Thinking Outside the Brick Box

Our guest speaker for our WiRE Uttoxeter January meeting was Nigel Evans, founder of Roots Larder, a plastic free larder. The topic was “Thinking Outside the Brick Box.” My top three takeaways from the session:

1.Be Flexible

Nigel originally desired having a brick and mortar business. A fixed location to open his plastic free larder. However, once he reflected on finances, outreach potential, health related issues, and his blended family of 8 children, a fixed store presented a few obstacles.

Researching alternatives, he realized he could convert a large van into his mobile larder, expanding his outreach to a larger geographic area, attend to his health needs, as well as continue to transport his large family.

Any idea for a product or business is bound to encounter stumbling blocks. Being flexible will allow for more ideas and solutions to emerge and get past the roadblock.

2. Connect

Nigel knew of a few businesses doing something similar. He reached out and developed relationships with some of the businesses who were open for a discussion.

Creating connections with people in your industry helps in a variety of ways. You can save time avoiding some of the pitfalls they experienced, and also have a ready made network of support from people who will identify with your challenges and successes.

3. Know Your Why

After opening Roots Larder, some customers questioned certain product choices regarding packaging. At one point, he found himself ready to click the “purchase” button for a product that might meet the requests from a few customers but was not entirely aligned with the mission, or “the why” of his business.

At the time, his partner reminded him of this. End result is he stuck to his why and decided against making the purchase.

Knowing your why offers clarity and confidence. It makes it easier to stay true to your guiding principles and provide certainty to your ideals when faced with disappointing a potential customer.

There were other insightful moments from Nigel’s talk; these were the top three that connected with me in the moment. Hope you find value in them as well.

You can find Nigel at Roots Larder.

PK Whalen
Food Photographer
Writer of Simple & Sustainable Living, Wellness, and Plant-Based Foods
Tang Tongue Tales