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Tuesday 19 November 2013

5 Minutes with Rose Lloyd Owen of Peardrop

As we're sure you're aware by now, if there's one thing us Mice have a serious weakness for (other than very, very high heels...) it's good food! 

When we aren't happily munching away on something delicious, we're meticulously planning our next meal - researching restaurants, flicking through recipe books or pinning mouthwateringly amazing photos on Pinterest... 

So we were pretty excited when we heard about Peardrop - a company on a mission to brighten up Londoners' lunchtimes. No more dull sandwiches or calorie laden fast food, when the clock strikes noon, Peardrop to the rescue with delicious yet healthy packages of yumness guaranteed to give even the dreariest, al-desko lunchtime some serious sparkle... 

The girl behind this food revolution? Super-chef, Rose Lloyd Owen, who very sweetly, agreed to push aside her pans and chopping board for 5 minutes to pull up a chair and chat all things scrumptious...

Tell us a bit about Peardrop?

At my old job in a Soho talent agency, food was always a hot topic. A real bunch of foodies, we’d always be quick to try the newest restaurants and lunch spots. Apart from Leon, which I find a very inspiring brand, I grew sick of unsatisfying lunch options. It seemed so hard to find healthy, interesting lunches with a changing menu. And that was in Soho, which has a billion options … so I began to think about all the offices out of the centre of London who didn’t even have a Pret nearby.

What’s been the most challenging part of starting Peardrop? Any tips for budding entrepreneurs?

Nothing could have prepared me for the insane pressure a new business brings!

Don’t be afraid to use your contacts. Having no actual experience in the food industry, I met up with, and sought advice from, so many friends and friends of friends. And I was so surprised by how helpful and enthusiastic people were. It’s very important to take advice – Richard Branson has said that listening to others, over your own stubbornness, is key to success.

I also think it’s important to believe in your idea one billion and one percent. When you’re at your lowest ebb, exhausted after a bad week and missing the security of your office job, it’s the belief in your vision that will help you carry on.

It was my Dad who asked me to consider that with any new and innovative business idea, there’s often a reason no one else is doing it. Peardrop has changed dramatically from what it was at the outset. I think that’s really normal, so don’t be afraid if things take a different tack! You might have the loveliest of ideas and imagine how idyllic your life will be – but nothing is idyllic is when you’re up at 5am working until midnight for pittance. It sounds obvious but it needs to make you money!!

We’re also getting more and more conscious about making sure everything we do is as eco as possible, what’s Peardrop doing to help assuage our ‘save the world’ concerns?

People are slowly becoming more concerned with the environment, which is really cool, but the majority of people still don’t actually really care. It costs businesses more money and creates extra work at home.

Our packaging is all compostable – so instead of recycling it, it becomes part of the earth again. We also operate on a completely waste free basis. Every crust becomes a crouton and because our menus are ever-changing, yesterday’s excess broccoli becomes today’s soup.

Any foodie insider tips you can share with us?

My favourite London restaurant is Trullo in Islington, owned by Jordan Frieda who worked at the River CafĂ© for years. You’re getting that incredible quality of Italian food at a price you can actually afford. The beef shin ragu pappardelle – OH MY GOD.

I love Street food. If you haven’t been to Kerb ,the street food collective, you’re in for a treat. Beautiful food for a fiver that makes you feel lucky to be a Londoner. My faves are Rainbo’s gyoza, Yum Bun and the Wild Game Co. And they’ve just started a Saturday market in West London!

I’m desperate to go to The Smokehouse in Islington. I reckon smoked food is about to get really big. I’ve just discovered Smoker Bags in which you can smoke meat and veg really easily in your oven. Smoked chicken and mango salad is a classic! (and super healthy).

I also LOVE the blog - What Katie Ate, from Aussie chef and food stylist, Katie Quinn Davies.

Who features on your fantasy Peardrop dinner party invite list?

Jamie Oliver
AA Gill
Caitlin Moran
Chris Hemsworth
Russell Norman
Skye Gyngell
Tom Kerridge
Nicole Scherzinger
Alan Carr

I’m sure as hell not cooking though!

What three things could you not live without?

My vespa and good wine (not together) and cashmere (I’m very allergic to wool and a sneezing cook is not a good look!)

What next for Peardrop?

I’m planning a street food night market with lots of local Notting Hill businesses in 2014 to raise money for bipolar.

Apart from that … cookbooks, cafes, restaurants, a range of dressings, a big team of happy employees, a fleet of Electric delivery vans and bicycles, a huge sparkling kitchen with a massive vegetable and flower garden … and lots of dreaming!!

323b Portobello Road
W10 5SY

Tel: +44 788 426 3724

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