Yarty on growing from kitchen table to exporter
Yarty is a small business now based in Portsmouth that has grown from the kitchen table to exporter of premium cordials, vinegars and oils. Owners Jayne and David Mugridge handcraft themselves their products using old family recipes and have created new recipes along the way. Today they supply top-end events to the corporate market with their “covert cordial” and have won awards for the star product “B” Black Garlic vinegar.
Jayne and David Mugridge share a few of their tips for growth and success
How did you start?
Jayne: We started Yarty 15 years ago in the West Country, but we are now based in Southsea. Before I was making scotch eggs for restaurants. One day, the environment health officer came in, and I gave him some cordial, and he said why don’t you sell these. That’s how Yarty was born.
Many of the recipes we use are from my grandmother Mabe Plascott who had trained in one of the best cookery schools in London. The methods we use to make cordial, vinegar and everything else derives from her.
David: The original recipes had a lot more sugar, which we have reduced by adding more fruit. We source our fruit from Hampshire and the Southwest and try to get fruit that have been picked in the morning because it has a higher natural sugar content. This is what helps to make our products unique as we don’t use production partners. Our products are all made in-house.
A long with cordials, what else do you make?
Jayne: We also make fruit vinegar, a British take on balsamic vinegar which has now won major awards in the UK and America. We make oils and dressings for pizza chains, and we supply gin companies.
What tips would you give to other businesses looking to grow?
David: Seek out help. We have been there, met everybody in pointed shoes, and have been ripped off many times. Our success has taken 15 years, and we have improved our quality.
Jayne: Don’t be mainstream and look at your branding as it is everything. People will pick a product up, look at it, and feel it. In that moment, you have seven seconds and they got to see that product five times before they put it in the basket. So, you have to have a backstory as part of your branding. Once people have tried it, they come back.
I am delighted because we have just won a world packaging award in New York with our violet cordial.
I also would say that you must understand your costs. A lot of people that start a business have no idea about costings and don’t know how much that product costs to put on the shelf.
David: We’ve spoken to lots of companies that have got a brilliant idea, but when you say to them how much is that bottle going cost me, they don’t have a clue. You can’t run a business that way.
What’s next for Yarty?
David: We are continuing to find new international markets. We will be doing a huge food show in Las Vegas and launching in quite a few states in America. We will also be promoting our products in Italy and Hamburg next year.
Jayne: We’ve just picked up Italy as a new market and are very excited about this.