26 Grains was founded by Alex Hely Hutchinson who takes inspiration from Scandinavian recipes to bring you bowls brimming with filling flavours, slow releasing energy and tasty toppings. This summer she launched 26 Grains in Old Street Station. We chatted to her to find out more...
Why did you chose to launch a pop up shop?
For a product like mine, something completely new to the market, launching a pop up shop was a no brainer. It allowed me to test my concept / branding and see how the food and idea was received. It was interesting to see whether there were any unexpected patterns in terms of sales or demographic of market. Pop ups are a low risk opportunity for people to get their crazy and possibly brilliant ideas out there.
What were you looking to get out of your pop up shop?
I was really looking to see if there was a demand for the food I was selling. I wanted to move away from the assumptions of how it would work, to actually getting out there and really testing it.
How did you chose the space?
Old Street Station is a great space because of the footfall and audience of people who are aware and support start ups - therefore very open minded to new businesses. In addition, a lot of people were kind enough to come and give me their feedback or offer advice according to their expertise, which was completely unexpected and a really amazing experience.
How do you keep your brand experience consistent online and offline?
By constantly keeping all media channels up to date with latest recipes, locations and news about 26 Grains.
How did you activate the space / entice to people to come?
Our concept is fresh, on the go food. We based our stall on a scandinavian kitchen - think wooden panels and white tiles. And kept it looking fresh with an array of different micro herbs and plants. We aimed to create an enticing and cosy environment so that passers by would stop and look at our space as well as being tempted by the sight and smell of delicious food.
The first repeat customer who gave us really great feedback, and then all regulars after that.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Scandinavian ways of cooking, keeping everything fresh and exciting by using unrefined organic ingredients and matching them with spices, fruits, nuts and herbs.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to other retailers looking to launch a pop up shop?
Keep in mind all the senses: visually you've got to look good, make sure your food tastes good, playing great music really helps and delicious smells are enticing. When it comes to touch...this is a tricky one. Maybe handing testers out or satisfying packaging?