If you’ve had a chance to visit my gorgeous cafe recently, you’ll see a host of delicious PRESS juices sitting proudly in the fridge. Packed with nourishing fruit and veg, PRESS is my go-to when I’m feeling low, feeling great or just fancy something tasty to drink. I’ve known co-founder Ed for many years and he’s been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration – he’s someone I can always count on to ground me and be totally honest about business. I couldn’t wait to catch up with Ed and share his journey…
As co-founder of one of the biggest juice brands in the UK, I can imagine you’re pretty busy – talk me through your role and the journey to get there…
It goes something like this…..
Have an idea (in my case meet a co-founder with an idea).
Small test of idea.
Dream big and add a mega splash of optimism and a large dash of first time founder naivety...
Still keep going.
And a little more…
Survive for 2 years in which you have learnt lessons, made mistakes and outlasted some of the competition.
Now start to actually enjoy it and to do the things you dreamt of at the beginning.
Stay flexible, be kind to your team and companies your work with.
And now it gets fun….
Keep dreaming big and aim to build a business that will last for 30 years and beyond rather than looking for an exit (a popular curse of todays approach to business. It’s a very poor strategy to try and captain the ship with one foot in the lifeboat).
Did you have a eureka moment that inspired you to launch PRESS?
It was Georgie my co-founder that had the idea… for me when we first saw people in the UK and their reaction to the taste of cold-pressed juices, that for me was when I got excited. But in the end ideas are easy…. Execution is everything.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since you launched and how did you overcome it?
There have been so many… Keeping my sanity whilst working long hours and not getting lost in it all to the point where stress and fear can destroy any enjoyment of life.
Have you seen any exciting ingredients or emerging trends in recent months that we should be looking out for?
CBD is clearly a huge new ingredient and we are currently running a research project into its effects on stress, sleep, pain management and concentration. Basically we are just sneaking it into everyones morning coffee and seeing what happens, next up is micro-dosing haha.
Any sage words of advice for budding entrepreneurs?
It takes longer, costs more than you ever think, even when you are being conservative. Make sure you understand your numbers (margins) first.
Answer for yourself and for any investors the three key questions:
- Is the market opportunity exciting and large enough to put your time and effort and money into? People get caught up in starting a business in something that they are personally passionate about but may be so niche that it just wont be big enough to be exciting…
- Do the margins of the business make sense early, rather than when somewhere down the line you are selling huge volumes (if not… its going to need a lot of funding and represents huge risk)
- Are you as the founder and the brand that you have conceived of the right combination to go out there and win
If you can get to the right answer on these three…. Go for it…. And its all investors really need to know.
Your range has evolved into so many different products, how do you come up with new flavours and ideas?
Some of its just the team and chats over lunch or Friday beerpong in the office. We do invest in research and take time to look towards the US and Australia in what is exciting. And we look to products that we and our friends would want to buy and be excited about. We probably need to do more work on consumer research…. But there’s a lot we probably need to do more on.
With three stores and even more stockists, you must have the travel a lot – how do you find balance between work and social life?
I have to exercise…. I am just a better version of me when I do. I have to get enough sleep… I can do without it, but my alarm bell for when I am really tired is when I am not excited to be around people… normally I am like an ADD Labrador. My life is still pretty simple… I am single, don’t have kids…yet so really theres still a lot of room for both…. I am honestly in awe of friends of mine with families and businesses.
Where would you like to see PRESS in five years time?
I think we really have the potential to be a world class health and nutrition business. I think we have the right DNA and an amazing team… We just need to stay excited and dream big…
On to the less serious stuff! What do you enjoy doing to relax after a stressful day?
Gym is a must… (if only to prevent dad-bod which looms). Dinner with friends. And this sounds so lame… sitting with emails and doing some work away from the office… So sad… and possibly explanation of my single status ahah.
Talk me through your day in food: Do you have time for breakfast? What’s your favourite meal?
Breakfast: Recently I have been doing half an avocado, big clump of spinach, two slices of brown toast, big handful of blueberries… olive oil…. Sounds way too worthy but its £3 from Marks & Spencer and I am a creature of habit. Green juices in the morning and vegan protein shake from PRESS.
Lunch: Always varied…. Falafel wrap from Berwick Street market is a favourite.
Afternoon: Juice/protein snack
Dinner: anything from pizza, curry and or veg in a wok at home.
If I came over for dinner, what sort of food would you serve?
Veg in a wok with a lot of fresh chilli.
Lastly, are there any specific ingredients you couldn’t live without?