Families in Plymouth will benefit from free foraging courses thanks to investment delivered by Soup, the crowdfunding business event from GAIN at Plymouth University on 10 May. Social enterprise The Family Foraging Kitchen won against three other investment-hungry businesses at the event, which was sponsored by Francis Clark.
The investment secured through Soup will enable The Family Foraging Kitchen to run a series of free events to teach low income families in Plymouth how to collect and cook with free, wild food. Based in Millbrook, South East Cornwall, the company offers foraging events and courses for corporate teams, schools, colleges and individuals.
The Family Foraging Kitchen founder Vix Hill-Ryder went up against three other female entrepreneurs. Each presented a four-minute pitch to an audience of 70, who watched the presentations over a bowl of soup, before voting for their favourite with their spoons. Vix won £750 for her venture, from the event takings and supplemented by GAIN at Plymouth University.
Vix Hill-Ryder said:
“The Family Foraging Kitchen runs events to help people discover food that is exciting, delicious, sustainable, and nutritious. We successfully hold regular family events on the Rame Peninsula and this investment means we can share our passion and knowledge with people in Plymouth. Although people often associate foraging with the countryside, there is an amazing array of wild food in city centres. I am over the moon to have won as it will give us the chance to help so many families. It was a great event, and it was really inspiring to hear from fellow female entrepreneurs. I was incredibly nervous and forgot most of my pitch so I had to improvise and just spoke from the heart.”As well as the £750 investment Vix has secured a blog on GAIN’s digital exchange, gaininbusiness.com, and will be eligible for a range of support from the University.
Corporate Projects Manager for Plymouth University, Richard Adams, said:
“Our second Soup event was packed out with local people, University students and staff and business representatives, including members of our new network, the GAIN20. We were treated to four really inspiring pitches, but Vix’s passion and the quality of her idea gave her the edge. Soup is a global phenomenon but it is new to the South West, and it is great to see what a buzz it is creating here. As well as supporting the region’s innovative businesses, Soup enables our entrepreneurial students to see first hand how to pitch a business idea to a room full of investors. We are already planning for our next Plymouth Soup event in September, when Vix will return to tell us about how Soup’s investment has helped The Family Foraging Kitchen.”The other pitching businesses were:
- Cornish Soapcakes: Liskeard-based creator of handmade, natural and simple soaps and skincare products.
- Band-it Products: a Falmouth company that designs products to help people who are visually impaired to be more independent at home.
- If Everyone Cares: a CIC based in Bristol and Devon, which recently launched Ododow, The Interactive Community Map to pinpoint UK charities, non-profits and community projects.