Updated: Mar 15
'Have you Met?' interviews a new small business owner from the SE London area every week. This week we have Aba Edwards-Idun owner of The Good Tart, which will be familiar to anyone in the Crystal Palace area.
1. What led you to start up your business?
A love of pastry and a desire to do something to address food poverty led me to start my business, The Good Tart. I love food; I make an effort to try out new recipes and take full advantage of London's restaurant scene. But I am aware that the way I enjoy it, is a form of privilege. Every day, around 500,000 primary school children in the UK, go to school with empty tummies; sometimes a free school lunch is the only meal that they will have that day. I find it shocking (and incredibly sad) that this is happening today, in the UK. Through The Good Tart, I am able to indulge in my love of working with pastry by making delicious (so I've been told!) sweet tarts; profits from the sale of the tarts to to support the work of Magic Breakfast, a UK registered charity which supplies free breakfast to vulnerable school children.
2. What were the biggest obstacles to starting up?
I'd secretly nursed the idea of starting The Good Tart for a while, but the biggest obstacle for me was confidence: confidence that my products would be appealing; that the concept would resonate with people, and that I would have enough time to make it successful -- I run The Good Tart alongside my full-time job of being a lawyer. In the end, I had to just give it a go; the idea just kept going round my head, and I knew that if I didn't try, I would regret it! And space! Everything is made in my little kitchen in my flat.
3. What do you love about your business?
I love that it allows me to combine two things I care about, and gives an outlet to my creative side.
While I enjoy my job, law isn't particularly 'creative'! I didn't realise how much I missed expressing that side of myself until I started thinking about tart flavours, and the ideas just started flowing.
I've had a small pop-up in a local library, and I've loved being able to interact with my local community and also get some great feedback on my bakes.
4. Who would be your dream client?
My dream client would be either an independent cafe/coffee shop or a small local chain like Perks & White or Blackbird Bakery.
I would supply them with a selection of tarts that fit with their customer offering and it would provide a steady stream of income for donating to Magic Breakfast.
5. Where would you like to take your business ultimately?
I would love to have my own cafe one day. It would operate as a normal cafe, still have a large social element -- free cookery classes for those on low incomes, for example.
There would be excellent coffee,tasty brunch and tarts would be front and centre, of course.
6. Where have you received the most support along your journey?
I'm still a start-up, so my friends and family have been absolutely fantastic in helping get things off the ground.
The old adage about it taking a village have proved to be very true! I've had flyers and a website designed for free, free copywriting, free accounting, free corporate law advice. They've also been my biggest cheerleaders, it's been very touching.
7. Would you consider going back to employment for someone else now?
Well, I'm still working full-time at the moment! Maybe I will come back to this question in a few years' time!
8. What do you consider the key skills a small business person must have?
Multi-tasking! And the ability to prioritise.
There's always so much to do, so you have to be good at doing several things at once; but also have the ability to ask "does this particular thing really need to be done now?" Delegation is another: is there someone else who can do that thing better than you? If so, ask them to do it.
It's more a characteristic than a skill, but I would also say resilience. It can be really hard sometimes. Things may not move as quickly as you hoped; you'll hear a lot of "no"s, but you have to remember why you started and keep going.
9. Have you been influenced by any business books or blogs recently?
I listen to a podcast called 'By the Book', in which the two hosts live by self-help book for two weeks. They recently lived by 'Pick Three' by Randi Zuckerberg. The premise is that on order to reduce stress, every day you choose to focus on three things only.
It could be 'rest, exercise and friends' one day and then 'work, side projects and hobbies' another. Because I care so much about my business, it would be completely possible for me to spend every minute of spare time on it.
I was working on The Good Tart every day after work, leaving me little time or energy for anything else. 'Pick three" is such a simple idea, but I found it helped me feel OK about not trying to do all the things, every day.
10. What would your top tips be to anyone considering starting their own business?
Do your research: who are your potential customers? How/where can you reach them? What are the competition doing and how can you be different? How much money will you need to start up your business? Are there any legal requirements etc etc -- you get the idea!
Don't be afraid to ask for help; as I mentioned above, my friends were a life-saver!
Be adaptable. Always keep the ultimate vision in mind, but prepare to flexible about how this might be achieved.
Thanks so much Aba!
To find Aba online
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/thegoodtart/
Don't miss reading more in the 'Have you Met?' series
Interview 18- Maddy Carrick
Interview 17 Anja David
Interview 16 -Bridget Daley
Interview 15 -Karen Arthur
Interview 14 -Rebecca Trowbridge
Interview 13 -Angélina Jandolo
Interview 12 -Kelly Harris
Interview 11 -Sara Dalrymple
Interview 10 -Ciarán O'Fathaigh
Interview 9 -Elizabeth Knights Trench
Interview 8 -Aba Edwards-Idun
Interview 7 -Roxsanne Slatford
Interview 6 -Lara Pearce
Interview 5 -Ashanti Jason
Interview 4- Shannon Reed
Interview 3 -Claire Connor
Interview 2 -Becca Teers
Interview 1 -Cat Bateman
Singing for my Supper
If you enjoyed reading this article and maybe others I've written, found a tip that worked for you or learned something new, it would be great if you'd consider sending me the price of a cup of coffee :) https://www.paypal.me/thanksforreading/2.50
Space at 61 is a venue for hire in Nunhead near Peckham. Often used for childrens parties, workshops, classes, talks, filming and popups you can hire us from £20per hour. The 'Have you Met?' Blog interview concept was created by by Shona Chambers owner of Space at 61 and Shona Chambers Marketing. To read more like this visit www.shonachambersmarketing.co.uk