StartUp Croydon have been working on a pilot project with BOXPARK Croydon to give food entrepreneurs an exciting opportunity.
This was an initiative the NEN Member’s instigated after receiving enquiries from early-stage food entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses.
StartUp Croydon have recently spoken to and met many early-stage food businesses looking for help, support and advice, dark kitchens and start-up funds, so the need to provide mentoring and support became more and more apparent, and this sparked an idea around how StartUp Croydon could help new, local food businesses by creating a social project in the form of a unique competition.
Following discussions with BOXPARK founder, Roger Wade, who was incredibly supportive and committed to the social project, BOXPARK agreed to generously donate their Croydon pop-up venue to StartUp Croydon for a competition which launched in May 2022, and will see the final winners announced in late September 2022.
The finalists were drawn following a judging panel in August, with entrants showcasing their show-stopper dishes through taste test interviews.
The quality and standards of all participants was outstanding, and the judges had a tough day of deliberations working out who should go through to the next round, but the finalists are:
Mucuaa – an Angolan inspired cuisine using mainly plant-based ingredients run by mother and daughter Leonor and Samaia that will bring you a taste of Africa.
Soul Vegan UK – vegan soul food lovingly prepared by sisters Jameelah, Tiana and Karima who want to share their love of plant-based food with the world, starting with Croydon.
Fruiture Juicery – a refreshing and healthy fresh juice offering that not only tastes delicious but will bring the sunshine into your life even in the depths of winter.
The final stage of the competition runs from 5 September until 25 September, during which each of the three winners will run their pop-up restaurant for a week at BOXPARK Croydon. Once the outright winner is selected the prize will be to run their food pop-up for three months during October, November and December 2022.