Paul Lindley is a firm believer that “food is at the centre of our whole society”.

As he explained at today’s Virgin StartUp 2015 Foodpreneur Festival in Soho, his passion for food and a desire to disrupt the food industry has seen him turn a humble idea he had “eight or nine years ago” into global children’s food business Ella’s Kitchen.

Offering up his tips and advice for budding food and drink entrepreneurs at the Richard Branson-backed event, Lindley discussed the importance of having a good team, believing in yourself, and shared how exports had been integral to scaling Ella’s Kitchen – “now 55% of our revenue is outside of the UK”.

Read on to find out Lindley’s five tips to help your food business become a success…

1. Focus on the taste of your product

“Taste is the one thing you shouldn’t compromise on. You aren’t going to win against competitors if your product’s taste isn’t up to scratch. Taste trumps everything.”

2. Build a business based on values

“Values underpin everything we do and it’s much easier to instill values at the start-up stage then when you’re more established”.

3. Your team is everything

“The value of a team is so important. Ella’s Kitchen has been successful not just because of my idea but because I had a team of people that helped me to develop that idea and bring new ideas to the table.”

4. Never give up on gut feeling

“You’re going to get pressure from investors, supermarkets, restaurants, whoever it is, to change things about your business. Ultimately you need to go with your gut feel.”

5. Have a purpose beyond making money

“We’re on a mission to help children’s lives. Yes we’re a business and we need to make a profit, as every business does, […] but business can be a tremendous force for good. That’s what has worked for us”.

Want to start a food business? View our step-by-step guides on starting a street food business, starting a restaurant and more.

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