Tuesday 8th November 2016 at The Bicester School, Bicester, OX26 2NS
Wonky Fruit wins Oxfordshire SOUP to secure Co-op contract
An Oxfordshire business that creates chutneys, relishes and sauces from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste, has formed a successful partnership with The Midcounties Co-operative following a six-month trial in seven Oxfordshire stores.
Winner of Bicester’s first Oxfordshire SOUP, a live crowdfunding-meets-Dragon’s Den event sponsored by Bicester Innovation Centre, Wonky Fruit will use the prize fund of £1,600 towards a rebrand to Wonky Food Company, which will launch early next year.
Ashley Cavers, Co-Founder of Wonky Fruit, comments:
“We have been working closely with The Midcounties Co-operative’s local food team who have advised that our rebrand will help make us stand out in addition to reflecting that we create recipes from vegetables as well as fruit.
“The Wonky team is extremely grateful for the generous business support and prize money provided through the Oxfordshire SOUP event, which is vital in helping us reach the next stage of our exciting journey – seeing our range of tasty relishes sourced and sold in Midcounties Co-operative across Oxfordshire.”
Ms Cavers from Combe in West Oxfordshire successfully pitched Wonky Fruit to an Oxfordshire SOUP audience and judges to win financial aid, marketing and mentoring support. The event was held at The Bicester School to help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Tom Hanney, Oxfordshire SOUP judge and Centre Manager, at Bicester and Cherwell Innovation Centres, comments:
“The audience and judges were extremely impressed by the concept and the Wonky Fruit team. The business clearly has lots of potential and will help provide a solution for food waste in Oxfordshire and across the UK.”
Brother and sister, Ashley and John Cavers, founded Wonky Fruit in an attempt to try and reduce food waste and enlisted top local caterer Laura Snook, to create Wonky recipes. The company trademarked the Wonky name two years ago, ahead of Jamie Oliver’s national initiative to reclaim food waste.
Matt Fletcher, who heads up the Direct Sourcing Team at The Midcounties Co-operative, said:
“We’ve had a long relationship with Wonky Fruit, which first started when we began donating our unsold fruit to the company so they could create delicious chutneys and relishes.
“We saw an opportunity to build on this partnership and help the team create a new brand that we could eventually stock on our shelves. We’re looking forward to introducing the first batch of the newly rebranded Wonky Food Company products to our Chipping Norton store in the new year. It’s hugely satisfying to provide this kind of support to local producers and see their products on our shelves for local customers to enjoy.”
The Wonky team is keen to hear from anybody who is part of the Oxfordshire food chain who would like to join them in their combat against food waste. For further information, visit: www.wonkyfruit.co.uk
The next Oxfordshire SOUP event will take place in West Oxfordshire and will be supported by West Oxfordshire District Council. For further information, visit: oxfordshiresoup.org
Wonky Fruit – Laura Snook, John Cavers, Ashley Cavers
Wonky Fruit is an Oxfordshire business making delicious products from fruit and vegetables that might otherwise fall out of the food chain. The UK alone sees an estimated 40% of fruit and vegetables rejected before they even make it to the shops, yet we know that fruit and veg not pretty enough for the shop shelf are still pretty delicious to eat! We’re on a mission to make use of the ugly onions and imperfect peppers as well as surplus produce left over at the farm or supermarket.
Finalists for the November 8th Event Have Been Announced!
TechPixies – Joy Foster
The TechPixie programme helps women who have been out of work for an extended period of time due to raising children re-enter the work force with top notch digital marketing skills.
Healing Business – Sarah Sienkewicz
Healing Business is for people who have a healing business and for businesses that need healing in three specific ways.
- Support them to grow their business via 1-1 coaching, book, online programs, networking meetings and business skills training.
- Provide opportunities to showcase their products and services to the public, e.g The Health and Vitality Show.
- Create opportunities within local businesses to enhance the health of their employees
9-2-3 Jobs – Helen Wright
9-2-3 Jobs is a boutique recruitment agency specialising in finding flexible work for experienced professionals. Candidates include mums returning to work following a career break as well as others simply seeking a better work-life balance. Passionate about promoting flexible work – whether that’s 9-2-3 hours or full-time agile working. They also host 9-2-3 Networking Events, aimed at enabling like-minded individuals to meet, chat and share experiences in an informal environment. Founded by Oxfordshire mum-of-3, Helen Wright, they’re always open to new candidates as well as businesses looking to tap into this highly skilled pool of talent!
Our main Partner of the event is no stranger to supporting small businesses.
At Oxford Innovation, we really understand how to make property work – for the building owners, our centre customers, and for regional economic success.
We manage a UK network of Innovation Centres that provides the ideal environment for over 900 start ups and SMEs to grow. Our centres are managed on behalf of public and private sector building owners that require a high quality service that reliably delivers financial returns, whilst contributing to the economic growth of the regions in which we operate.
With over 20 years of experience in running Innovation Centres, we have the experience, the insight and the expertise you are looking for to make your building a long-term success.