After deciding to get away from London, leaving her job as a commodity trader in the process, Cathy Moseley turned to Bristol and decided it was time she turned her passion about food into a business. The result = Boundless.
Cathy shares her story building Boundless, the full interview is below.
Hi Cathy, thanks for agreeing to share your story on YHP. Can you give us some background information about yourself?
I originally come from London and worked in the city since I was 16 on a trading desk and was a commodity trader for twenty plus years until I left the city in 2012. I moved out of London for a different life towards Bristol with my husband. I have always been passionate about food and found cooking a way of destressing after work.
How did the idea for Boundless come about?
I wanted to run a street food stall after leaving London as I really felt that food was where my heart was at. The street food movement just allowed people to get stuck in and give their food ideas a go. Whilst working on the street food stall I discovered that what people craved was exciting healthy snacks – not the bland stuff currently on the shelves. So, I set off in pursuit of the extraordinary to revolutionise what a ‘healthy’ snack was.
Having food intolerances myself, finding tasty snacks that were actually healthy was a real challenge. That’s how I started to become interested in Activation and how it helps aid the digestion. But it was really important that the taste was exciting, indulgent and healthy. Snacking without compromise.
Tell me about the early days, the type of challenges you initially encountered?
Having developed the product in the kitchen at home, the next move to make it a real tangible business was to find a manufacturer. That process took over a year and there were many stages along the way that made it feel like it would never be possible but in the end we found an amazing team that we could work with to help the Boundless dream come true.
What is Boundless? And what are you trying to solve with it?
We make Activated nuts and seeds for the on the-go-snack market that is better for you. To fill the gap of indulgent healthy snacking.
There are lots of snacks out there that taste great, but are full of rubbish. Snacks that are really healthy taste flat. So I wanted a snack that gave lip smacking taste that made me feel good for eating it, guilt free.
How have you been able to fund it so far?
Currently we have self-funded with family and friends help too. Thank you!!!!!
About the first few months, how excited were you, tell us about how those months felt, what happened?
The first few months were manic. The learning curve was steep, from understanding packaging capabilities, what an SRP was, the financial structure of how retailers/distributors work, manufacturing contracts, product testing and food labelling - it felt like my head was in a total spin and it was a massive challenge.
Saying that, it was the greatest feeling in the world knowing that you had made something that was going to be out there for the consumer to buy in retail shops. An amazing buzzing feeling, one that I am so grateful to have experienced. There were lots of sleepless nights due to the continuing adrenaline running through my body of how excited I felt!!
How did you initially get traction?
I wanted to go with the approach of just getting out there and trying to get listings with stores straight away, but I didn’t have the man power to do a door to door selling with retailers. So I went to a trade show (Specialty Fine Food) to launch with the idea that being there would allow me access to lots of buyers, distributors and wholesalers at the same time.
I would also be able to talk about Boundless and showcase it on a one to one basis with these people. This proved to work for us. I met some major buyers and distributors and we were on the retail floor 2 months later.
What are the most crucial things that you have done to grow your business?
I enlisted the help from a great Branding agent (The Collaborators) whom specialise in food and drink brands. They helped me bring Boundless alive and gave me the full understanding of how to market Boundless in the right way to be attractive to retailers. It’s so important to have a strong brand image in the on-the-go snack market, consumer take 2 seconds to choose a snack and there are lots of them.
I also got a lot of people to come and work with me, without their help it would have been far harder to have got to where we are now in the time period we have without sharing the work load.
What would you say has been the highlight of your entrepreneurial journey so far?
Without a doubt, it’s seeing Boundless on the shelf in stores. The first day I saw that I was truly overwhelmed!
What should we be expecting from yourself and the Boundless team for 2018?
We have a busy year ahead of us as we push on with gaining more retailers and brand awareness. Lots of trade shows and consumer facing expo’s which we are really looking forward too. Plus, we have a new flavour to launch in September which is delicious! So watch this space.
Lastly, what three pieces of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Do your research. Knowing where your product fits in the market is essential and understanding the pricing mechanisms will allow you to know if it is financially viable.
Don’t be afraid to ask. I didn’t know anything about food retailing terminology and at times it felt awkward asking “what does that mean” but our business is better for it that I did. There’s no shame in learning.
Go for it. There will be so many reasons to put it off, do it next month, may not work, scary etc. but if you have done your research then don’t hold back and just do it! Remember not everyone will need your product but they may very well want it.