In today’s Behind the Biz interview I’m chatting with Jolie Gindi, the co-founder of Yummzy – low carb, vegan and keto friendly high protein desserts including brownies, cheesecakes, chocolate hazelnut spread and much more. I’m really into foodie businesses at the moment and when they’re dairy free (my dairy free journey) it’s even better. If you’re also dairy free, gluten free or perhaps Keto then you’re in for a delicious new discovery with today’s interview.
Let’s find out all about Yummzy.
Yummzy In A Nutshell
Yummzy is a clean deck cake, desserts & chocolate hazelnut spread provider (B2C) launched by Jolie and Adrian that’s based in London but whose reach today extends far beyond the M25 to encompass a lion’s share of the UK.
Yummzy defies the age-old adage that people suffering tough dietary restrictions (diabetic, coeliac, lactose intolerant) or pursuing strict healthier eating regimes can’t also dabble with desserts or cakey happiness. At our peak (pre-Lockdown) we were frequented by a regular procession of footballers, fitness fanatics, body builders and the odd celebrity to in-the-know nutritionists and well-informed mums and dads who wanted to treat their kids whilst staying true to deep-rooted, healthier living values.
When and why did you set up Yummzy?
Launched: Winter 2018
Yummzy in its 1st incarnation was a ahead-of-the-curve eatery with bold franchise aspirations. Lockdown meant that high capital rent simply wasn’t viable for a young business working all the hours to build a loyalist following and a far-reaching range
Which sweet treat should I try first from your line-up of beautiful cakes?
That is like asking to choose between one’s children, everyone has different strengths. It’s hard not to look past our brownies, deliciously decadent, soft on the inside yet satisfyingly crunchy on the outside. Made with single estate cacao and dressed lovingly in caramel sauce this sublime treat is always near the top of our popularity charts.
For sweet-toothed dessert bon viveurs what about cheesecakes without the cheese! We’re talking three fabulously flavoursome layers including a choc almond base, a coconut choc middle and a sweet caramel topping.
What did you do before starting Yummzy?
Adrian has an undergraduate and master’s degree in Sports Science from Transylvania and today tutors children with autism and other neurodiversities to rejoin schools. He is also a professional photographer and videographer.
I am a seasoned analytics professional who has spent 20ish years consulting across an array of technology/innovation themed fields. I am also a qualified nutritionist.
What has been the biggest challenge since launching your business?
Seeing the level of brand ‘hoodwinkery that continues to go on. There’s no point presenting yourself as keto-friendly if you contain cheap fillers (wheat, yeast…) vegetable oils or synthetic nasties which can have adverse inflammatory effects. Also don’t claim to be sugar-free if you’re using sugar by the back door alternatives like coconut sugar or maltitol!
How did the lockdowns of COVID19 impact your business?
Terribly! Our launchpad eatery which showcased our range perfectly and was central to building our loyalist following simply wasn’t sustainable rent-wise when the pandemic struck. Still from every dark cloud…. We pivoted to a B2C online operation and that has worked out rather nicely. Our next move will be making our debut in bricks & mortar retailers courtesy of our flagship Yummtella that gives decadent spreads made from a single estate Latin American chocolate a good name!
What advice do you have for aspiring food entrepreneurs?
Never short-change your core principles – of course any business model requires a little bit of give and take but NEVER deviate from your central reason for being!
Where do you hope to take your business in the year ahead?
Yummtella established selling 10,000+ jars a year, our nut butters and Mayan Hot Xocolate launched, a new flagship eatery and the expansion of our award-winning cakes portfolio
Thank you so much to Jolie for taking the time to be a part of the Behind The Biz interview series. I really enjoyed hearing the story behind Yummzy and as someone who lives a dairy free life and is trying to also be a little healthier day to day I can’t wait to give the cakes and hazelnut spread a try.