Soraya Bahrami of Toucan Fruit announced as a semi finalist for the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award

National Business Awards Soraya Bahrami of Toucan Fruit has been announced as a semi finalist for the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award at this year’s National Business Awards. Toucan Fruit is the leading importer and distributor of rare exotic fruit to the UK market.

Soraya Bahrami, Co-Founder & CEO of Toucan Fruit says: “Most of our produce has never been seen before in the UK and in many cases Europe too. We are pioneers in the produce that we import mostly from Colombia, Thailand and Mauritius. We keep alive plants that face extinction by creating a market for them.”

The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognises those demonstrating the entrepreneurial aptitude, commercial acumen, vision, ambition and drive to build a successful enterprise. Judges will focus on the market opportunity identified, the model to capitalise on it, and how it has been executed within the first 18 months of trading.

Having left a lucrative banking career of 10 years, Soraya decided to pursue a more holistic lifestyle and set up Toucan Fruit. She used her knowledge of trade finance together with her Mauritian heritage to start importing delicious exotics from her homeland. These included Baby Pineapples, Tai So Lychees and Strawberry Guavas.

Since, she has travelled the world in search of rare delicacies settling upon Colombia and Thailand for their excellent and diverse fruit. Colombia, for example is home to the Granadilla, the sweetest passion fruit in the world, as well as Cacao Fruit, from which raw chocolate is derived.

‘Our fastest growing product is the Soursop,’ says Soraya. ‘It has a creamy flesh and tastes like banana and pineapple with strawberry undertones. It is also rumoured to be a potent cancer cure.’

From Thailand, she sources Wild Mangosteens and Snake Fruit. ‘’The star of the Thai offering seems to be the Durian. Don’t be fooled by its pungent odour, it tastes like pineapple, aged cheese and caramelised onion!’

Soraya Bahrami – Toucan Fruit

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The National Business Awards ceremony takes place 11 November 2014 at The Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.

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