Mummy Meagz made the headlines when their vegan crème eggs hit the shelves of retailers across the country including Holland & Barrett.
Lisa Fox from Vegan Business Tribe caught up with owner Willow Boyle, daughter of the original Mummy Meagz, to talk about their wide found success and what tips they have for anyone thinking of launching a vegan business.
Where did the idea for Mummy Meagz come from?
Myself and my mum, Meagan, have owned Blondes café since 2003. Mum is known as a vegan wizard – she takes any recipe and makes it vegan without losing any taste.
Demand for our products encouraged us; with our goal of making delicious, affordable vegan treats accessible to everyone, Mummy Meagz was born (staff have always called mum that).
My partner Dean is passionately vegan and has a business background, and he came onboard with us.
How did you get from making these products in the kitchen and selling them through the café to getting into other retailers and online stores?
It took months of long conversations and recipe trials (and all our money!) before we found a manufacturer who understood our goals and values and could make a product that we were happy with.
Our Crowdfunder campaign didn’t make money but did give us great publicity. After an 18-month journey we had our range of three amazing Rocky Road bars.
After selling through local convenience stores (forever grateful to you!) and our website, we sent out hundreds of samples to wholesalers.
By the following year we had a European vegan distributor – now we’re exporting and available in over 15 different countries.
How much has veganism and compassion played a role in the development of the company?
It’s at the heart of everything we do. We’re a vegan company, owned by vegans who are all vegan for the animals.
We hold fundraising events for animal charities and all café tips go to animal charities.
We’ve attended every Surge animals rights march. Last year Mummy Meagz was recognised by activists on the march, which was just brilliant!
At 71, mum proudly describes herself as an animal activist and is one of the original members of the Hull Animal Rights Team.
There was a time when there was only a very small market for vegan products. How have you seen this change over the last few years?
Hugely! We’ve come to the market at the perfect time. There’s been massive growth in the number of vegans, and flexitarians.
Some people who took part in Veganuary this year thanked us for creating something which satisfies their sweet craving, making it easier for them to stay vegan. Life is about 80/20 balance – we want to help with that naughty 20%!
What are your top tips for someone thinking of launching a vegan business?
Do it for the right reasons! The market is growing, but so is the competition. The increase in businesses offering vegan alternatives means it’s harder to stand out (especially when you’re competing against household names).
But if you do it for the right reasons, stay true to yourself and your beliefs, you can build a tribe of people who want to support you because they share your passions.
Lisa Fox says “Mummy Meagz is a great example of a company creating a new space by launching a product – the Chuckie Egg vegan crème egg – that has no competition.
Combine this with the company’s strong roots in ethics and activism and it’s created the perfect foundation for success in the vegan marketplace.”
You can read more interviews with vegan businesses at www.veganbusinesstribe.com Join the Vegan Business Tribe to get access to regular weekly advice, support, interviews, videos and online vegan business seminars.