Dadpreneur Profile: Mike of Just Love Food Company

Mike Woods, 46 lives in Cardiff with his wife Karen, 45, and their three children Jamilla, Danika and Rourke. Two of these children – Danika and Rourke – have severe nut allergies.

When it came to birthday times, we always struggled to find cakes on the market for those with nut allergies.  All of the supermarket cakes carried warnings that meant they were not suitable for nut allergy sufferers.   Having been the managing director of Finsbury Food Group business Memory Lane Cakes and Avana Bakeries in south Wales, I decided to use my experience and knowledge to set up Just Love Food Company to provide a solution to this problem.

As with every idea you have to start somewhere, so first we developed a great cake recipe. Once I was happy with the recipe, I moved on to finding the suppliers who could provide the ingredients from nut safe environments, this was a very difficult task as many suppliers carry nuts in their range of products. Once I had the recipe and the ingredients, I needed to find a factory that had never and would never handle nuts. After looking at 32 different sites, one was finally found.

After 12 months in the pipeline, Just Love Food Company became a reality in 2010.In addition to investing some of my own savings into the company, the business has received £150,000 funding using the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (EFG), secured by Natwest, and £250,000 loan from Finance Wales.

We want to make a difference and provide a solution to help the parents, families and friends of those with allergies. The company’s vision is to be a major player in the food industry, making fabulous food products AND providing solutions for those with allergies.

We launched Just Love Food on April 14th in 200 Sainsbury stores nationwide. To ensure we could make maximum impact on the food industry we employed the services of freshbaked PR, a Cardiff-based PR company. The agency has successfully coordinated the launch of Just Love Food Company onto the market.

Naturally the initial stages of the launch and getting the first cakes off the production line have been an extremely busy period and consequently has demanded a lot of my time and my wife Karen’s, as she too is employed by the company. However, the children are old enough to understand that we are launching a business which will ultimately enable them to once again be able to eat birthday cake, therefore they appreciate we may not be around as much as we usually are. However, we ensure we keep weekends as work free as possible to spend quality family time together. It is a balancing act but we make it work!

If you would like to know more about Mike’s journey please visit http://www.justlovefoodcompany.com

The Just Love Food Company offers a delicious selection of boys and girls celebration cakes, “Sparkly Princess Cake” and “Monster Cake”. The cakes can be purchased at over 200 Sainsbury stores nationwide!

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