Wholehearted is a raw, organic, cold-pressed juice and nut milk company that delivers fresh and straight to your doorstep. Sophie Jenkins and her husband created the business with the aim to produce and deliver a product that can help people improve their health and in turn, their lives.
Sophie says: “We passionately believe in the power of organic plants. We wanted to pass on all the nutrients and precious enzymes that our 100% organic produce have to offer to our customers, giving them maximum health benefits. This is why, we opted for a cold-pressed juice extraction method. No heat is involved in the process maintaining the utmost nutrients, minerals and enzymes. We now have two members of staff working for us (involved in the juice production and delivery) as well as myself and my husband.”
What they did
“After spending time in Los Angeles and experiencing the accessibility of cold-pressed juice and the health benefits it has to offer, we knew it was something that we wanted to give those around us back home the opportunity to experience, too. Having been out of work for a few years being a full-time mother and my husband being in the building trade at the time, it certainly was a daunting step to take.
We decided to convert our garage into a small factory, invest in a cold-pressed juice machine and work alongside a graphic designer to create our brand. I was introduced to Business Wales by a friend and they gave us the confidence and tools needed to progress. I took part in a business start-up course in Swansea which opened up many doors of support, which we are continuing to benefit from.”
What would they do differently
“I am not sure I would have done anything differently as the way the company has grown has been in a very natural and organic manner. Although there are elements that we initially thought may have been key, for example, our horse box that we converted into a juice bar, we are now finding that they don’t work as well for us and our family situation as does our home delivery service. In hindsight, we possibly wouldn’t have converted the horse box, however, we have actually made money on the conversion which we will inject back into Wholehearted when we sell it.”
Their proudest moment in business
“There have been lots of proud moments: seeing our logo and bottles for the first time, our first day of deliveries, when we were awarded our five-star rating…but I think what has made me most proud is hearing our clients’ testimonials on how much our juice has helped them and how much better they feel for drinking it. Improving people’s health is above all what we set out to do and what makes the hard work worth it.”
Do they use Welsh in their business
“I am a fluent Welsh speaker, although I haven’t as yet introduced the Welsh language into our business."
Describe the type of support (financial / non-financial) they’ve received from Business Wales / Welsh Government
Having attended a Welsh Government’s Business Wales workshop on starting and running a business, Sophie was further supported by an adviser, Shahid Islam, who advised and guided her with numerous pre- and post-start issues, including business planning, financial forecasts and business insurance.
Shahid’s support enabled Sophie to successfully launch Wholehearted Organic Health, and following further advice on recruitment and the selection process, she was able to hire 2 employees.
Due to the rapid growth of the business, Shahid explored funding avenues to help increase capacity within the business, aiding Sophie through a successful application for a £25,000 start-up loan.
Sophie said: “Business Wales made me feel supported in my new business venture. They were realistic, honest and above all encouraging. They gave me confidence in what was a daunting new field.”
Here are Wholehearted Organic Health’s top tips for anyone else looking to start or grow their own business:
- it’s not all plain sailing, it’s inevitable that there will be bumps in the road, it’s all about how you handle and correct things when they don’t run to plan
- don’t be too hard on yourself, allow others to support you where they can, life is a continuous learning curve just as business is
- be passionate, you have to give it your all and believe in your business and its purpose