McCain helps aspiring street food market entrepreneurs to break into the industry.

Streets Ahead

McCain Streets Ahead Programme

Premium Supplier 22nd February 2024
Streets Ahead

McCain helps aspiring street food market entrepreneurs to break into the industry.

LONDON, FEBRUARY 21, 2024/ McCain Foodservice Solutions [McCain FS] invest a further £46,000 into successful foodservice entrepreneurs’ after they demonstrate their skills and determination through the Streets Ahead programme, powered by KERB+.

The McCain FS Streets Ahead programme, ( supported by the KERB+ ( social enterprise aims to support the foodservice industry by creating an immersive programme that looks to upskill and create opportunity for less-advantaged individuals keen to break into the sector. Together, over the past 18 months they have nurtured the skills and street food business ideas of over 200 participants.

Following the 12 winning participants from last summer who each received a slice of £100,000, 7 more ambitious participants deemed ready were selected to participate in the ultimate event held at Mission Kitchen, New Covent Garden, where they cooked a hero dish from the menu of their new business concept and pitched it to a judging panel of representatives from McCain FS and KERB+.

The programme was introduced in 2022 to support the wider hospitality industry by targeting individuals keen to move into foodservice, but did not think the opportunity was available to them. By promoting diversity and creating a new avenue into the industry, Streets Ahead nurtures the next generation of chefs, and potential business owners helping them understand the industry fundamentals.

The panel interviewed each participant as they cooked their hero dish asking them questions about their food and what inspired them to start their journey with McCain and KERB+ into foodservice.

The judging panel deliberated on each dish and pitch to determine which of them would each receive up to £10,000 to help fund their new business, totalling an additional £46,000 invested by McCain FS.

At the end of the day, having been blown away by what they saw as well as the taste and quality of each participants hero dish, the judging panel decided all 7 participants deserved a level of investment and wanted to further support them to continue their journey into street food.

The winning concepts included, Vegetarian Nigerian Street Food, Homestyle Bengali cuisine, Gourmet Mac & Cheese, authentic Iranian charcoal-smoked potatoes, ‘BolTaiFan’ Chinese Clay Pot Rice, Welsh Taco’s and Traditional (Vegan & Vegetarian) Lebanese cuisine.

Two participants received the maximum investment of £10,000, with the remaining five participants each receiving between £2,000 - £6,000 depending on the individual needs of their business to help set them up for success.

“In creating the Streets Ahead programme we knew we wanted to help develop those with a passion for foodservice and give them the best chance of success as they enter the industry. Today has shown me that the programme, coupled with the participants drive and talent is a clear recipe for success.
The exceptional food innovation I’ve seen on display today at Mission Kitchen makes everyone at McCain proud to push forward with more plans to further develop and support these people on their journey to become successful foodservice operators.” Says Mark Hodge, McCain Foods Vice President of Marketing.

“Today was really interesting to see the breadth of experience levels, food quality and from reading the pitch decks in advance to then interacting with all the participants on the day really helped to bring it all to life. And in some ways that made the decision making easier and in other ways made it a bit harder.” Says Alana Buckley, Business Development Manager of KERB.

“I was so excited when I arrived here this morning, cooking brings me joy it makes me truly happy to recreate all the dishes my mother taught me to make, I remember her through this. I just want to spread that joy today. Streets Ahead guided me here, the support has meant everything. Today I just want to shine with my cooking, I’m so excited.” Says Stella James, Streets Ahead Participant ahead of sharing her hero dish with the panel.

Each winning participant invested in by McCain FS, will go on to have further coaching with the experts at KERB+ to ensure they invest wisely and have the support to move them successfully into the world of street food.

Winners of the first £100,000 investment in June 2023 are now popping up at street food markets across the country. Four winners of £10,000 went onto KERB’s InKERBator programme to become fully fledged members that now serve at their central London Lunch markets.

Hind from Utopia who received £10,000 last June, has regular trading spots on KERB’s weekly lunch markets, and has recently ventured into pop up evenings in Bonnington Centre to try new concepts for her menu, a true innovator. She says “The Streets Ahead programme really helped me to get off the ground and it's made my life so much easier”. Hind came back to Mission Kitchen this year to encourage and support this year’s cohort and talk about her journey since the programme with McCain.

McCain FS plan to host yet another event at Mission Kitchen in June where even more budding entrepreneurs will prepare their hero dishes for the panel. These participants are currently working with Head of Coaching at KERB+, Lisa Donohue, as well as the online classroom course to prep them with the skills and knowledge to enter the world of foodservice. McCain FS continues to find participants from less advantaged backgrounds, who are driven and passionate about pursuing a career in setting up their very own street food business, with the goal of driving skilled individuals into the industry.

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