Welcome to a brand new blog series, ‘Getting Growing’. In this series, we’ll be sharing the stories of some of our most creative entrepreneurs as they return to us here at Transmit Start-Ups for round two, a second loan to help them progress with their business even further. We’ll be asking them how they have got to where they are today. After all, securing a second round of funding in order to grow the business is quite an achievement!
Our first success story are a bunch of time-travelling cheese enthusiasts called Mac to the Future, who, by their own admission, are pretty precious about their pasta - trying saying that fast! Street food vendors that travel to various events from weddings to office lunches and festivals, serving up their delicious version of everyone’s favourite mac ‘n’ cheese.
Tell us a little about your business and your start-up story to date?
We are a street food and catering business specialising in mac ‘n’ cheese. We cover everything from an office lunch to festivals, catering for 1000’s of hungry festival goers. We have been trading for a couple of years and had quite the adventure so far! We started on a rooftop in London and then wanted to venture out, which is where Transmit Start-Ups came in.
We approached Transmit Start-Ups for a second loan to help us get our Mk1 Ford Transit food truck on the road. We put our case together and secured the additional funds which has put us on track. None of this would have been possible without our mentor who helped us through the whole process and still works very closely with us now.
How did the idea / concept for your business first come about?
The idea actually came about when one of us was extremely hungover, rather peckish and just happened to be watching Back to the Future. A few puns and a few pots of mac ‘n’ cheese flew around and Mac to the Future was born. After the concept came the process which we have refined over the years to give us a solid product with a cool brand to back it up.
Why did you choose a Start Up Loan over other types of finance?
I had always thought of a Start Up Loan as the choice for finance as it is really focused on helping start up companies to grow and flourish rather than just providing cash.
Why did you decide to return to Transmit Start-Ups for a second loan?
Our mentor actually suggested that we return to Transmit Start-Ups as we had had such a good experience first time round and the fact that Transmit offered exactly what we needed to get the project back on track.
What has your business achieved so far? What is your favourite success story that has helped you succeed and expand so quickly?
For us our biggest achievement is making something that people recognise and enjoy. We have customers come from all over London to seek us out which really puts a smile on your face. The power of the brand and having a clear simple concept has helped our expansion. We can offer something for pretty much any dietary requirement which is a big plus for anyone looking to book street food. We are also very versatile in where we can serve from as we can setup indoors or outside which is quite rare in the street food world. We have been fortunate enough to work with some other great brands which has really helped us get exposure and access to more customers.
What was your process in deciding what you needed for your business and the loan amount necessary to succeed?
The process for deciding what we needed for the business was a long one. We knew we needed a truck to be competitive and we knew it had to be unique, but to turn that into a reality was quite difficult. It really was an unknown and quite a niche project which meant lots and lots of planning and lots of late nights. Once we had solidified the concept it was quite easy to price up and get started.
Would you recommend a Start Up Loan from Transmit Start-Ups to other businesses?
I have actually recommended Transmit Start-Ups to a number of friends of mine, and they have also successfully received funding for their projects.
How was your experience of the Transmit team, did they help with your plans?
Transmit were very helpful and always available on email or phone. Our mentor was invaluable and helped us every step of the way.
If you could give one tip to a new entrepreneur, what would it be?
Don’t buy a food truck :) - I joke! My one piece of advice would be to never give up on your dream. If you believe you have a business that can add real value to the world then go for it.
If Jonathan’s story has spurred you on to look into setting up your own business idea, get in touch with us today to begin your start-up journey.