Monthly Entrepreneur

entrepreneur

Entrepreneur of the Month: Q&A with the Founder of Saviour SnacksSarah Dembitz. Follow the team at @SaviourSnacks.

What is Saviour Snacks? 

Saviour Snacks is an on-line snack subscription company that curates delicious, healthy snack boxes and delivers them direct to offices or homes on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or one-off basis.  All the products are vetted by our in-house nutritional therapist to ensure they are junk free with no hidden ‘nasties’ – making it as easy as possible for our customers to eat healthily and find interesting new snacks – most of which are not readily available. We have a range of boxes – The Mini, The Original and The Super Saviour Snack box and also a Gluten Free Collection. We’re just about to bring out Vegetarian, Vegan and Dairy Free Collections too.

What drove you to become an entrepreneur instead of continuing in the rat race? 

A combination of things. My father had a couple of his own businesses when I was growing up and has always been actively involved in the SME space so it’s kind of what I know. Plus, I have a very low boredom threshold, I love to learn and I absolutely cherish the fact that a start-up allows you to be involved with everything! I was also aware that so many people want to do something but don’t have an idea, I had an idea and knew that it was ‘now or never’!

Can you explain the rationale behind the idea for Saviour Snacks and what you are looking to achieve? 

I’ve always had an interest in health and nutrition which stemmed from my dance background, but it was when I was diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis, and was advised to focus on a low GI diet to try and control the pain that it became much more than that. The new approach to my diet worked so well for me that I actually decided to go gluten, wheat and dairy free as well.

At the same time, I was travelling an enormous amount for work and would often find myself stuck at airports where the only option was rubbish from the vending machines! I realised it was nearly impossible to find ‘intolerant friendly’ snacks – let alone anything that was actually healthy, and that’s when the penny dropped.

I felt there was a real gap in the market for people to get access to healthy snacks and knew that health was a growth area.  I also knew that healthy didn’t have to mean flavourless cardboardesque products but I did realise that having the time to find ‘healthy food’ wasn’t always an option. For many, Wholefoods or Holland & Barratt aren’t within close proximity and so you’d have to run around like a headless chicken trying to find this stuff!

This is why the idea of having someone do all the hard-work of finding delicious and nutritious snacks seemed so great!  The concept was that you’d have the equivalent of a personal nutritional therapist, discovering cool new products that you wouldn’t be able to find easily, screening them to make sure they were as ‘clean’ as possible, telling you what’s so good about them (e.g. high fibre, high protein) and getting them delivered to your door!

We want Saviour Snacks to be the most convenient, healthy snacking solution. We want to provide our customers with better choice and better knowledge (hence our menu cards called Bite Size Wisdom) because we believe that if you understand what you’re putting in your body and why – there’s more chance that you’ll make that same wise choice again in the future.

What is your biggest challenge to date?

Website build – website build – website build. It’s quite an astonishingly painful experience but like all these things, you can but learn, grow and evolve!

What does success look like to you in five years’ time?

We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline but my aim is for Saviour Snacks to be recognised as the leading supplier of healthy snack boxes and snacks in the United Kingdom, and to continue to grow from there. I also do have a real fire in my belly to help the whole obesity crisis in the UK but that’s another story…

What has been your biggest lesson since you started this opportunity?

  1. Everything takes so much longer than you think it’s going to
  2. The cheapest option isn’t at all the wisest
  3. To be incredibly focused but agile. You just never know where the next opportunity is going to come from.

What advice would you give start-ups in regards to routes to funding?

It depends on what stage you’re at and how much you want to raise as there are many different paths to take. We embraced the Government’s SEIS scheme to raise our initial £150k as this provides some fantastic tax-breaks for UK investors and targeted HNWI.

As a female entrepreneur what advice would you give to other women looking to start their own company? 

The only real difference I think females need to consider is the fact that starting your own business is completely and utterly time consuming (in predominately a good way!) However, it does leave very little time for anything else. So just make sure you’ve thought about where you are in your life and how important the other things are.

Who is your icon?

As cheesy as it sounds, my parents. My father came to this country with nothing and together with my mum, the have built a wonderful life. They’ve also instilled in me the importance of work life balance and to fight for your dreams.

What is your favourite business quote?

Not necessarily a business quote but this gets me every time:

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

-Michael Jordan

Sarah Dembitz is the Founder of Saviour Snacks, an online snack subscription company, matching hungry consumers with healthy snack boxes.

Her serendipitous background includes roles in business development, account management and broadcast journalism – working with clients from Hewlett Packard to the BBC.

Prior to launching Saviour Snacks, Sarah set-up SEED Consulting, a boutique food consultancy company.  She was awarded a Level I UnLtd Award, was a member of the UnLtd Futures Incubator programme and is a 2013 fellow in the Start-Up Leadership Programme in London. Sarah won a scholarship to business school, has a PgDip in Broadcast Journalism and holds a degree in History of Art from University College London.

A believer in creating profits with purpose and aligning a healthy brain with a healthy body – she is passionate about spreading the word about real nutrition. Sarah gets her release through running, pilates or being on a mountain. She loves to dance but hates to cook (and uses her oven to store towels)!

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