Today, I want to introduce you to Malcolm.
The momentum of our project has accelerated since Malcolm joined our team. A warning to anyone trying to make a food product that doesn’t already exist is that you will need a LOT of technical help. And even if the product you are trying to create already exists, you will still need a decent amount of technical support because the scaling up of the process from the kitchen to be made repeatedly once-a-minute by machines the height of your house, is no a mean feat.
Malcolm is our third musketeer at Miso Tasty, besides Yaser and I. He has been a fantastic business partner and also a godsend. His vast technical experience in the food industry, having spent many a donkey year as the Technical Director of United Biscuits, has meant that he has solved technical issue after technical issue at Miso Tasty. And goodness, has there been a few!
I had no idea that creating a food product would be so difficult from a technical point of view. Everyone is so careful about additives and ensuring that the food that we eat is as natural as possible, and yet, we also want it as convenient as possible.
This means that if the product is not fresh, some natural magic has to be done to it to ensure that it can last, is portable and convenient without pumping it with E numbers. This is where Malcolm’s genius comes into play. He has been key in testing and ensuring that my product is safe but natural and he has been instrumental in the negotiations with potential manufacturers.
As soon as the manufacturers start talking techie – I get completely lost and Malcolm steps in (with a cape on, in my eyes.)
Today we have been in our make-shift lab in Hope Valley. It is a stunning part of the world, where sheeps baaa and you can see the stars clearly at night. Conveniently it is only 20 minutes from my parents so in recent months, it has been a lovely excuse to go and stay with the family and catch up.
Today, we need to make a home-made viscosity metre, as well as double-checking the pH levels and water viscosity of my soups as I have recently developed some new flavours. We are still editing our product to ensure maximum safety and flavour for our customers (you!) but with still quite a few technical stumbling blocks to overcome, I am getting quite worried about it… We STILL don’t have a co-packer, but the technical homework we are doing here will (hopefully) help us find one.
I really hope we find one sooner rather than later, as we have already been working on this venture for…(can you believe it?) 2 years! The only comfort that I am getting from this experience is that if it is so hard to make, then I will happily eat my (chef) hat if somebody else is able to replicate what we are trying to do, faster.
Hope Valley, here we are indeed.