It was great to meet Madolyn and Inna at last week’s foodtech startups dinner. Today’s spotlight is on their startup, Beetroot & Beluga.
What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?
Beetroot & Beluga is made up of two food loving friends who eat, A LOT. We’ve developed a taste and a knack for what’s good, and know what’s going to be popular. The B&B website is a personalised portal for navigating the best and ‘must know’ new openings, restaurants, bars and foodie events in London. We’ve got a growing website which runs alongside social media and a popular monthly newsletter, taking the ease out of ever needing to ask the question ‘where’s good to go for dinner?’.
What were you doing before you launched your startup?
Inna, aka Beluga, is a Chartered Accountant with an awesome business sense. She is a devout lover of food; a passion which expanded massively during her extensive travels in Europe, and from always visiting the latest restaurants on the trendy London dining scene. After kick-starting a solo voice through her blog Caviar Girl, Inna approached her long-time friend, and now business partner, Madolyn, to take on the foodie tech world with a new lifestyle diary-esque site.
Madolyn, an experienced Marketer and Producer of theatre and comedy and also Events Manager at the National Portrait Gallery, has an inherent passion and belief in the importance of bringing experiences and audiences together to encourage conversation and immersive experiences. With expertise in copywriting, content, social, SEO and all things digital communications, she delights in designing creative content, while with a keen producer eye can recognise what has the potential to excite and make people tick. Madolyn makes up Beetroot, in Beetroot & Beluga.
How did you meet?
We’re two long time Australian friends, who love, experience and natter about food. After over three years of running our own independent food and lifestyle blogs alongside one another, we decided to embark on a new collaboration which supports the London emerging and independent food and events industry.
What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?
Beetroot & Beluga is based on the Weebly digital platform. Over the past year Weebly has provided an adequate platform for the evolving site. However we are now in the position where Beetroot and Beluga is growing faster than Weebly can keep up with, leaving the site with limitations, occasionally hindering what can be achieved digitally. Weebly user tips are always welcome!
What will 2014 bring?
Beetroot & Beluga is constantly growing and expanding with on trend information, new features, additional genres and exciting topics. This year we aim to see an increase in reader giveaways which we know our readers will love, and that also support start ups, independents and new brands. We also intend to achieve further growth in audience reach through social media and networking sites.
1 piece of advice for someone starting a business in the foodtech space?
Find your niche! There is loads out there and it’s what sets you apart from the others that will drive success. We like to think we have found a niche through a curated style, personal endorsement and tone of voice.
Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
There are loads of blogs and listing sites around, but you can’t always trust the authors opinion. We trial and test anything generating hype and wade through what’s worth visiting, so you don’t have to. Our eyes, ears and taste buds are constantly on the pulse of the London restaurant and food industry so when something is hot, you will know about it.
What’s your favourite startup in the foodtech space (not including your own)?
Hot Dinners is what inspired us and got us started. Those two are always on the pulse, featuring absolutely everything from the newest chain restaurants to the coolest places we’ve been waiting years to open.
What’s your favourite London restaurant
Duck & Waffle – they love us, and we LOVE Them! Since opening nearly two years ago, D&W have consistently delivered outstanding service and an exciting and creative menu from brunch to dinner. The signature dish may be the Duck and Waffle but Head Chef Dan Doherty is constantly adding new dishes to the menu, one of the most recent hits being Ox Cheek doughnuts, which you may have seen has picked up a fair bit of press. The incredible views will also make you feel sky high, but the prices won’t!
The girls had some great insider tips for me. Many new places to try….
You can read other foodtech startup spotlights here.