I have been self-employed for almost my entire working life. Before my current business, I have run several businesses, including an arts funded digital arts and multimedia company and, more recently, CAMYOGA – one of the UK’s most recognised yoga brands.
My current business Stem + Glory grew from a lifelong passion for plant based foods. Both from a cooking perspective (I love to cook!) and a desire to help people lead healthier and more compassionate lives. I really do believe that the future is plant based and the environmental messages regarding sustainable eating are becoming more and more compelling every day. They are becoming hard to ignore.
The first Stem + Glory restaurant launched in October 2016 in my home town of Cambridge after a really successful Crowdfunding campaign raising just short of £100,000 in 21 days. The restaurant took off really, really quickly, and it wasn’t long before we were looking for a second location. We acquired a cafe in central Cambridge, and location two opened in November 2017.
We have just closed a funding round for Stem + Glory 3 – in central London. This time round the Crowdfund was so successful it hit its £350,000 target on its first public day, and closed two weeks early, 180% funded on £630,490.
My long term vision with Stem + Glory is to grow it into something amazing in the next five years, and then pass it on to someone that can make it huge.
I do have a family. I have two daughters aged 11 and 13. My husband is now a very big part of my business, and so are his and my extended family. They have been my unflinching supporters since day one. The children have been very involved in the business through their entire lives, and my eldest now works on Saturdays in one of our cafes and so does her best friend. The children are very much involved in the businesses and, believe it or not, I seek their counsel on many things. Creating opportunities for them to develop and grow brings me great pleasure and fulfilment and if my children can enter the adult world knowing how to conduct themselves – in employment, with people, in public – then I would consider that my finest job done.
Running my own business has actually allowed me to be much more present in my children’s lives, so don’t always believe people if they tell you otherwise. I don’t allow myself to be too consumed by my businesses. I have dogs, I am a big walker and I believe that it is taking time out to clear my head that gives me greater capacity for productive working and also being with my family. The two things are not mutually exclusive.
The future? I can’t imagine myself without a project on the go, so I expect if I do exit Stem + Glory in the future, there will already be something waiting in the wings!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Louise Palmer-Masterton is founder of multiple award-winning restaurant Stem + Glory; a hip and trendy but accessible plant-based restaurant, serving delicious gourmet vegan food from locally sourced ingredient 100% made on site. Stem + Glory offers all day casual fine dining, fast breakfast, brunch and lunch, juices, smoothies and great coffee. All available to eat in or take away. Stem + Glory also offers mouth-watering and hugely popular tasting menu evenings and special event menus. The restaurants have an extensive vegan bar, offering the best craft beers and fine wines, alongside cocktails, mocktails and smart drinks. www.stemandglory.uk
Linked in: /louisepalmer-masterton