The artisan food industry in the UK is worth over £15 billion and it’s growing year on year. As good quality food and provenance become a higher priority for consumers, more and more people are leaving their 9 to 5s, putting their kitchen skills to work and following their foodie business dreams. However, there are still few outlets for artisan food on the high street and many of the industry’s rising stars struggle to reach their customers.
Kitchen Table Projects is giving these up-and-coming companies the chance to shine and reach all the people who would love to try them. They believe that everyone should have a chance to do what they love. That’s why they created the Artisan Springboard program – so that small food producers can put their passions first and come together to figure out the rest. As part of this unique 3-month program, producers not only receive mentoring from industry experts and access to established industry artisans, they also get the chance to sell their products on the High Street – testing the market and gaining valuable customer feedback.
The first Kitchen Table Projects pop-up shop is located inside Old Street Station, the heart of the London startup culture. The muted design of the space allows the products to take centre stage. Customers are drawn through the door by the wonderful smells of hot coffee and fresh bread but what keeps them there is the breadth of unique products on offer. It is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. From chocolate robots to chilli jam, there’s something for every food lover. This is where these young businesses are peddling their wares. Alongside the 11 artisans on the program, the shelves are filled with innovative produce from across the UK.
The most unique aspect of the program is the ‘Have Your Say’ wall in the Old Street shop. Each producer has one question displayed on a tablet on the wall and customers in the shop can leave their feedback with just a few taps. The questions are designed to give a better understanding of what consumers think about their products. They vary from finding the most appropriate price point to asking if the packaging is suitable for their target market. This wall allows the artisans to communicate directly with the consumers and collect vital data to make positive changes to their products.
If you want to give your feedback, find out more about the program or just discover some tasty new treats, drop by Kitchen Table Projects in Old Street Station until mid-September.
Applications for the next round of the Artisan Springboard program open in July. If you are an artisan food producer who wants to kick start their food business get in touch for more information.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT KITCHEN TABLE PROJECTS
Words by Andrea Farias