Former investment banker launches spicy new Lovepickle

Michael Sohel with his range of pickles. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Michael Sohel with his range of pickles. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

A former investment banker has swapped high finance for condiments by launching his very own brand of pickle.

West Hampstead resident Michael Sohel hopes to see Lovepickle, a new upmarket condiment based on a family recipe dating back decades, lining the shelves of Waitrose stores nationwide.

A former business manager at investment bank UBS, Mr Sohel gave up a career in the City to launch the brand last year and is now in the process of finding stores to stock the spicy chilli tomato pickle.

“It’s been in the family for a long, long time,” he said. “It’s only over the last few years that I’ve realised how different this pickle is to others I have tried.

“What we found is whoever has tried a jar of the pickle tends to consume half or the whole of the jar in one sitting. My mother’s neighbour has it with everything, on toast in the morning, in soup.

“People get quite addicted to it. Once they open it up they can’t stop eating it. If you like pickle, you will love Lovepickle.”

Mr Sohel is currently in talks with a number of independent stores in the area about stocking Lovepickle and has already struck deals with a number of stockists, including Barrett’s Butchers in England’s Lane, Belsize.

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However, he insists his pickle is not suited to every player in the consumer market.

“It’s not the type of product you would see in Tesco, perhaps Waitrose but not Tesco,” said Mr Sohel. “It’s very much an artisan, handmade pickle.”

The new pickle is available in four strengths – mild, medium, hot and extra hot – and can be eaten with Indian foods such as poppadoms and naan breads in addition to a variety of main courses as an alternative to chutneys, relishes and ketchups.

Reflecting on the switch from banker to entrepreneur, Mr Sohel said: “I really wanted to [launch this pickle] – I didn’t want to go through life thinking ‘I should have done it’.

“Banking was great – there were great challenges and a great working environment but I view that now as being my past.

“This is the future and this is what I want to move forward with. This is a good new challenge because it’s got nothing to do with finance.”

To find out more about Lovepickle visit