No doubt you have seen the beautiful, bright watercolour illustrations adorning the shelves of Wholefoods and other health food supermarkets. Emily's Crisps are most definitely the snack of the summer for us; perfect for picnics in the park or when you are craving a boost at your desk. Emily's Crisps are dried and vacuumed so that the nutrients from the fruit are fully preserved - the fruit crisps help you to achieve your 5 a day! A helpful, healthy and most importantly delicious addition to your lunchbox!
We speak to the two founders Emily and Alex who are partners both at work and in life. Discover their story of starting on their journey of Emily's Crisps together, how they balance their roles at work and their top tips for working with your other half!
Please can you both introduce yourselves and your roles at Emily's?
Emily: Hi, I'm Emily...
Alex: And I'm Alex, actually Alessandro and we're the founders of Emily Crisps and partners in life as well as business.
Emily: Role-wise I'm the CEO...
Alex: And I do what I'm told...
Emily: Well that's not true! Seriously though, as founders of a small start up I do think that our roles can be really fluid. Alex is the COO on paper, so he's currently managing all of our operations, the nuts and bolts of the company, but he's also heavily involved in Sales and Finance. As the CEO i'm essentially the 'head of the company' but in reality that often means being responsible for the final decisions made. I think the CEO also has to set the tone or culture of the company as well as the vision for what we want to achieve and that is something I take to heart.
Could you tell us the story of how your idea for Emily's came about?
Emily: Alex and I have always loved good food and travel. We're passionate about inspiring people to eat healthier but more importantly tastier. When we came across an innovative way to create crunchy crisps from fresh fruit and veg whilst travelling we thought what a great way to get one of your five a day, especially in the UK where crisps are the most popular snack in the country. Our aim, once we had the idea, was to make the best fruit and veg crisps possible and we spent the next year developing our recipes.
What were your careers before embarking on the journey of Emily's?
Emily: We both came from a much more corporate background and actually met each other while we were working on a clean energy project. Alex was the Finance Manager and I was the Commercial Manager.
How is it being a couple in life and at work?
Alex: It’s a very exciting journey to be on together - but we're not going to lie, sometimes requires a lot of discipline. I think it's very easy to get to the point where you can erode boundaries between work and life. It's a challenge to shut off and not talk about the business but it definitely helps that we are opposites in many respects so our individual strengths and weakness balance each other out. We try not to step on each other's toes and always come together to share our love of food.
Emily: We never argue when we're eating!
Have you got any tips for other work/couple teams out there?
Emily: As Alex says, boundaries are important and you've got to be disciplined with them whether that applies to the roles each of you play in the business or the time you make for each other outside the business. As long as that's clear and you're both aligned on your priorities in life and at work, then it becomes a lot easier.
You use such beautiful illustrations on the packaging. What was the creative process behind your branding?
Emily: Because we launched 2 years ago with our fruit crisps which are still a new product in the UK, we knew that in order to get people to pick up and try our product we would have to come up with something that was bold and inspirational and had as much wow factor on the outside as it did on the inside. We were incredibly lucky to work with a brilliant branding agency that worked to create and bring to life our brand. They were as inspired as we were by the produce and when we saw the illustrations they created for our packaging we knew right away they had hit the nail on the head. It was one of those great moments when your head and heart aligns and you knew you were going in the right direction.
How did you approach your first stockists?
Alex: In the beginning I think we must have tried every approach, channel and opportunity which was available to us. We were incredibly fortunate to be chosen to be part of Selfridges 'Meet the Makers' and they became our very first stockist which really helped to open doors. We found that our crisps sold themselves once people tasted them so sampling both with stockists and consumers, was absolutely key.
What are the next steps for Emily's?
Emily: Our goal as a business is to make the best fruit and veg based snacks in the world and that's what will always drive our next steps. We have plans to launch new, and even more exciting products in the next few months, while continuing to build on the momentum and success we've had and to get more people hooked and 'discover bolder, healthier, crunchier' fruit and veg crisps.