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Growth Voucher brings headlines for Stephen’s soups
Everything started happening after the support we got through the Growth Voucher scheme. Stephen Argent – Soupologie
Six months of market research convinced Stephen Argent that his nutritious, healthy home-made soups had a unique niche in the UK food market. But he needed help to get the word around and turn the idea into a thriving commercial enterprise. It came when he heard about Growth Vouchers, a Government initiative which grants up to £2,000 matched funding for strategic advice and actions on how a business can attain its growth potential. He was awarded a voucher and introduced to a public relations team to advise him on publicity and marketing.
As a direct result, his London based Soupologie super soup business was featured in the Daily Mail and other national media, went on Tatler’s ‘It List’ page, became the topic of many diet-conscious bloggers and saw its Twitter following leap from 200 to 800 almost overnight. Among them was British Ski Cross team member Pamela Thorburn who decided that the Soupologie range was perfect for her strict dietary needs and she became a personal ambassador to the sporting world.
“Everything started happening after the support we got through the Growth Voucher scheme,” said Stephen, whose soups are available at Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic, As Nature Intended and many independent food stores. They are also sold by Ocado, the online supermarket and are available in Dunnes Stores in Ireland. This publicity helped to raise Soupologie’s profile. This meant that July and August, usually quiet months for the soup sector, have been Soupologie’s best ever months for sales.
Yet it began so simply when Stephen, who does much of the cooking at his West Hampstead home, devised a series of soups for his two vegetarian daughters. The family persuaded him that they deserved a wider audience. So they tested the market with a stall at Hampstead Fair – selilng out within an hour. Many customers said how good the soups were and asked where to buy them. More London stalls followed, along with extensive research into the wider soup industry.