We recently caught up with Simos Kitiris and Katie Kitiri, the founders of Yumbles.com
, the online marketplace where food fans can discover the UK’s most original, small batch, independently produced food and drink (what we call indie food
) and buy directly from the talented people who make it (our food makers
). Yumbles won the food category in this year's GWG Awards. Simos and Katie tell us more...
As a curated marketplace, every maker you find on Yumbles has been carefully hand-picked by our team of diligent food explorers. We’re on a mission to re-imagine food commerce and offer an exciting and rewarding experience for both food fans and the innovative indie food makers too.
What was the inspiration for the site?
One of our greatest passions has always been discovering hidden gems in the world of indie food and Yumbles was born out of this passion and our frustration on how difficult it was for everyone to discover, buy and enjoy these hidden treasures.
When did you launch the site?
Yumbles.com was launched in beta in December 2013. The reception and growth has been great so far and our new site will be launching in time for our first year anniversary – expect great things!
What are your greatest challenges?
One of the greatest challenges is that we chose to be a horizontal marketplace and feature a wide range of indie foods (instead of focusing say just on one category like sauces). We have everything from gourmet marshmallows to unique spices and marinades, all the way to innovative gifts like an afternoon tea delivered freshly made and ice cream making kits!
While this is great for our customers, as you can imagine it is quite a challenge in terms of marketing and managing this diverse range of foods.
Having two children under three and trying to juggle everything certainly adds to the fun factor too!
What's your background?
Both of us have a strong background in online marketplaces. Simos has been busy in the last seven years with another successful online marketplace he co-founded called PeoplePerHour.com and Katie has worked in variety of roles for top internet giants like eBay.
Who do you admire in business?
There are obviously a lot of hugely successful and prominent entrepreneurs that we’re constantly learning from too but our daily inspiration comes from meeting passionate everyday people like our sellers and learning about their unique journeys into pursuing their passion.
Their determination is truly inspiring and being at the beginning of our journey too with Yumbles, their stories and challenges are definitely something we can relate to!
Please recommend a website and / or app that helps you promote or run your business
We love cloud software and services like Google Apps and Amazon Web Services (amongst others) are definitely making our lives a lot easier and allowing us to compete with much bigger companies!
What is the best piece of business advice you've been given?
If you’re going through hell, keep going (Winston Churchill).
What is your motto?
Our motto is ‘keep exploring’ – both when it comes to indie food and Yumbles but also as a more general life motto.
Where do you see the business going from here?
As a first step, our aim is to discover the best indie food out there and make it available to everyone. There are a lot of incredibly talented indie food makers waiting to be discovered!
Our longer-term vision is to create a credible alternative to the food conglomerates that dominate most of the food world today and redefine food commerce in a way that inspires everyone to become more passionate about what they eat.
Enjoying great food with family and friends is something special that we really value and enjoy; we’re hoping that it’s something that we could help preserve by celebrating indie food and making it more accessible to everyone.
We also hope to see further growth in and success of talented indie food makers in this country by providing them with a strong ecommerce sales platform and associated support.
Have you entered an award before?
We have entered (and won) various awards with previous businesses but this is the first one for Yumbles so wish us luck! (GWG comments: And yes, they won best website for food and drink in The GWG Website of the Year Awards.)
Simos Kitiris with Xenios Thrasyvoulou of PeoplePerHour
Where did you hear about the GWG Awards?
We’ve been following the GWG Awards for a number of years now and have been fortunate enough to win a GWG award last year with a previous business.
20 November 2014