We are so thrilled to be working with Pollen and Grace, to be able to offer their amazing Bliss Balls and incredible raw protein bar at our pop ups on the 11th and 25th March.
If you're anything like us, we are sure you'd like to find out a little more about the brand, who's behind it and how we've come to love it so much!
So we've managed to capture a rare moment with Stephanie here.....
Where did you get the idea of creating the brand Pollen and Grace?
I always wanted my own business, but the lightbulb moment came just after I found I had intolerances. I was working a busy job and had to change the way I ate and cooked, and noticed the huge gap in the market for healthy, free from food to go options
How did you get your product to market and how would you best advise other budding food businesses like yours to get up and go?
Truthfully, we were winging it for so long. Our first clients, back when we were lunch delivery, were a local office where my friend worked and they kindly let me trial it on them. Then retail just sort of happened - local studios asked us if they could stock our food, and we thought, well why not? And it just made sense, so we went about approaching bigger clients, and now it’s our core business. My advice would be to start small - once you start it’s amazing how quickly things happen. And don’t be afraid to take risks, they’ve worked out well so far for us.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up and how do you find a balance in your hectic schedule?
I wish I had a ‘calming morning ritual’ but it’s more of a mad dash to get to an exercise class before work. I always start my day with a class at Move Your Frame in Victoria, before heading to the office. I’ll then make a cup of tea and plan the day’s to do list before getting started. These are probably also my ways to find balance - make time for exercise, plan exactly what your agenda for the day is (and try not to deviate) and remember that everything’s easier with a cup of tea.
What does the future hold for you?
Our next big project is to go Nationwide in the UK, and stock into stores across the country rather than just London. We also plan on expanding the product range to offer a wider selection of products, as well as continue to update our current collection
Having gluten and dairy intolerances, and seeing an obvious gap in the market, was it an easy decision to make the jump into creating the business?''
At the time, it was such a niche that it wasn’t even a market as such yet, so it was definitely a big risk. It was the scariest decision of my life to leave a career to cook from my kitchen at home. But of course so worth it, and much better than wondering ‘what if’!
How do you decide what to create and what’s your thought process when coming up with new recipes and ideas?
We believe that creativity works better as a team, so we work on product development twice a year, and get everyone involved. It starts with our naturopath, who looks at themes (alkalising, probiotic etc) then gives a list of ingredients that we’re allowed to use to fit into that health benefit. It’s then over to myself, along with the kitchen team to get creative and start discussing ideas. Through a process of trial and error (and lot’s of taste testing!) we then get to our final products. We have a quick look at food costs to see if it would be an affordable product, and then it’s ready to hit the shelves!
What inspires you to keep going?
A crazy belief that everything will work out, and if something doesn’t happen then it wasn’t meant to be. That, and the fact that I want to make it work for all of our amazing staff. And of course the desire to change the way people think about healthy food - quite a few reasons really!
What makes Pollen and Grace different and where are you currently stocked?
Our main USP is that each product is designed specifically so each element compliments the next in terms of taste, but also health benefits and how your body digests it - we don’t just pile anything in and hope for the best! We’re currently stocked in over 40 locations across London including Selfridges, Harrods, Planet Organic and As Nature Intended, as well as fitness studios such as Psycle and Move your Frame.
We would like to thank the amazing Stephanie and the incredible team at Pollen and Grace for the wonderful insight into their business, amazing recipes and plans for the future!
Be sure to show them some love and buy everything in sight!
Big love, The Vurger Co Team xo