My enlightened employer recently let me spend five days at an Enterprise Summer School. It was an encouraging experience which gave a refreshingly different perspective from outside the academic bubble.
The central plank of the week was to conceive and develop a business idea. At the end of the week we were to present it to some ‘dragons’ (these were different from the tv variety since they were behaving as VCs actually would in real life).
I was actually quite convinced by our idea, although I have no plans to follow through on it, so I’m tossing it out here as a lazyweb idea. It was finally named Home Grown Gourmet. Here’s the executive summary from our business plan:
A restaurant based founded on the principle of using fresh local produce and knowledge to create a varied and seasonal menu that combines traditional and experimental dishes.
By restricting ourselves to local produce we ensure freshness and are spurred to source a diversity of local ingredients and an innovative and dynamic menu.
Our market segment is the consumer who likes to experiment with new culinary experiences whilst also being highly conscious of the ecological impact of their meal. Rather than just badge our product as eco-friendly, we aim for complete transparency in our sources and processes for each dish. Classic favourites will be given a twist with fresh, local, characterful varieties.
The restaurant will be medium-sized, geographically based at some location accessible from the centre of Birmingham, e.g. Moseley. It will be supported by an adjacent pub/bar supplied by local breweries.
Promotion will be augmented by a richly interactive website. Customers will be able to view current dishes, see profiles of suppliers, download recipes and give feedback. Strong, reciprocal links will be forged with aligned organisations.
Whilst there is a growing trend for fairtrade products with low environmental impact, there is a clear gap in the market for a restaurant that is founded entirely on these principles. We will offer diners cuisine based on food varieties that are simply not available from supermarkets. Combined with a balance of traditional and original recipes, we will produce a dynamic menu that is unique in the market.
We didn’t win the competition but we took best logo and we educated the audience about carrots: Red Elephant, Nelson, Early Horn, Zino, King West, etc. You know carrots are only generally orange now because the Dutch bred them to match their national colour? It’s true. They were originally maroon.