Eighteen months on from Hakuna’s launch and you may notice that our company doesn't operate in exactly the same way as when we first started out. Whilst our friends and family have got to grips with where we are now, those further afield might be interested in getting up to speed, so we're going to let you in on the secret life of a start up and share Hakuna’s story which has led us to where we are now.
HOW WE MET
In 2014, we both independently made the courageous decision to leave our jobs in finance, to pursue our greatest interest – food. We both moved to London, and began our three term diploma at the prestigious ‘Leith’s School of Food and Wine.’
By some stroke of luck (or fate), we were both put into White A – a class full of twenty somethings led by legendary Phil. As it turns out, this was the start of our foodie lives together, not that we knew it yet. Graduating in 2015, we both chose the freelance route, and by some luck (or fate again), our paths just kept crossing. We both worked at Cactus Kitchen, we both worked on film sets cooking for actors, catering press events and doing home economy jobs. We would work together, and then go off again, until in 2018 (fast forward a few years), we realized that we were good on our own, but we were ten times better as a team.
HOW HAKUNA STARTED
Launching in 2017, Hakuna Foods dived head first into the world of pre prepared nutritional meal deliveries, it was gutsy and bold, and was by no means a half hearted attempt. With a business plan in tow, Annabel was a one woman band getting her business off the ground. Meal plans were calculated on a very complex spreadsheet using semi-sophisticated algorithms (at least for me anyway), the food was then lovingly made from home and then packaged into super cool eco friendly branded containers. Once all of this had taken place, I then hopped into my little blue mini, plugged into a podcast (or three - most notably The High Low, Deliciously Ella or Ferne Cotton’s A Happy Place) and drove the length of London (and Hertfordshire), hand delivering beautiful boxes of freshly prepared meals to their rightful owners.
Friends and family thought I was mad, and looking back, I probably was. I was holding down a part time job with a private client, whilst driving through the night to ensure every delivery was made before the self imposed 06.00 cut off. For that period of time, I barely slept more than four hours a night, and was working seven days a week.
As time went on, however, and my client numbers grew, I enlisted the help of a delivery company, which gave me some precious hours of sleep back! I advertised on Facebook marketplace and bargained with a host of companies, until I found a lovely Romanian company, operating out of Hertfordshire, who were offering to deliver throughout the night at a justifiable price. Honestly, this was my lifesaver.
Hakuna operated like this for nine months or so, and it went by in a blur. I had private clients, film work, plus I was running a meal delivery business. I was struggling on my own and knew something had to give. Meanwhile, I should note, very importantly, that Victoria was cooking in Thailand, later she will share her favourite spots in Bangkok and the very best Thai recipes! She was there for a year with a client, following her stint in the film world. Upon returning to the UK, she got straight back into film, travelling the length of England and then onto Ireland and Spain.
So, in 2018, having reunited for the thousandth time, an old client got in contact and we picked up a film. This time, we decided to work on the project together, splitting the profits and working on it 50:50. We had a week of night shoots, and it was through these (extremely long) nights that we committed whole-heartedly to a future business together.
It was from this moment that we signed a partnership agreement and we haven’t looked back. We stopped the food delivery side of the business and now solely focus on food for film, tv and fashion. We kept the Hakuna branding, and built a new business plan.
We are so much stronger together than we are as individuals, we have different talents and areas of expertise, and we learn from each other every day. We lean on each other in times of need, and we have the best fun celebrating together when things go our way. We both love travel, food, film, fashion and beauty, and this has helped shape our business into what it is today. We’re only small, and have a long way to go, but we have big plans and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Hakuna Foods! We have started H Life to share with you our adventures, the best places to eat, seasonal recipes, our favourite suppliers and product reviews. So please share with your friends and family and enjoy ☺
Annabel and Victoria x