London Met graduate Ayden Kappo-Hector alongside his business partner, Jasmine Holland started a world street food revolution with their business, Melting Pot LDN! We had the chance to chat with them to find out more about their business…
Can you tell us a little about Melting Pot LDN?
We are a street food and catering business, serving global soul food, inspired by Pan-African and Pan-American Cuisine which we sell at festivals and markets.
Why did you decide to start this business?
We both love to travel and are passionate ‘foodies’. We both had 9-5 jobs, but realised this was not the life for us. We started traveling in 2012 and spent four months abroad trying exotic foods and sampling different cuisines. We experienced street food and it inspired us to join the culinary revolution that was becoming a booming industry in London once we returned. We realised there was a gap in the market and decided to make our passion a reality!
How did Accelerator’s Launchpad Programme help you?
It was amazing! We had our initial idea before participating, but it grew so much within this programme. It was a fantastic networking opportunity and was awesome to see the startup scene in London and be around other like-minded startups and learn from each other. It was an invaluable learning experience for us, as we went from serving our food to friends and family to cooking for out first ever public event. We were thrown directly into the deep end, but gained so much feedback from the other Launchpad participants.
What have you learned since starting your own business?
We learned how to be put outside of our comfort zone. We also learned not to undervalue ourselves or our idea.
What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
The hardest part is actually going out and doing it. Make sure you test out your idea. We highly recommend the Launchpad Programme to other students or graduates if they have an idea and don’t know where to begin. Never be afraid to speak to other people about your idea and get as much feedback as you can. The more you share about your business the stronger it will become! You have to believe it can become a reality. Never undersell yourself and be confident in your idea.
What advice would you have given to yourself two years ago?
I would have said to not run before you can walk, and not to try to do everything at first. I should have known when to say no to things.
What do you enjoy most about running Melting Pot LDN?
We love the personal freedom. After working for other people, this is what we love to do. You can send the business in the direction you want, and it’s nice to be able to share that with other people.
Where do you see your business in the future?
The aim is to have a restaurant. In the meantime, we are continuing to create business at markets and festivals. In the next 6 months we hope to have a short-term pop-up.
Best of luck to you both! Check out their website here: www.meltingpotldn.co.uk or follow on social media to be up to date with their happenings! @MeltingPotLDN
Plus: hear and see more from Ayden in this video