Sarah Pearsons launched Ipswich-based graze box business, Chestnut & Rose in the summer. And the former Slimming World Manager and Consultant says she could happily graze all day
I would say my life so far has been full of hurdles and opportunities. Like everyone I’ve had lots of ups and downs but I like to think that everything happens for a reason, it moulds you into the person you are. I’m lucky to have a supportive husband, two gorgeous kiddies and family/friends who are always supportive of my next adventure.
At the start of the pandemic, I was a Manager and Consultant for Slimming World, I was juggling a one-year-old and three-year-old with full time work. Moving everything online and being home all the time with my family was a huge challenge. It made me realise I wanted something different for our life and something needed to change. The virtual world made me feel that I should be working all the time, we are forever contactable and it’s hard to work out when work should stop.
I’ve always loved the idea of having a little tea shop/café and I decided maybe it was the time to look at that idea further. The venue I looked at was no longer available, but my brain was already ticking. I’d enrolled on some business start-up courses with Menta and decided to start something from home. I loved the look and idea behind the grazing businesses. They look aesthetically pleasing but also have some healthier options than the standard afternoon tea box. It’s my type of food. I could graze all day.
I’ve spent the last five years talking about food as a Slimming World Consultant and Manager. I’ve always loved to cook, bake and entertain so this felt like a natural step. I’ve always recognised there’s a gap in the market for healthier takeaway/delivery options and wanted to be able to cater for that too.
I launched Chestnut & Rose in the middle of August so just two months in! I have felt so lucky with the support and interest so far. I have been privileged to play part in some lovely surprise gifts, for new parents just home with their baby and moving house gifts to name but a few. I can’t wait to cater for some local business and some special events too.
Being plant based is important to me, as a family we are vegan and have been for the last two years. It’s something we decided we needed to do to many reasons. For me the big one was the environment – eliminating animal products from our diet is the biggest way individually to reduce our carbon footprint. For my husband health was the priority, with cancer in the family it seemed crazy not to do something that could help reduce so many health risks. And the more we learnt more about animal agricultural practices it became for the animals too. We aren’t perfect but we try our best. I want to prove with our food that there’s no missing out!
Sourcing ingredients and elements is one of my favourite things. I’m lucky to be working with several Suffolk businesses and I’m keen to continue to develop even more relationships so I can share the freshest, tastiest goodies available locally. Local businesses include Doodle Donuts – in this weekend’s Halloween boxes – and Bagel or Beigel provide the bagels for our brunch boxes. To get free from products you often have to shop in lots of different places. I love finding new products, especially when it involves supporting another independent business.
As for future plans, there are so many. I’m keen to build relationships with local businesses and to establish myself as the go to person for gorgeous food to share for any occasion. I’m not writing off the idea of a café either!