Kitchen Table Projects has joined forces with one of the UK’s best known retailers, M&S, to launch a series of unique events to help fledgling artisan food and drink entrepreneurs make that all important retail break through. Kitchen Table Projects is dedicated to supporting young, and up and coming, fine food and drink brands – helping them get into shops and off the shelves!
In an exciting partnership with M&S, Kitchen Table Projects will deliver three events in March, May and June. They have been designed to help emerging artisan producers learn how to grow their businesses, and understand what it is like to scale up and become ‘retail ready’. There will also be an incredible opportunity for producers to pitch their food and drink product to experts from M&S, which may even lead to a potential listing – as well as network with industry experts and other start up producers. All the events will be held at Waterside House in London – the home of M&S.
Tara Mei, founder of Kitchen Table Projects, said: “There are thousands of emerging artisan food producers across the UK who have little experience of the food industry. Many make their products at the kitchen table, or in shared facilities, before selling them in local delis and grocers. Our partnership with M&S gives these producers a rare opportunity to be guided by the experts from one the UK’s biggest and best known retailers. Their knowledge is second to none, and who knows – one of them might even make it on to the coveted shelves of M&S.”
Kirsty Grieve, Deli Product Developer for M&S, said:
“M&S is committed to supporting the next generation of UK food and drink brands. Partnerships like this are invaluable, not just for those looking to grow their food and drink business – but also for M&S in helping us to discover the next big thing for our shelves.”
Five experts from M&S will join a team of 30 mentors who will share their industry knowledge at this fast moving event – similar to speed dating! Food producers have just three minutes to ask the experts their burning questions and receive their answer before they move on to the next when the buzzer sounds.
Food Business Bootcamp – May 5th 9am-6pm
This event is aimed at food start-ups who want to grow their business, and understand what it would be like to supply M&S. It will give them ideas on improving their business and progress them towards being retail ready. Five start-ups will also be selected to pitch their products to M&S – Dragons Den-style – for business and product feedback. They may even win an M&S reward – which could be a listing!
Artisan After Hours – June 23rd 6pm-9.30pm
An informal networking event for food producers, consultants, media, retailers and distributors. The theme will be ‘Getting on and off the shelf’ and will include a presentation from M&S about how they work with small, independent brands. Producers will be invited to take along their products for sampling – where they will be given feedback from their peers, and industry experts.