Can you believe that it’s been a whole month since our last Goupie story update? It feels like no time at all! So where did we leave the story? Joe and Janet had just made their first (though-be-it unexpected) sale of Goupie to some local cafes. Time to up their game!
Starting a new enterprise is no easy task, especially when it involves food. Not only do you need to be able to scale up production in terms of your methods and the tools your using, but you also need to be able to source your ingredients in higher quantities, work out distribution channels, adhere to legal requirements for packaging and manufacturing processes, provide customer support as well as countless other bits and bobs that wouldn’t even occur to the everyday consumer.
Goupie was no exception to this rule. Added to the ordinary difficulties, Goupie is a truly unique product, with no existing infrastructure for production. This meant we had to start at the complete bottom. Two pans in the kitchen and no investment. All the progress we’ve made to this point has been completely organic through reinvested profits and a hell’a hard work.
Sourcing our ingredients was always going to be one of the hardest things for Goupie. We started the only way we could, with supermarkets. The pricing turned out to be much more reasonable than a lot of the cash and carries, and it was the way we had always found Goupie ingredients.
Of course, this couldn’t last for long! It doesn’t take many trips with family friends filling up trolley’s of the same ingredients and then splitting off to different checkouts before you realise that…Not to mention the amount of added sugar in a lot of retail products currently on the shelves.
We set to work sourcing better alternatives, keeping things as simple as possible, with clean label ingredients. Buying directly from producers was always our first choice and buying local was even better! You can still find Biddenden cider in our Boozy Christmas, lavender petals from the Hop Shop in our Lavender Goupie’s and a triple certified coffee bean from a micro-roastery in Canterbury in our Espresso flavour.
Chocolate was one of the most important, and most difficult, ingredients to source. Most ‘cooking chocolate’ was of poor quality, with unnecessary milk powder added into the ingredients. Luckily, we were fortunate enough to find one of the UK’s best chocolate wholesalers on our doorstep, a supplier we still use today.
Despite a huge amount of work being done into adjusting the recipe and sourcing better quality ingredients since those initial days, we’re still constantly on the look-out for how we can make our product better quality and even simpler! Friends and family are delighted by this, as every time we make a product that’s not fit for sale, it goes straight into their mouths!
Those early days didn’t just have our friends going on supermarket sweeps. We also often had them in our family kitchen helping to make and pack. Sometimes, sessions lasted until the early hours of the morning. Sorry J&H, we know that’s not exactly what you’d had in mind when you visited us from South Africa!
Around 18 months after the business was started we finally had enough revenue coming in to move to our current unit on Spelmonden Farm in Goudhurst. More about that next month! Tune in then..