First things first: I’m obsessed with food! I’m that weird type of person who thinks about what I’m going to eat for dinner while I’m still eating breakfast…
Before starting Spaghetti, I spent a decade travelling the world working for some of the biggest brands in the food and hospitality industry. In the last few years, I’ve been incredibly excited to see the innovation and diversity that independents have brought to the UK sector.
My love affair with food began properly when I worked in Paris for a year and part of my job involved taking colleagues from other countries to restaurants to introduce them to French cuisine. I will never forget the night I got to experience a nine-course taster menu at the Michelin-starred ZeKitchen Gallerie in Paris. It was food – but unlike anything I’d ever eaten.
After that I was hooked. I made it my mission to discover as much as I could about Parisian food Culture. I learned to navigate the city by walking to food destinations – restaurants, cafes, markets and, inevitably, my favourite Berthillon ice-cream on the Ile de France.
I always had produce in my suitcase when I came home to visit friends and family. Travel tip: Carrying a bag full of stinky French cheese is a great way to get an entire row of seats to yourself on an aeroplane!
In the following years, work took me further afield and I revelled in being able to eat like the locals and sample the cuisine wherever I went. I ate borsch in Russia and reindeer in Finland, I had tagines in Morocco, pho in Vietnam and ant-egg tacos in Mexico. When I changed roles and no longer had to travel as part of my job, I thought my food adventures were over…
And then the UK independent food sector exploded.
My weekends became about finding the foods I loved around the world right here in my own city, and I spent them visiting new local restaurants and markets in Liverpool. The Baltic Market gave me the best possible present by opening its doors on my birthday – It was so exciting to have such a diverse range of new concepts under one roof and on my doorstep.
I started to venture further afield, paying regular visits to Altrincham Market to discover wha the North West had to offer, and travelling to London to shop at Borough Market and learn about emerging brands like Bread Ahead and Crosstown.
I visited makers markets, vegan markets, food markets and pop-ups across the North West. I started to discover small suppliers and producers, and began to get to know some of the people behind local restaurants and food brands. I fell in love with their stories and the care and passion that they put into their food. My friends and I were constantly sharing pictures of food via WhatsApp and social media, and I decided to set up Liverpool Food Network to shout about these amazing independents and the incredible people that run them.
Yet as I looked more closely at the way these businesses were presenting themselves and talking to their customers online, I started to see that many of them weren’t realising their potential. They had great ideas and fantastic products, but they just weren’t able to tell their stories effectively and attract as many new customers as I knew they were capable of.
What was worse was that I learned some of these businesses were actually paying large fees to agencies to manage their social media – but I could tell whoever was writing the posts had never set foot in their premises or sampled their food.
Liverpool Food Network allowed me to talk about my favourite products and places, but clearly some of them needed help talking about themselves. So, through Spaghetti Group, I began consulting with independent businesses I passionately believed in to help them implement what I'd learned about customer experience, branding and communications during my corporate career. Just because a business might be small, it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t think big.
If you’re interested in learning more about how I can help you, contact me using the form below and I’ll be in touch to arrange a consultation call.