Setting Up Your Own Food Business: Week 2 - The Idea
Part 2 of City Pantry's 9 week guide to starting your own food business.
'Cluck the Office - Getting Your Dreams off the Ground'
It’s all well and good having the idea for the next Starbucks but you’re not going to get paid for chemicals firing round your synapses. How do you take the idea from your brain, onto the street and start letting people pay you for it? With that question in mind City Pantry went to talk to Brittney Bean – serial entrepreneur and the mother hen behind Mother Clucker. Brittney grew up in New Orleans surrounded by a myriad of delicious deep fried food options and decided to sprinkle a bit of crispy batter on the UK market.
So Brittney, how did you get started with Mother Clucker and where did the idea come from?
Mother Clucker started as a joke idea to take a long developed fried chicken recipe to the masses. There wasn’t really any good fried chicken anywhere, so we thought we might as well just do it ourselves … we serve tea brined, buttermilk soaked, twice battered fried chicken using the best quality produce.
What was the first step you took to take your concept into the real world?
We started with a couple of electric fryers and did a few parties in our office in Dalston then in our office in Shoreditch. We weren’t trying to make money. Just trying out the recipe and seeing what it was like producing food for a large crowd of people.
What was the next step to turning your chicken into gold?
Eventually we graduated into doing a pop-up at The Endurance (RIP) in Soho [pictured below] and then at The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. It was a great way to perfect the recipe, see how it sold and get some real world experience of selling to the public – not just cooking for our friends. We got our truck converted while we did the pop-ups so we didn’t lose momentum - that allowed us to test things out and maintain a presence without a whole ton of cash outlay.
How did you get your first market pitch and what sort of paperwork did it involve?
We didn’t do any traditional markets so we avoided having to get hawker’s licenses etc; trading on private property makes that a lot less hassle. We got a contact for the Truman Brewery through a friend and then took it from there; your network is the best way to find pitches and locations. On that note: do not be a cunt. Just be nice to people, help them out and don’t take the piss and they’ll do the same for you. - We have to make sure that everyone had at least a Level 2 hygiene cert (some festivals require level 3) and we have to have public liability insurance
What would be your advice for anyone looking to start their own food truck?
The best money you can spend early on is to join NCASS who will make your life an actual dream, they have all of the docs you need and can tell you where to register for any classes you have to take etc. I cannot stress enough how important it is to register with them and much money it will save you in the long run
What’s the long term plan for Mother Clucker and what can we expect next from you guys?
Obviously we’re planning to take over the world and to get there we’ll have to start with our first permanent outlet in London, which looks like it could be right around the corner. So keep you eyes peeled and your stomach empty.
Next: Week 3 - Finances