Feeding the City Start Up has helped Rebecca flesh out the business model and structure of the Ferm. She found the peer-to-peer sessions and workshops crucial in getting a grasp of the key words and concepts around finances, marketing, and more. The Ferm is born out of the combination of all of her previous passion projects and her advice for anyone looking to develop an idea is follow ‘one’s intuition’. She adds:

'Intuition can feel like excitement, curiosity, or even frustration. It’s a powerful tool to figure out what it is that you can’t stop thinking about'.

Rebecca loves London for its role as a hub for experimentation, especially when it comes to combinations of traditional vs modern. She adds, ‘the international population influences each other and inspires innovative fusion’. She lives a low-waste lifestyle so likes to visit bulk stores all over London, and enjoys immersing in trends presented by her local area, Hackney. 

This cohort also included the following fantastic teams and ventures – Foridge Food, Frooted, Root Cause Café and Holdfast Bakery – be sure to look out for them and support them as they grow! 

Got a food business ready to scale? Want to develop circular practices in London? Find out more about Feeding the City Acclelerate and how you can tackle London’s food challenges.

Published Monday 23 May 2022

London Food Link: London Food Link brings together community food enterprises and projects that are working to make good food accessible to everyone in London to help create a healthy, sustainable and ethical food system for all.

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