60 second start-up: Womersley Foods

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence:

Womersley is a proud British family-run food brand making the most versatile and high quality fruit and herb vinegars for enthusiastic chefs and cooks everywhere.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We work with our production partners who have a BRC accredited food kitchen which allows us to sell direct as well as to wholesalers and export

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

Whilst there is a good tradition of fruit vinegars in Britain, there are none with the profile and level of award wins that we enjoy. Our recipes are balanced to ensure that the fruit really shines whereas other fruit vinegars tend to be far more vinegary. This point of difference has found favour in many professional as well as home kitchens where you can really liven up a huge variety of dishes.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Heritage and Versatility.

Started in 1979 in our stately home in Yorkshire, our family has a long history of high achievers including Oliver Messel, the Earls of Rosse, Linley Sambourne, Lord Snowdon and others who have all informed the brand and product designs. 

Versatility in our vinegars is a real bonus for a food: you can use them for anything from a key ingredient in a smooth and original cocktail to a sweet and sour flavouring to your batter. 

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

A combination of family self-funding, grants, bank and personal loans.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I am still doing it! I am a professional horologist but get far less time to repair clocks now that I am enjoying the food world.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

As a family, we were visiting a pub in Yorkshire in the 1970s and noticed “Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with a Raspberry Vinegar dressing” on the menu. We were all intrigued by the Raspberry Vinegar so made our choice for lunch and had a PROPER Yorkie (taking up the whole plate) with this divine sweet Raspberry flavour to balance all that savoury. The next day, my father went to the garden, picked a load of Autumn Raspberries, lined up some buckets and tried several different concoctions… 

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Outsource our production. This has left me free to concentrate on our brand whilst still retaining control and ownership of the recipes.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Having no training for all the multitude of tasks I, as a business owner, have to try to manage. I just have to learn as I go along.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

Definitely “Your Piece Baking Company” shortbread. It is the best.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Dorset Cereals. A wonderful combination of great designs, good communications, innovation and cross promotion. They are an inspiration.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

We will be a leading food brand and will be expanding in food service, higher profile stores in the UK and particularly in food gifting. After all, who wouldn’t want their food to have a delightfully fruit twist?

To find out more about Womersley Foods click here. You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Catch up with our previous 60 Second Start-Up: carwow.co.uk 

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