Crouch End mum’s lockdown-launched spicy sauces win acclaim
PUBLISHED: 11:35 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 12 October 2020
Dominique Woolf has won plaudits after launching The Woolf’s Kitchen during lockdown with three children under five, and is now up for female start-up of the year
A Crouch End mum is a semi finalist in Enterprise Nation’s Female Start-up of the Year Award after the success of her lockdown-launched sauce business.
Mother of three Dominique Woolf started The Woolf’s Kitchen in June while juggling three children under five with no childcare.
After working until midnight most nights during lockdown, her three spicy sauces - Hot and Sour, Tamarind Ketchup and Jalapeno and Lime - have now sold more than 2,000 bottles to 30 stockists including Greens of Highgate and Middle Lane Market.
And her fledgling company was one of six Small Business Sunday winners, run by former Dragon’s Den retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.
She said: “I’m blown away. People love the sauces and I’m excited about what the future will hold. The positive feedback validates all the hard work and really spurs me on.”
Dominique’s Thai heritage and trips to Mexico inspired her when creating her sauce flavours which she trialed during a soft launch at Ally Pally Farmers Market last year.
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She sold 250 bottles in two days and went on to develop the brand, with a launch party planned at her local pub The Maynard in April inevitably cancelled.
“Everything was put on hold but lockdown became a silver lining for me. I had a chance to re-evaluate, refocus with a new clarity and by June was ready to go. The manufacturer reopened and I worked with my designer to rebrand the logo.”
She first had the idea for bottled sauces after the birth of her first child, when her aunt brought round Thai food and jarred sauces.
“One night she brought over a tamarind sauce and it transformed the bland food we were eating while I was looking after a newborn. It sowed the seed for me. I love creating and a few years later thought I’m going to do this,”
She adds: “As a new mum you can lose your sense of identity. I love my kids, but it’s hard having three children born 16 months apart from each other.
“It can make you think, ‘I’m just a mum’ but this has given me a real sense of purpose. I am a mother, but I am a person as well.”
With her children back at school and nursery she now has four days a week to focus on developing her business which she hopes to reach national retailers such as Ocado, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. The winner of Female Start-Up of the Year is announced on October 23.
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