Family photo Aug 2015 (2)

Each month we will interview local mums who have started up their own business and find out a bit more about their world….

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East Riding Mums meets … The Safer Eating Company

Name: Karen Woodford

Business: The Safer Eating Company Ltd www.safereating.co.uk Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Family: Husband Martin, 2 daughters – Megan (aged 3) and Amalie (brand new – 4 months)

Top tip for something to do with your family that is free, or costs very little: If the weather is on our side – a picnic in the park (or even the garden). Megan finds that very exciting and it is a real-life jungle gym for Amalie.

Best way to relax once the kids are in bed: Watching a great box set with a lovely glass of wine or cider.

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Q: Firstly, tell us about The Safer Eating Company.

My business is called The Safer Eating Company and we launched our Safer Eating website in October 2014.

www.safereating.co.uk is a one-stop-shop for all things free-from. It is for both tricky eaters (people who have a food allergy, intolerance or coeliac disease, or those who are vegetarian/vegan) and those that cater for them.

We want to put the fun back into eating out so we are carefully putting together a database of restaurants that cater for tricky eaters. Places have to be nominated and we vet them all to make sure they are safe. Drewton’s, in South Cave, was one of the first places on the site. ******* To nominate a safer place to eat, follow the link http://safereating.co.uk/nominate-a-safer-place-to-eat/ ********

We also have a feast of free information, a forum, blogs and sell essential resources for caterers so they can keep their kitchens safe and customers happy.

We have been working flat out to gain accreditation from The Information Standard (owned by NHS England). It means that you can trust our information and that we endeavour to be as reliable and unbiased as is humanly possible.

Q: How did the idea for The Safer Eating Company come about?

I was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2012 following a 22-year battle to find out what was wrong with me. It then became quickly apparent that I was also intolerant to lactose and fructose. This meant a huge life change for me – not being able to eat gluten (in wheat, rye and barley, oats), lactose (in milk, cheese, cream, butter and yoghurt) and fructose (apples, pears, honey, mango, fructose syrup) – eating out was a nightmare. I had a lightbulb moment to help others understand allergies and diseases like coeliac.

Q: Did you have experience in running your own business?  How did you start?

Virgin Vie cosmetics sales gave me a little experience of handling payments, self-tax and expenses. In my career with the NHS has given me lots of transferrable skills to use in my business and means that I am organised, used to prioritising and know my boundaries.

Q: What’s it like to work at The Safer Eating Company?

I am still working at the hospital so I usually have Tuesdays specifically for the business. Now I am on maternity leave, I am just fitting in things when I can. I am on Twitter and Facebook most days for marketing and promotion. Responding to emails and authorising profiles/reviews is the highest priority. When you are a small business – you literally do everything – marketing, sales, sourcing materials, planning design, producing information, liaison and doing the accounts. It is a crazy learning curve.

Q: What’s your advice for fellow ‘mumpreneurs’?

If you have a dream or an idea that you and others think is viable – go for it. You are now a Mum – this gives you a newfound confidence at tackling everything else in the world. If you can manage a child – you can do anything!

Q: What do you think has been the key to The Safer Eating Company’s success?

I think that because we have personal reasons for embarking on this business, we are very enthusiastic and believe in our business ourselves. We really are trying to do our best for tricky eaters and help businesses to cater for us. This has made the business successful.

Q: What makes The Safer Eating Company different?

When we initially launched we were one of the only companies like us. Slowly, more are launching, but our unique selling point is that we are vetting people and that we are focusing on everything and not just on one allergen.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

To be the most trusted and recognised website for people with dietary requirements. We want to be a real guiding light in the free-from world and support the grand job charities are doing and the tasty new products being made by manufacturers.  We also strive to be the most trusted and recognised website for businesses to promote their safer eating practices and to be the ‘go to’ search tool for people with dietary requirements.

I have so much vision for the business it is difficult to take a step back whilst my second baby is so little. Once she starts nursery in November I will be able to get out and about more to increase our database of food businesses and let the world know that the Safer Eating revolution is here.

******* To nominate a safer place to eat, follow the link http://safereating.co.uk/nominate-a-safer-place-to-eat/ ********

 

If you have set up your own business and would like to be featured in East Riding Mums meets please email lucy@eastridingmums.com

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