Pop into your local Waitrose, Tesco or Sainsbury’s and you’ll undoubtedly come across a carton of Jimmy’s Iced Coffee. For the uninitiated, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee is a delicious range of on-the-go chilled coffee and as one of the first UK brands to hit fridges over 7 years ago, is a pioneer in the food industry. It’s one thing to build a company from scratch and another to introduce a totally unique product to the market, so I couldn’t wait to catch up with founder Jim Cregan on all things business, breakfast and de-stressing after a busy day…
It must have been quite a shock going from working as a labourer in the UK to moving to Oz and then starting your own business, was there a eureka moment that inspired you to launch Jimmy’s Iced Coffee?
Oh yes. Taking my first sip of an Aussie version of Iced Coffee in the sunshine was the defining moment for change in my hectic little brain.
Your products are available in Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s (woo!), which I can imagine keep you fairly busy; talk me through your role and day-to-day routine – if you have one!
My routine has changed drastically since bringing on an MD at Jimmy’s. I can now take my kids to school and even pick them up sometimes. I’m really at Jimmy’s now to make sure everyone is happy. I don’t have a set job role but it allows me to do what I love doing and that’s being the voice of the brand, doing speaking events and trying to get young kids into business. That’s cool.
You initially worked with your sister to develop the products, were there any real flavour clangers in the initial stages or was it plain sailing?
For the first product, flavour was all set and done in 10 tests. That’s not to say it took over 60 for the mocha!
You recently launched a new range of merchandise, how did that come about?
Well, we started making tees and people asked here we could get them so we made more and it’s kind of grown out of that. It’s great to know dudes wanna wear our stuff as well as drinking our Iced Coffee. It makes us more of a lifestyle thing than just a drink.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Paying off mum and dad and being interviewed on stage with Richard Branson. Special times.
Any sage words of advice for budding entrepreneurs and start-ups?
Just get on with it.
What’s next for Jimmy’s Iced Coffee?!
Cans and export baby.
On to the less serious stuff! What do you enjoy doing to relax after a stressful day?
Cycling home is a nice way to end the day. Either lighting the fire in winter or heading straight down the beach hut in summer are the best ways to chill after a big day.
Talk me through your day in food: Do you have time for breakfast? What’s your favourite meal?
God I love food. Brekky yes, I love eggs the most. Scrambled on super hot toast either with Lea & Perrins or a sauce called Lizano but it’s hard to find… Favourite meal can be any.
Where are your favourite places to eat out and why?
Maroush, Kensington: 2 Chicken Shawarma sandwiches, holding the tomato. Washed down with a fresh lemon juice. All in the space of 9 minutes. It reminds me of Dubai where I grew up. Middle Eastern service is up there with the best and there’s no bullshit. Just solidly great food.
Breakfast at Velo Domestique in Southbourne. Their brekky burrito is off the scale. Filter coffee is banging too. It’s a great vibe in there and it’s run by a pal of mine called Dan, a genuine hero in the community.
I’d go back to a little pop up restaurant in Nicaragua run by these Canadian dudes. Their roasted beetroot was some of the best food I’d simply ever tasted. We were holidaying, it was warm, the cocktails were ice cold and the kids were cool as cucumbers.
If I came over for dinner, what would you serve?
If I’m cooking, probably a beef or wild mushroom stroganoff. If it’s my insanely awesome wife, it’d be a katsu curry. And oh my deary me, it’s amazing.
Lastly, besides coffee and milk, are there any specific ingredients you couldn’t live without?
Stupidly crispy bacon. Eggs. Fresh OJ. Done! Okay, so breakfast is my favourite meal of the day!