Annie Morris is the co-founder of London based Spoon Cereals, simple high-quality granola made with pure maple syrup. Spoon Cereals have won a Great Taste Award and earned the backing of Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones (via Dragons’ Den), two of Britainâ€™s most influential investors. We caught up with Annie to find out why she started and what she’s learned along the way.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I decided to start Spoon because, it’s a bit of a cliche… but I love granola and muesli and I had it religiously every morning at work and I saw the gap in the market for a high quality fresh bowl of cereal on my way to work.
I was also really inspired by the food scene, especially the street food scene which was on my doorstep at work and it led to my business partner Jonny and I to start London’s first breakfast cereal pop up bar in a little market in south west London, and we haven’t really looked back ever since.
What skill or ability is most important and why?
I’ve learnt that you do need to be good at a lot of things (laughs), you have to be all things to all people, but luckily Jonny and myself have a very different set of skills and we’ve managed to apply those where we can.
I think in the areas that we’ve found a little bit more tricky, especially just two people with very little experience in the food industry, just more of a love of it..it’s very much a case of learning as you go and seeking help when you’re struggling, because that’s important.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I’d say the three most important lessons were firstly trying to find the simplest solution to a task. Often it’s quite easy to over think things and you can make life a little bit hard for yourself.
Secondly, learn to say ‘no’ more often because I think what we’ve often done to begin with is try to make the most out of every opportunity that’s come our way but sometimes that’s not always the best opportunity for your business strategy.
Thirdly, that time is precious. Make the most of allowing your ideas to get made more quickly as a small business as there is no hierarchy for them to go through. And also, making sure you can find time to switch off. It’s easier said than done but I think it really helps with your productivity and creativity as well.
What’s the best part of your job?
Probably the flexibility that you have and being able to work when and wherever you like. That’s the beauty of our business, we are a product based business and we now supply retailers but at the same time we still have a pop up bar which we take to lots of different locations where we can really interact with people and get the feedback on the products and our granolas.
It also gives us the energy that we need and the momentum and motivation…because you’re speaking to people one on one, and it just helps us feel more connected within the food industry.