19th May 2017
Founder: Hannah McCollum
ChicP founder, Hannah McCollum has moved manufacturing out of her home to meet growing demand for her original dips.
Entrepreneur Hannah McCollum knows a thing or two about setting up your own business. Following five years cooking for a variety of events across Europe, Hannah set up ChicP, a raw vegetable hummus company that produces delicious, alternative dips. It was founded in 2015, using surplus fresh produce deemed not fit for sale by large retailers. With 40 per cent of fresh produce discarded before even reaching the shop floor, she saw an opportunity to turn her passion into a successful business.
ChicP recently moved manufacturing out of Hannah’s home to meet the growing demand for its sweet and savoury hummus. This year, Hannah is busy working to maintain this high growth – she is aiming to increase sales, raise awareness and add more names to a growing list of stockists.
A key focus is branching out into food service companies. Office catering and hospitality are important growth areas, but Hannah says they come with their own challenges. The short shelf life of her fresh products is limiting, and ChicP must adapt its products to crack new markets.
Hannah is also beginning to turn her attention to international opportunities, with a view to producing her hummus using local surplus vegetables around the world in the future.
This ambition builds on ChicP’s success – its hummus is already stocked in the likes of WholeFoods, Selfridges, As Nature Intended and Fortnum & Mason. The best advice Hannah can give to others who are beginning to approach household names is to keep trying:
“Persistence is key! Getting hold of buyers’ names isn’t easy for any young business, and that’s just step one. You will probably have hundreds of frustrating conversations with people that don’t remember your product or don’t have all of your details to hand.
“What’s really important is for you to ensure that you remember everybody you have spoken to in the past and feel completely prepared to sell your business when you reach the right person on the phone.”