Meet the founder of the Great British Biscotti Co
I’m obsessed with your biscotti biscuits Paul Rostand, so I’d love to know what sparked the idea to launch the Great British Biscotti?
The thought of being able to create a distinct range in a market that has seen no innovation for 2000 years. In the modern 'frothy coffee' world we inhabit, I saw the opportunity to create an artisan biscuit legacy. I'm especially proud of creating the world's 1st tea-centric biscotti as well as the world's first savoury biscotti portfolio that makes any soup, salad or cheeseboard a little extra special.
In regard to competition, how do you set yourself a part?
Quality, and constant innovation, if you're prepared to put your head above the parapet it's vital that you do everything in your power to stay ahead of the game. This is a biscuit with a history and a future as there are so many directions you can take it (pub nibbles, pudding accompaniments, airline treat......)
Is there one decision that you made, that really propelled the business?
Setting up my own bakery rather than relying on 3rd party manufacturers to produce for us. This enables us to be flexible and set the pace without being held back by cautious 3rd party operations.
How did you fund the business?
I funded it initially with my own money then introduced Private Equity. The largest part of our cost is labour so to help cash flow at the start I have a very good group of friends and family that helped in return for plentiful supplies of biscotti!
How do you push yourself when you experience moments of doubt?
Sheer grit and determination keeps me going which is fuelled by the customer feedback we get at trade shows. It's so hard to maintain high energy levels, but when you have 99.9% of people telling you your product is great and that your innovation breath-taking, it helps keep the batteries charged!
Who is your target audience?
Every Hotel, Pub, Café and shop in the country, the list of target customers is endless.
Number one tip for young entrepreneurs?
Market research to ensure what you are offering is unique and if possible enjoys a high barrier for entry. You don’t want competition to squeeze you out in the first 2 years of trading. After that, if you are in a relationship make sure that your other half is ready for a hard road ahead as starting a new business is ALL consuming (24/7) and they need to be on board!
If you could choose one person to record your voicemail, who would it be and why?
Peter Sellers - There is nothing that makes me smile more than his Inspector Clouseau
Any awesome plans for the next 12 months?
Expand our distribution into the food service and café arena having spent the past 18 months securing our farm shop and delicatessen distribution. and build on our fledgling export offer. Also to invest in our plant to increase production capacity!
What habits do you think helped you to become successful?
What are your thoughts on failure as an entrepreneur?
Devastating but you need to fail to learn. Not every idea will work and you'll always have a few ideas that fail before you hit the right one. If you do fail, pick yourself up and get back on the horse as soon as you can and don't sit at home moping and blaming everyone else for your failure.