In taste terms, you’re most likely to find a bunch of food startups at a festival or food show, with their wares on display for the sampling. But in business terms where do they hang out collectively?
Starting up your own food company can be thrilling and exciting but sometimes the business aspect can be downright nerve-wracking. To help with the nerve-wracking bit, Google's startup hub, Campus London, provides a place where startups (foodie and otherwise), can bend each other's ears and learn from Google's practical mentoring sessions.
CampusFeast - the largest gathering of the UK's up-and-coming food startups, served up an edible glimpse into the world of Campus London. iLoveMyGrub headed down to take a look, and came back with a few firm favourites. Watch out for this lot - whether you end up sampling their products or using their services, we think you're likely to see lot more of them:
Listed at No.1 in the Guardian's Top 10 food and drink presents for 2012, the people at Flavrbox are pretty good at putting together a show-stopping food package. Nothing is likely to perk up your day as much as a box of posh cheese straws, luxury popcorn and raspberries dipped in dark chocolate turning up your doorstep. Boxes can be ordered monthly or quarterly and paused at any time and there's a vegetarian box option for meat-free types too.
This company loves a decent cup of coffee and firmly believes that the coffee growers should be able to share in the benefit that their high quality product brings. Labelling themselves as 'beyond Fairtrade' The Colombian Coffee Company cuts out the middle man, striking a better price for the growers, a more sustainable business model for the future and introducing London to some damn fine coffee.
A London walk filled with regular gastronomic breaks is an eye-opening way to see London. Fox & Squirrel organise an 'Eat your way through Brixton' menu, where epicureans can sample Ethiopian coffee, Columbian Salsa, Caribbean codfish fritters and Italian salted caramel gelato. Get to know Brixton through its vibrant food scene.
The only ingredient service that offers same-day delivery and doesn't require a subscription. Here's how it works: you choose a tempting dish from their website, they bring the ingredients to your door. You cook it and bathe in the glory of coming up with such a creative plateful of food. You want fiery monkfish with squid ink rice? You can have it. Or 3-mushroom risotto with asparagus and roasted pine nuts? Consider it done.
You can't eat Whisk's product, but you might just end up using it. Whisk is a free tool that website readers can use to buy the ingredients they need to make a recipe online. Readers can de-select food items and specify how many portions they'd like, offering a convenient and flexible food shopping experience.
*More about Campus London...*
Campus London is Google's seven-storey startup hub - a place where startups can make use of free event spaces, fast wifi, subsidised desk space and Google's mentoring events. The hub launched in March 2012 and now has over 22,000 members.
For more information on Campus London, and to find out how to register, visit: http://www.campuslondon.com or follow Campus London on Twitter at @campuslondon.
**Written by:** Helenka Bednar.