Caroline Afolalu set up Beautiful Foods Ltd in 2002 at the Lewisham Business Centre to produce ‘Chin Chin’, an African snack food range, and supply a general event catering service.
It soon became apparent that there was a niche market for ‘Chin Chin’. Caroline, working with SEE advisers, re-focused the original business plan. Beautiful Foods purchased new machinery, took on more staff and in 2004 Caroline’s husband Tunde joined the company to handle finances, leaving Caroline free to develop the ‘Chin Chin’ range market penetration.
Beautiful Foods is now recognised as one of the leading suppliers of African snack products across London and is available in most independent ethnic food stores.
SEE advisers helped Caroline re-brand ‘Chin Chin’. The ‘Tabitha’ label was launched in 2009 aimed at the supermarket supply chains. ‘Tabitha’ is now stocked by selected Tesco and Sainsburys stores. Asda are discussing trialing as an ethnic food line.
As Caroline says “In the beginning we didn’t really specialise and offered a general catering service and food for weddings and parties.
I have worked closely with SEE advisers from the early days of start-up onwards and attended their free workshops and Master Classes. This practical advice and support has helped us to grow Beautiful Foods into a profitable and Beautiful sustainable business.”