A new company offering ready-prepared meals is emerging, but with a welcome twist: it’s healthy as well as easy. Sevenoaks-based company One Pot Ltd was propelled forward in its very early stages by winning the Kickstart Prize at last year’s Kent 2020 Vision Start-Up LIVE, which is coming up again on 23rd October 2013.
Autumn Palmer, 22, first thought of the idea for One Pot back in 2011 while she was getting ready to go camping with her family, when it dawned on her to prepare some easy hot meals in advance, so that they could still eat healthily outdoors. They made up several bags of home-cooked food that they could quickly boil in their bags at a later stage – and the One Pot concept was born!
The Kickstart Prize won by One Pot Ltd is a unique package of business services and equipment worth over £5,000, awarded to a local company visiting the annual Kent 2020 Start-Up LIVE event. The event ran for the first time last year and was a great success, aiming to support and encourage new businesses in Kent.
One Pot are still developing their offering, which is getting further along the production line and should be available to purchase very soon. Miss Palmer said: “The Kickstart prize was absolutely fantastic in giving us a platform and getting us ready. The laptop has been especially useful and it was great having a high-tech one with all the software we needed, including our own little database.”
She said: “Our social media training was also really valuable and far more beneficial than I thought it would be. The marketing agency Zoodikers focused really clearly on what positive benefits for the business so we then set up our own Twitter and Facebook accounts. And the free stand at Kent 2020 Vision in April was a perfect chance to do some market testing. At this stage, it wasn’t really about making sales but was more about getting feedback on what people think.”
Miss Palmer said: “Because it was a business-to-business event, we got to meet lots of professional business people who knew exactly what they were talking about. As a result, we got some really helpful advice on our marketing and branding both from visitors and the other exhibitors. Everyone we met loved our logo and it was really motivating to hear such positive feedback from people.”
With the packaging and recipes for One Pot now developed and finalised, things are very nearly at the production stage, when food will be in circulation and available to buy. The launch dishes can already be found on the website at www.onepotltd.com, including Sweet & Sour Pork, Lamb Tagine, braised Beef Bourguignon and Chicken & Pancetta Cassoulet.
Miss Palmer said: “We are launching with just four dishes initially, as all the recipes have taken so long to get right and we’re now really happy with them. We will then develop more as the company gains momentum. The food is all based around wholesome, home-cooked meals which are also a bit of a treat and people love to eat with their families. My favourite has got to be the sweet and sour pork, which is just so tasty. I would definitely recommend that one for camping.”
On 23rd October this year, Kent 2020 Vision Start-Up LIVE will be running for its second year at the Kent Event Centre in Detling and One Pot will be attending again to look for products and services for their next stage of development.
Miss Palmer said: “We’re going see who’s there this time around, as it’s a perfect place for making new contacts that can help new businesses.” This exciting new company has moved forward significantly over the past ten months and hopes to achieve great things in the future.
Visitors to this year’s Kent 2020 Vision Start-Up LIVE on 23rd October will also have an opportunity to win this year’s Kickstart prize, offering another £5,000 boost to one of the county’s promising young companies. Plus an opening keynote from Emma Jones, Director of Start-Up Britain and charismatic founder of Enterprise Nation, a wide range of workshops on the key challenges for new businesses AND complimentary access to the Kent 2020 Vision Marketing LIVE, taking place on the same day at the same venue.
Entry to both events is free when registering online at: www.kent2020startup.co.uk