Kent’s Small Businesses – May
insideKENT’s Jess Marshall gets to know some of the county’s small food-based businesses
Sugar Snap Bakery
Having grown up in a house where baking came as naturally as breathing, when Ashleigh Aiano began developing a dairy allergy she was determined to master the art of vegan baking. Fast forward a year and Ashleigh had mastered her craft so much so that she was making more delicious plant-based treats than her household could consume! After a whole lot of research and time honing her craft, Ashleigh decided to share her gift with the world in the form of Sugar Snap Bakery, a fully vegan, fully delicious, fully stocked virtual bakery. Once opened, friends and family flocked to support Ashleigh and buy her newly available, delectable goods. Since then, she has used her social media platforms to grow and connect to her audience building her business through open communication with patrons. In doing so Ashleigh has built long lasting relationships with her customers, which along with her mind-blowing bakes have kept people coming back again and again. With goals to expand her dedicated customer base further afield, Ashleigh is on a mission to prove to the people of England that ‘being vegan does not mean going without good food’ and boy is she succeeding.
Socials: TikTok, Instagram & Facebook: Sugarsnapbakery
Zak Tozer never meant to start Zak’s Kombucha. After pursuing many career paths including antique furniture restoration and marketing, the pandemic left Zak jobless and initially in limbo. However, after taking some time to look introspectively, Zak decided to dig into his strong beliefs around food systems and vowed to make a meaningful contribution to the world of food. Through this resolution, Zak started experimenting with brewing kombucha, and after a little push from a friend who signed him up for a joint market stall in September 2020, Zak realised the business had legs after his kombucha sold out within a matter of hours. Two years later and Zak is continuing to brew the highest quality kombucha using the highest quality local ingredients. When we asked Zak what he loves about owning Zak’s Kombucha he replied: “I love doing something that I believe has a purpose for good and is also nourishing at the same time.” He also had some great advice for other prospective small business owners, saying: “Try to do something that is fulfilling and meaningful to you; pursue something that enriches your life with purpose.”
Socials: @zakskombucha on Instagram and Facebook.
Kent Charcuterie Company
Like so many other small businesses, the Kent Charcuterie Company was started by couple Lauren Rimmer and Daniel Turner in the depths of lockdown. While in isolation and with very little else to do, the pair began experimenting with grazing boards and food styling for themselves along with some lucky friends and family. Finding they were both naturals at the art, word spread fast and they soon had requests pouring in from customers far and wide, and in what felt like a blink of an eye had delivered an impressive 500 platters. Though the company is going from strength to strength, with several weddings lined up this year and Lauren focusing on the business full time, the couple have never forgotten the foundation of local Kentish food that underpinned Kent Charcuterie from the start and are always conscious to reduce food miles wherever possible and support hardworking local producers. With hopes to expand the business into an event caterer, as well as working on a postal grazing box, Lauren and Daniel explained their passion behind their blossoming company: “We love the creativity we can express in our food styling. We’re constantly looking for new ways of presentation.”
Socials: Instagram: @kent_charcuterie, Facebook: @kentcharcuterie