06 October 2016
An award-winning cook and Indian food producer is exploring how to take her business national with Heart of the South West Growth Hub.
Bini Ludlow runs Sweet Cumin, a cookery school that teaches Indian and traditional Gujarati cooking, having been taught by her mother at aged eight how to use spices and the best ingredients.
She set up Sweet Cumin in 2012, with just £200 of her own money. When a friend asked Bini to combine her teaching and knowledge of Indian cookery and create some ready meals for her, she realised there was an opportunity to share her food and unique recipes with people who don’t want to cook.
She developed Bini Frozen Ready Meals, a range of authentic Indian dishes that she distributes to around 25 retailers including high-end delis and food shops.
Based in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, Bini currently produces 1500 meals from home. Her food has gained her numerous awards and TV appearances including Taste of the West, BBC’s Harvest and a finalist in ITV’s Food Glorious Food.
Having heard about the service through Federation of Small Businesses, she contacted the Heart of the South West Growth Hub to find out how she could go about growing the Bini brand and expanding the number of stockists.
Bini initially worked with Heart of the South West Growth Hub adviser Laura Daniels, who referred her for a one-to-one session with Growth Support Service adviser Elliot Forte.
She said: “Elliot was incredibly helpful. I had produced a business plan, and he has helped me to focus on key targets and break it down into manageable tasks.
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the business advice and support out there. The Growth Hub offers free support, and because it’s impartial it can help me concentrate on the right support for me and my business.”
The next steps for Bini involves moving food production out of her kitchen and into a dedicated unit, to increase capacity. She aims to be stocked in 300 outlets within the next five years.
She has since gone back to the Growth Hub and Laura was able to introduce her to the new Local Manufacturing Advisory Programme delivered by SWMAS.
“I am really excited about working with SWMAS because they will help me with practical aspects of manufacturing,” she added.
“I would like to be able to concentrate on developing new recipes and building the brand. I would love to see my meals stocked in London and nationally – in quality supermarkets and food shops.”
For more information about how Heart of the South West Growth Hub can help to support your business contact us today.
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