Introducing Guest Blogger: Charlotte Knight | Food entrepreneur

Charlotte KnightWhat is your background? Professional & personal

My name is Charlotte Knight, I am a mother of two and Founder of G’NOSH ( fresh gourmet dips.

I started my career in the city, as Head of Segment Marketing for Cisco Europe and later at Reuters but gave up the creature comforts of a corporate job to follow my dream and launch my own food business.

What is your proudest achievement?

I’m really proud that I left my city job to follow my dream. Starting up as an entrepreneur was a huge challenge: I have a strong commercial grounding but as a newbie in the food and drink world, I’ve had to learn how to deal with suppliers, manufacturers and buyers really quickly.

My Kiwi ‘give it a go’ attitude has helped massively and I would say that I’ve learned more in the last year and a half as an entrepreneur than in all my years of working in the city!

Who is your female inspiration?

I draw inspiration from a collection of women friends, acquaintances, business peers and even those I read about, who are doing interesting and challenging work. Their examples of fortitude, courage, bravery, and integrity in their everyday lives and in the work place helps me aspire and strive to do things that might otherwise might feel beyond my reach.

One woman in business however that does inspire me is Joe Malone. She started out doing something she loves, she faced all the challenges in scaling her business, she created a hunger for her product, and it became a runaway success with explosive growth and an exit deal of a lifetime. In this, she held on to her distinctively elegant branding and indulgently beautiful product. Incredible story, incredible success.

Tell us a bit about your business

G’NOSH is a range of five delicious fresh dips, available nationwide via Ocado and in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Wholefoods.

G’NOSH stands for ‘Gourmet Nosh’ and the apostrophe is a cheeky nod to my Antipodean homeland (G’Day? G’NOSH!).

The flavours are found all over the globe, inspired by my travels and include Smoky Aubergine Babaghanoush, Spicy Red Pepper Muhumarra, Sun-dried Tomato & Basil and Beetroot & Mint Chunky, as well as Sweet Black Bean.

They are free of additives and preservatives and taste as good as if you made them at home. They are a sociable food, designed to be shared, and as well as dipping they can be used in hundreds of different recipes as sauces, sandwiches, salads and marinades.

It took a year of making, tasting, cooking, looking, mixing, blitzing, refining, designing, schmoozing, enthusing, and, most importantly, believing to get here – and it’s so exciting to see people enjoying the products that started off as a recipe in my kitchen at home!

What made you decide to start GNOSH?

I have always been passionate about serving great tasting food to friends and family – I love entertaining – and I missed the great variety of fresh dips back home in NZ.

I set out developing recipes, researching the winning products in the markets back “down under”, socialising flavours with consumers here in the UK, developing a brand that has character and building the business case. The concept began to geminate in late 2010, the start of a journey that took in everything from product development through to branding to technical development and production.

G’NOSH was born: great tasting gourmet dips without the fuss. I hope to excite and inspire people about their food – sharing my journey as a foodie entrepreneur.

What is your top tip for starting a business?

Don’t compromise on what you believe in.

For G’NOSH taste is everything. We don’t compromise on quality – that is at the heart of our mission.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of networking and developing strong relationships. I do this extensively with a large dose of passion and persistence, targeting brands and entrepreneurs I admire, taking on board their guidance and learning from their experiences. Creating that ‘circle of influence’ certainly is a great platform for starting a successful business.

What would you like to achieve over the next 12 months?

Innovation is important to G’NOSH as a brand and for our growth. We are working on some exciting developments and partnerships to extend the brand and product range.  It’s in our spirit to continue to seek to be better.

Charlotte is blogging next week…
Twitter: @gnoshers
Contact: [email protected]

About the author

Leonnie has worked with the WATC team for over 5 years. Leonnie also runs her own Design company

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