It's never been a better time to be a food or drink startup in Britain. With a huge choice of locally-sourced ingredients, the popularity of artisan products, and a big sense of adventure, startups are at the forefront of this food revolution. One such startup is Little Seeds Bar & Kitchen, a West Midlands-based restaurant that serves meals with an emphasis on local products, even growing some ingredients themselves.
What's your elevator pitch?
Little Seeds Bar & Kitchen offers casual warm service, farmers market-inspired food, British gins and local ales, all wrapped up in an agricultural theme.
Where are you based, and why is it a good location for your business?
We are based in the little market town of Stone in Staffordshire. Stone is a really foodie town with a variety of different cuisines - a great place to bring our concept.
How did you come up with the idea?
We wanted our concept to have strong links to the location, and Stone hosts a famous farmers market every month. This gave us the idea of an agriculture-themed restaurant and bar, and Little Seeds was born.
What's the business model?
We have a 34-cover restaurant downstairs for diners, and a cocktail and gin bar upstairs, all with the intention to foster a casual and relaxed atmosphere.
Who are your competitors?
Mainly the other restaurants and bars in the town, but we all offer something different. We use British ingredients and British gins to differentiate ourselves from the diverse offerings in Stone, so there’s hopefully plenty of custom to go round!
What's unique about your business?
All the tables and seating at Little Seeds was handmade for us by our family, and we use home-grown herbs in all our food and drinks.
What stage was your business at when you applied for the Start Up Loan?
Just an idea and a dream!
How have you used it to grow your business?
We purchased and installed all of the big kitchen equipment.
Who is your mentor and how have they helped you?
Enterprise coach Martin Russell is our mentor. He's helped us understand how taking small gradual steps can allow you to get to were we wanted to go, and also how to take a holistic approach to problem-solving.
Who is your regional delivery partner, and how did they help you get a Virgin StartUp loan?
BES helped us by reading though our initial business plan and suggesting tweaks before submitting to Virgin.
Biggest achievement so far?
Our opening night!
What's next for your business?
Establishing the Little Seeds customer base and, continuing to make Good Times Grow!