Last month HBC Dublin members got to sample a dessert platter created by artisan pastry chef Sarah Holm of Sarah’s Raw Bites at our January Supper Club.
We asked Sarah a few questions about how she started her business and where she sees it going next. What skills do you need to launch your own artisan food company? Sarah spills the beans…
Tell us a bit about Sarah’s Rawbites – what are they?
Sarah’s Rawbites is a small Artisan food production company; I focus on raw vegan indulgent treats that are handmade in small batches to always ensure the best product. I try to source the best raw ingredients and only work with the best wholesale suppliers. All of my products are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar.
What inspired you to start Sarah’s Rawbites?
I’m a Pastry Chef, and knew from a very early age that it is what I wanted to do. But as I grew older and became more aware of how the food we eat can affect our moods, skin and overall health I looked to more natural ingredients to create desserts and treats to satisfy my sweet tooth. And from days spent playing in the kitchen Sarah’s Rawbites was born.
What skills have helped you grow your business?
I have such a passion for what I do and I’m naturally a very hard worker. From years working as a Chef I knew how to produce food, run a kitchen and make the right contacts in the industry. And I spend a good amount of my free time reading blogs on health and nutrition to actively watch where the food trends are going.
How have bloggers and online influencers helped you grow your brand?
I’m very lucky that to date all my interaction with bloggers has been very positive and has come from a genuine interest from both sides. All the bloggers that I have interacted with so far has come from me having an interest in them and their message and so far thankfully they have had a genuine interest in my product and my story.
Bloggers and influencers have been getting a hard time as of late but they know how to deliver a message given the chance.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting to create their own products?
Just do it! You’ll find a way to make it happen. As long as you have a genuine passion for what you’re creating you will make it work. And ask questions, I sent out so many emails and messages on Facebook when I was starting out asking other businesses how they did certain things, grated not everyone replied but the information I received back was invaluable.
Today I get a good few people messaging me on Instagram asking for advice and if I can help them out then I do. Also set up a meeting with your Local Enterprise Office, go into them and see what available grants or courses could help you out. Ask all the questions even if you think it’s the dumbest thing, if you’re not sure ask!
Finally if people try to give you advice give them the time and hear them out. You don’t know everything. Some of the best advice I’ve received has come from the unlikeliest source.
What is in the future for Sarah’s Rawbites?
I have just finished up with SuperValu’s Food Academy, and I go to trial in their stores from May. So I’m currently working on all new branding and packaging to have that launched soon.
My goals for the next 2-3 years are to continue growing as well as I have, take on someone to help me in the kitchen and launch new products throughout the year. I work with SoulBia based in Newry so hopefully with their help I’ll grow the brand heavily into the United Kingdom.
Find out more about Sarah’s Raw Bites on her website.