Happy December guys!
I hope you're managing to enjoy the cold, we're storming through Netflix and HBO at the moment, wearing triple layers and drinking endless cups of tea, Rosie is obviously an excellent source of heat too.
These last few weeks, after reading a terrifying article on the impact our smartphones have on us - (read it here, you’re welcome!), I’ve been making an effort to move away from reading about the shitstorm that our world is right now. It's distracting and we can only do so much to help.
From little changes like moving all the apps except for the ones that are helping me focus on my goals away from the first page of my phone:
To bigger changes, like deciding both my personal reading and the classes I give will be focused on positivity and innovative solutions.
Earlier in the year I had started to do this anyway, by making the move to using the TED Keynote course books. But honestly, with current events, conversation always steers back to something bleak. Like the futility of battling climate change when America pulls out of the Paris accord. (Don't worry! Most cities are ignoring the orange wonder until he goes away and are continuing with their plans. (Houston, San Francisco, Miami and New York for example).
It's easy to feel isolated sometimes, like you’re the only one who cares. So to balance that I want to introduce you to the publications, projects and people who are not only solving problems through innovation; but are also doing it in a creative, elegant way that will hopefully inspire you and might even plant some seeds for your own ideas.
The first company I want to talk about in this series is Elysia Catering,
I came across this catering company in the publication POSITIVE NEWS who I recommend following on Twitter, Facebook or signing up for the newsletter to get practical optimism in your inbox rather than the usual deluge of politicians embarrassing themselves.
........ was founded by French entrepreneur Sophie André who moved to London in 2016 after working on startups in Senegal, France and The States. Her business development partner is Rose Fooks who is a cordon bleu graduate and also co-runs the food assembly Islington.
The heart of the business is supporting local artisan producers by taking their ‘waste’ or not up to selling standard food. This can be something as little as a spoon too much honey in the granola or even discoloured chocolate bars (even though the taste is perfectly fine!) Elysia pays them slightly above margin so the businesses aren’t losing money on the waste product and then they perform culinary magic on these unwanted odds and ends by turning them into beautiful dishes which they then deliver or serve at events!
Their website states their values as:
- High Standards
Company values still seem to be a very anglophone concept, I think it can be worth thinking about though, why do you do what you do? What are your values or your company values?
The company is based in London, although if we’re going to be philosophical about the origin Sophia attributes her idea to Joe Deloss, who she describes as an American social entrepreneur. He founded Hot Chicken takeover in Columbus (OH). They deliver food and cater for events at sites all over the capital, which Sophia started out by doing personally on a bicycle.
So why does Elysia exist? Well, food waste is something we all know about, but maybe don't focus on too much. In the UK supermarkets alone cause 200,000 tonnes of food waste every year, we’re the worst in Europe at the moment. Although artisan food makers produce less than 1% of this waste, it’s an area that Sophie can make a difference in. If you visit her website, the last thing you think of is imperfect, unappealing food. It’s pretty, elegant and visually appealing, it’s only when you start to read the information on the site:
That you realise this is more than just another trendy food delivery service! (On a geeky note, I have to say that choosing the word ‘rescue’ rather than 'reuse' or 'repurpose' creates a lovely image!) What do you think of the idea? Could you bring elements of it into your own life or business?