Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne became an entrepreneur almost by accident when she discovered her children had food allergies. Her company Genius makes award winning gluten-free fresh bread. Launched less than a year ago, it has been stocked across the UK in various supermarkets and has recently hit the landmark of producing one million loaves.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I have three sons, two of whom have food allergies. Prior to having my children, I trained as a chef at Bibendum restaurant in London and went on to teach at Leith’s School of Food and Wine when I co-authored their Techniques Bible. When I discovered that two of my children had food allergies I decided to write a book called How to Cook for Food Allergies. Knowing how difficult it can be to cook for a family with various allergies, I had the cookery knowledge to impart to others to make it easier for people in the same situation as me.
What have you learnt about yourself since you became self-employed?
I have been surprised by how resilient and determined I am when obstacles threatening business progress arise. I am certainly more efficient the busier I am. I also need to do daily exercise if I am to maintain the energy levels required for running both my work and family life. I am more aware of just how important my family is to me and how essential it is for my family’s collective sense of well being to spend a period of quality time together each day.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The greatest challenge was getting the product to market as there was so much to be done before we had even begun trading; scaling up the bread recipe, securing listings, setting up the company, finding investment, developing the brand, the packaging and the website.
What has been the best thing about being your own boss?
Being in a position to strongly influence the direction of the business and determine the company values.
Who has given you the support to succeed?
I was very fortunate to have met Sir Bill Gammell, European Entrepreneur of the Year and CEO of Cairn Energy, who is the father of one of my son’s friends at school. He suffers from Coeliac Disease, tried my bread and loved it. He has been instrumental in helping me set-up the business.
Where do you see the business in 5 years time?
I want to grow the business by developing a range of high quality products both in this country and overseas to help improve the quality of life for people on a gluten-free diet.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone with a ‘dream’, an aspiring ‘mumpreneur’ what would it be?
Believe in your idea, focus and hold your nerve when the going gets tough.
To find out more about Lucinda and her gluten-free range of food visit www.geniusglutenfree.com