In this article Kate Griffiths explores the relationship between food and abundance and explores the metaphor further before showcasing a new paradigm food business. In previous articles about abundance she has defined the term as knowing that there is enough available in the world for us to all create whatever we want. She showcases a business to show that you can create the most amazing things from nothing if you hold the possibility. We then play with the flavours we have created enhancing them to get the contrast and thereby celebrate the diversity.
Two or three weeks ago I saw a woman picking fruit from a tree and I asked her what they were as I had never seen anything like it before. She said that they were wild plums. There were literally hundreds of them – two different varieties on trees that stood next to each other. I started getting excited, as I love finding or being given food for nothing. So one afternoon I went back and picked a whole load of them. Everyone in the family liked them but I realised we would never get through them all before they went off so I started thinking about what I could make. And as we had another spell of summer weather I thought I would experiment with wild plum sorbet.
It is one of the things I love about working from home. I put the plums on to roast and then do something else. Half an hour later and they were ready. It was so simple to make too. I just had to add water, sugar and vanilla pods to the plums. If you are sugar free you can substitute honey for the sugar. As they were small plums – the size of very large grapes – I did not de-stone them first as that would have taken ages. The most time consuming bit of the recipe was pushing the juice and pulp through a sieve whilst avoiding the stones. That done it took 35 minutes to churn into sorbet in the ice cream machine once I realised that I needed to freeze the metal bowl first! I served it at my Connection through Conversation workshop on Monday alongside dried apricots, which I had marinated first so that the sweetness blended into the earl grey rooibos to make a fabulous syrup. This became even more intense once I reduced it for 20 minutes and its sweetness contrasted beautifully with the tartness of the sorbet. Just as in business we need to celebrate the diversity of our team rather than trying to control them and make them conform to a mould.
There are many people that talk about the new paradigm and what it means and yet I wonder how many of them are actually living it? Yesterday as part of my new focus I got to meet Graham and Lisa Childs, the couple behind Artisan Food Trail and I was seriously impressed. They have created a thriving business from scratch that is helping to make the new paradigm real. The offer is that for a very reasonable fee, they will promote small food producers through social media and thereby raise their profile, which will lead to more sales. They started this less than three years ago and had a mere 25 people on their mailing list, which today is 50,000 people strong. They are also in the top 150,000 businesses worldwide for retweets on twitter, which means that their tweets have phenomenal reach. They now have a discounted legal helpline for members, as well as insurance services. They have teamed up with a publisher that focuses on food books so that they can run regular competitions to build a greater following.
What’s their secret? Growing mindfully and organically with a large dose of faith in their vision, which is definitely a big hairy, audacious goal, is part of what has got them here. It goes deeper than that. They have combined their skills and their passions and are aligned energetically. Before Artisan Food Trail, Lisa was writing a food blog because she is a foodie and saw that there was an opening in the market for their service. They are also both graphic designers so have helped their members in that area especially with designing their websites. They carried on even when it was tough because they believed in what they were doing and now they have some very loyal followers who are referring others to them so new business is largely word of mouth. They have got lots of ideas about how to get the word out about their food producers and shortly people will be able to purchase products from their website through their new online shop.
The real change in food will come however when we turn the food industry upside down and start offering alternatives to the food giants like Kellogs and Kraft. Imagine what it would be like if there were no supermarkets or if the alternatives available were as convenient and reasonably priced as well as healthy? That future vision is not far away and if that has got your curiosity then do come back and read more.
In summary I see the potential for massive change within the food industry so that more people are living and eating from a place of abundance. Artisan Food Trail is one of the pioneers showcasing what it means to be a new paradigm business. I am delighted to have met them and to be able to include them in the ecosystem that I am creating.
Following a career in a blue chip company, Kate set up her own business in 2012. She spends a lot of time coaching groups of soulpreneurs who are passionate about what they do and want to find ways to make what they do more profitable.
The focus of Kate’s work is to consult to SMEs what it takes to be entrepreneurial in the new paradigm as more and more people are waking up and realising that much of the old way of working no long works. She is in the process of launching a new project with organisations in the food industry that are seeking to bring new ways of working in that world.