inSpiral Visionary Products
Based in Northumberland Park, the inSpiral Visionary Products (external link) is the number one producer of kale crisps in Europe producing a range of premium, healthy snacks that are stocked in 1,000 health food shops including Whole Foods and Planet Organic and sold in many countries worldwide. The company has an annual turnover of £2.5 million and also manufactures products for a number of big high street brands.
Dominik Schnell, the co-founder of inSpiral, talked to us about the business and what the OIF fund has meant to his company.
Why the name?
It really is a metaphor for ‘inspire all’. The food product we produce is inspired by what we put into our bodies, how we relate to nature around us, and the relationship we have to the world which is so evidently expressed in the relationship we have to food. The spiral image symbolises the concept of growth and evolution and we are committed to eating healthier and creating a healthier planet.
It is very well located. It has access to a vibrant labour market and it’s located in an area that’s not as expensive as other places in London and yet it’s still accessible to many of our partner companies. So we often have people coming round for meetings which wouldn’t necessarily be the case if we were in, say, Wiltshire or Kent. So we like the fact we are on the edge of London and can still have on our bags, ‘Made in London’. We are set to stay in Tottenham for some time and can triple or even quadruple our business before we need to consider moving.
How has the Opportunity Investment Fund benefitted you?
The money was specifically used to upgrade our system. Our previous units were much more prone to failures and that had big knock-on effects on whatever we do. Now we have much-needed reliability for product consistency. As a result we could also increase our capacity and take on more staff. At the moment we produce between 250,000 – 300,000 bags of chips a month and have about 45 members of staff. We are also just about to take on an engineering apprentice.
How did you find working with the council on the loan and wider business support?
Council staff have been very pleasant to deal with, and have been supportive, open and flexible where necessary. They have also been consistent and good with checking up on us – making sure we’re fulfilling our OIF obligations and they offer a wide array of suitable support structures.
Would you recommend it to other businesses?
I have been! It’s a fantastic opportunity and more businesses should take advantage of it if they are intent on growing their business. It is great that the council is able to support local businesses in this way. Compared to a commercial loan the terms are very favourable. Overall we appreciate that as a business we are meant to be a force for the social good and that involves employing local people, creating favourable conditions for people to work in, creating a positive working infrastructure…and all those are the underlying intentions for the fund.
Your signature product is the Kale Chips…how do you make them?
We grow organic kale on a farm and it’s delivered to our Tottenham factory. We then make a delicious, natural super food sauce and mix them together. We then dry it at low temperatures to preserve the nutrients. The chips are raw, vegan, vegetarian and organic with no artificial preservatives and taste great! In some respects kale is the number one superfood.
Will they challenge potato crisps one day?
I hope so! As a nation I think we are gradually changing our snacking habits and kale chips are so much better for you than deep-fried potato crisps. Eat our chips and you’ll feel great for the rest of the day!