Meet out latest Virgin StartUp entrepreneurs, Giles Mitchell, Charles Arnold and Joe Seager. Three friends from university who are planning to grow their business after securing a loan from Virgin StartUp. Their business, Office Pantry, is on a mission to give people great snacks between meals.
Location: Bath / London
Sum up your business in 20 seconds or less:
Office Pantry delivers British food to offices all around the country. The snacks arrive in an upcycled wooden honest box, and each is price marked. The ravenous office worker then explores the contents, and on finding that perfect snack to fight back their hunger grumbles, they pay for it inside the built in honesty box, thereby reimbursing their office. Having collected our payment upfront, we continue to deliver regular snack refill boxes, with an ever-changing array of snacks.
The offices then collect the money, and can do with it as they please. Typically, the money is given either to the office’s chosen charity or used to treat the office staff with a Christmas party, all of which would be tax deductible.
What’s the business model?
We send out food to offices on a regular basis with rolling payments.
Who are your competitors?
Vending machines and local convenience stores.
What’s your USP?
All of the food is British produced, with none of those nasty ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t use. We are also financially neutral to every office that takes a box, and promise that there is zero way you will break a toe by kicking our box in anger because the twirly thing twirled but the snack got stuck.
Where did the idea come from?
Having worked in offices before, The Office Pantry team used to be routinely hungry at around 11 and 4 o’clock. We had to deal with that awkward midday trade off between an early or late lunch, usually because you were quite hungry NOW but could never quite tell how long you needed to be sustained for without the full knowledge of when you would make it out the office that evening. Having eaten our way through the menus at most of the local food stops, lamented at the vending machine offerings, and even eyed up gnawing on the office furniture, we thought that the office folk of Britain deserved better.
How are you going to use the money from Virgin StartUp to grow your business?
We will be spending the money on getting the word out and by offering lovely boxes of free samples for offices.
Who’s your Virgin StartUp mentor?
What challenge are they helping you overcome?
As with anyone else, we have plenty of challenges within our business. Damian acts as a fantastic sounding board, and as well as knowing the food industry inside out, he gives us valuable insight into the operations of a global company.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Set realistic targets, but every week set yourself one outrageous challenge.
Where will your business be in 12 month’s time?
Within sight of your very desk at work.
Head over ourhonestfoods.com for more information and to request a sample box. If you are more of a talker than a typer, then you can give The Honest Lot a call on 01225 80 50 70, otherwise they are reachable on Twitter, Facebook or via email@example.com.
Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/OfficePantry
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/snacktopia