Tell us a bit about your business?
Pat & Pinky's is a food and beverage brand inspired by my Guyanese heritage which is a rich blend of Amerindian ,African, Indian, Chinese, Portugeuse and European cultures. I was born in Lewisham but have a strong connection with the country and visit frequently.
I launched the Pat & Pinkys brand to share the many skills my mother instilled in me before she passed away 31 years ago. My mission is to produce exceptional chilli based products from the relatively unknown chilli - Wiri-Wiri, and give it the recognition it deserves. For the last five years I have travelled around Guyana and the Amazon basin, developing direct relationships with Chilli, Coconut and Spice farmers to ensure that they get the maximum financial benefit.
How eco-friendly are you?
As much as I can be. We use glass bottles and are working on a re-fill service. This is an area that we will continue to develop and improve on as being eco-friendly is a priority especially as three quarters of Guyana is still forested.
What are your vegan options?
All of our current products are vegan!
How do you promote yourself and how important is it?
Although we’re active on social media we place heavy emphasis on face-to-face interactions. People buy people before they buy the product!
How important is branding?
It’s very important, especially for a new company. It’s how we communicate our values, service and quality to customers. It makes us distinct and memorable.
What skills do traders need to have?
Listening, learning and being able to adapt. You also have to be target orientated and competitive even if this only against yourself.
How important is customer service?
It’s everything – especially if you want repeat business! Positive interaction allows us to communicative our amazing story about the wiri-wiri chilli. It’s the key ingredient in many of our products and as it is relatively unknown which is our unique selling point. People are intrigued and ask questions and give feedback which we analyse to help with the development and evolution of the brand.
What do you like most about trading at Catford Food Market?
The diverse clientele. I live here so I love to engage with old, new friends, neighbours, locals and visitors. We’re fairly new to the market but everyone we’ve met have been incredibly supportive.
How has CFM supported you?
They’ve been really supportive and helpful. The market equipment is set up for traders so you just turn up and trade which saves a lot of time, hassle and money. It’s also very well promoted and the branding is great.
What are your plans for the future?
We have so many plans but the main one is to be the premium Guyanese brand.
What is your idea of success?
Doing what you love to do all day, every day