SME catches up with Welsh entrepreneur Asher Flowers who tells us about his breakfast brand Rogue.
Asher, tell us about Rogues – What does it make and when was the company formed? How did you come up with the name?
So Rogue is a breakfast brand that prides itself on innovation. We’re on a mission to ban boring breakfasts and invite a new customer to the space with a range of jams, marmalades, condiments and cereals. The name came from a few things; I didn’t see anyone in the industry who was like me and I wanted our flavours to always be rogue.
Why did you decide to set up the company? Did you have an interest in food?
I’ve always had an interest in food, it’s the topic of almost every conversation within my family – Where do we want to eat? What have we had recently? And where do we want to go? I always had the ambition to create something for myself and felt that there was something of a ceiling in my previous career.
What were the challenges in the early days?
I still feel like we’re in the early days (haha) and the challenges remain frequent.
How has your product range developed? What are your top sellers?
I’d originally wanted to create a condiment brand. Fortunately, my mum advised me to produce jams and marmalades and the rest is history. Our Dark & Stormy Marmalade often flies off the shelf and is available at some Waitrose & ASDA stores. It’s also available on Getir & Ocado.
How do you see the company evolving? Do you have any particular ambitions?
We’d like to become a B-Corp business – balancing people, planet and profit. We’d like to build a manufacturing facility within Wales for the preserves and create jobs within Mid-Glamorgan. We also want to launch more delicious products. Our ambition is to really disrupt these traditional categories and deliver on flavour for our customers whether that’s in independent delis, cafes or supermarkets.
You’ve recently been involved with a project with Gordon Ramsay. What was that like and what did you learn?
Intense. Gordon is an unbelievable professional – what he’s built and the people he has surrounded himself with I truly admire.
How did Purple Shoots help you along the way?
Purple Shoots provided an initial loan for us when we’d just started the business which allowed me to purchase our first company vehicle as well as build our stock levels. We used this to travel around the UK in the first 12 months of the business and test what our early customers liked and loved. It was a great help.
What do you like about being your own boss?
The ability to create something from scratch.
What advice would you give someone thinking of starting their own business?
Always make the main thing – the main thing.