A “talk with taste” thrills Suffolk Business Women event
Over 40 local entrepreneurs attended a fascinating talk last Friday (15th April) by Sandy Ruddock, founder of successful Earl Soham-based company Scarlett & Mustard – makers of high quality sauces, curds and marmalades.
Organised by Suffolk Business Women, part of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and held at Hintlesham Hall Hotel in Ipswich, Sandy Ruddock described the inspiration behind the business, its values, successes and challenges.
After a fascinating career in media and whilst running her own training company, it was Sandy’s son who suggested selling his great grandmother’s homemade sauces – which he promptly did, clearing out the family’s supplies and making £76 in the process!
And it is the influence of her family allied to her and her husband’s business commitment that is making Scarlett & Mustard such an authentic Suffolk success story across the country.
“That was four years ago and since then we have built up our reputation for top quality products, ranging from Rosie’s Doo Dah Balsamic Sauce to Auntie Frog’s Lime & Chilli Dressing – all of these inspired by family favourites or family stories” commented Sandy at the lunch.
With its quirky and eye-catching branding, Scarlett & Mustard products are now available in the UK through a range of large and small retailers, and in a growing number of international markets, including throughout the Middle East and South Korea.
Sandy explained the vital qualities that have helped her build what she called “this totally accidental business” as “passion, confidence and doggedness. You’ve got to be passionate about something in your life and it might as well be business since that occupies so much of one’s time! You also need to be confident in yourself and your vision for the company and dogged about overcoming challenges and the need to balance work with family life.”
She also identified the importance to her of having a business mentor in providing impartial but supportive guidance.
Lina Hogg, Chair of Suffolk Business Women, felt that the entrepreneur’s experiences and approach “showed how vital passion, drive and total commitment to quality are in building up a successful food business.”
“In every answer to every question, these values came through as Sandy took us on an open and honest journey through the highs and lows of being a start-up, the decision to take production back in-house to maintain quality and the 15 awards the company has received in recognition of its focus on quality.”
Amanda Ankin, Head of Chamber Services at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said “for the past six years Suffolk Business Women has been a part of the Suffolk Chamber family and we work hard to provide great opportunities for our county’s growing number of successful businesswomen to network and draw inspiration from each others’ achievements.
“This event with Sandy, with its focus on a brilliant idea, quality products and great marketing, reflects the wide range of inspirational businesswomen in our county that we regularly hear from at our events. It was certainly a talk with taste!”