Cheeky Boy Sauces founder Kaye Foong
Cheeky Boy Sauces founder Kaye Foong gives BQ an insight into his start-up journey so far and highlights the challenges and benefits budding entrepreneurs can expect to face when starting up…
What does your business do?
Cheeky Boy Sauces is an independent producer of a range of fresh tasting, delicious, all-natural sauces and dips, lovingly made in Britain. We are genuine people who are making these sauces because we love them and want to share our discoveries.
All our sauces are bursting with vegetables and clean, natural ingredients, designed to spark up the mojo in your taste buds and inspire your cooking. We want our sauces to transport you to faraway places and join in our food adventure.
What did you do before starting the business?
Before starting Cheeky Boy Sauces, I was a British Army Officer in the Royal Engineers. I spent a lot of my life travelling around the world, exploring different countries and different cuisines. I was never a cook, in fact I’d never cooked at all until I went to University. So, to go from engineering to creating my own hot sauces isn’t something I had ever envisioned.
What inspired you to start up?
I love an adventure, and what could be more of an adventure than this? I have been fortunate enough to visit countries all over the world, sampling local food and immersing myself in their culture. I wanted to use this experience to create something everyone could enjoy. All my recipes are inspired by my travels around Europe, Central Asia and the Far and Middle East, so this is my way of bringing these vibrant flavours to everyone’s plates.
Where do you get advice, support or help?
My wife and family have been the greatest support I could have asked for – especially as it usually takes around 21 versions before I get the perfect flavour combination and our family kitchen is the testing zone!
Our marketing company and manufacturers are also always on hand to offer advice, help and taste testing! Sometimes you just need an outsider to give you a little direction and guidance.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
The whole concept and running of Cheeky Boy Sauces is personally financed to date, with a bit of start-up funding to help along the way.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
There are currently a few exciting things in the pipeline for Cheeky Boy Sauces. We have reached the semi-finals of the Virgin StartUp Foodpreneur competition. We are now down to eight out of the thousands of initial applications with a pop-up store in Lakeside for a week – so we’re excited to see where that goes.
Our Berlin49, German Hot Sauce has also been shortlisted in the Best Savoury Preserve/Sauce category for the Great British Food Awards. The awards are being judged by experts and the winners’ announced during the summer – so fingers crossed!
How do you differentiate your business from others?
Our passion and personality definitely differentiates us – we’re adventurous, honest and love what we do. All our ingredients are clean, fresh, natural and packed full of flavour – and best of all it’s all manufactured in Britain.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
After a lifetime spent in the Royal Engineers, very different! It’s exciting and exhausting at the same time. It’s very long hours, often six or seven days a week – especially at times like this with so much buzz around the brand. But it’s all worth it, seeing someone enjoy one of our sauces is the best feeling in the world.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
My dream is to break the American market. It’s something I’m already looking into and we already have quite an online buzz over in the states, so selling over there once we’ve established ourselves in the UK would be an unbelievable achievement.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Just do it! There’s never a right time – so get a plan in your mind and get the ball rolling. Be passionate, be bold, but be prepared for a bit of hard work and it’ll all pay off.
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