In 2014 Marie-Anne Rasé developed her business concept - My Gammie’s - an award-winning Vegan Bakery using products which are free from all 14 top allergens as identified by the Food Standards Agency. The range of vegan and allergen-free products offered includes delicious cakes, cup cakes, protein bars and a range of breads.
The business idea came about in response to the lack of available healthy, pre-produced, ready to eat, baked products which are free of multiple allergens - the majority of products tend to exclude 1 or 2 allergic properties but rarely all. Marie-Anne wanted to address this lack of choice to offer a range of allergen-friendly alternative foods, to help raise social inclusion as well as minimise risk for customers. The issue was particularly pertinent for Marie-Anne, as her grand-daughter is food sensitive.
In 2015 Marie- Anne and her daughter were selected as winners in the University of East London’s 10th E-Factor entrepreneurship final, securing £6,000 investment to develop the business. The following year My Gammie’s home kitchen opened and was officially launched at Olympia in 2017. Production was expanded as the business secured bakery premises.
In 2018 My Gammie’s received further well-deserved recognition winning the Free-from Food Award which celebrates the best in ‘free from’ food products.
Marie-Anne initially approached Enterprise Enfield in August 2018 to access essential support to develop and grow her early-stage business. She enrolled on the Inspiring Women Business Growth Programme, and received a combination of 12 hours’ advice, guidance and seminars on a range of topics including ‘Know Your Clients’ and ‘Create and Deliver a Pitch for Your Business’. She really appreciated the bespoke support – which enabled her to focus on developing her business plan and market My Gammie’s brand and food products more effectively. The Inspiring Women Business Growth Programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Keen to access further help and support at a pivotal point in her business, in 2020 Marie-Anne signed up to Enterprise Enfield's Female Founders Programme with the aim of taking her business to the next level, as she felt that “it had reached a bit of a plateau”. She joined the Programme. which is supported by J.P. Morgan, in February 2020, just prior to the first national lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
As a result of the business skills and knowledge she has gained and ongoing business support Marie- Anne was able to adapt her business as a direct response to Covid-19 and offer next day postal deliveries for selected products which can be ordered through her website – this has helped to increase product sales.
Marie-Anne is very excited about the next steps she is taking to grow the business. She has invested in new equipment which will scale up her best-selling products, such as cupcakes, to an industrial level, whilst still controlling the strict allergen avoidance requirements of production.
She has recently contracted with a marketing company to take the My Gammie’s brand nation-wide through social media and by targeting relevant retailers. The business is now developing an e-commerce platform, allowing operations to become fully automated and more efficient