Welcome to Spotlight, a new monthly feature where we’ll be highlighting the accomplishments of our amazing independent retailers! This month, we’re shining the light on Primal Roost, an all-round fantastic primal-paleo café and pantry in Bagshot, Surrey. We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with the lovely team at Primal Roost since they opened their doors two years ago, and we absolutely love their community focus, their passion for health, and of course, the mouthwatering paleo goodness they whip up every day!
We sat down with Jodi Ditton, founder and director of Primal Roost, to hear more:
What inspired you to start Primal Roost?
Primal Roost was the creation of 3 couples – Jody & Stuart Diton, Ollie & Leisa Moss and Kirstie & Kelvin Prince. Our children go to school together and we have known each other through school for quite a few years. All three families had been following very similar styles of eating based loosely around the Paleo or Primal framework. This isn’t the easiest of frameworks to stick to if you are going to friends house for dinner or eating out! Us three girls would often try out recipes for cakes, biscuits and other goodies and be waiting for the others at the school gates to get their opinions and suggestions to make them better, or to share our absolute delight in finding a new fantastic recipe.
After a while of regularly chatting about our style of eating, we though that surely we mustn’t be the only people out there who are trying to eat this way and who would appreciate being able to grab a quick lunch, or go out for coffee and cake and not constantly feel like we were missing out. We wanted to be able to go somewhere that was grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free as a given, so you knew you could have whatever you wanted, not just the fruit salad on the menu! And so the concept of Primal Roost was born. We started talking about the business concept in September of 2014 and we opened the shop in July 2015.
What’s your favourite part of running the business?
The best part of running your own business is that when you make mistakes, you are the one who is fully accountable for them. Only you get the opportunity to rectify those mistakes, you bear the full impact of them and you learn quickly from them. For us starting a cafe and pantry has been a HUGE learning curve, but we are so excited to be putting ourselves out there and learning in our imperfect way! People have tended to be much more forgiving of our mistakes as they see we are here working for our passion and we are so excited and enthusiastic about going to work every day as we have full control of the outcome. That is so exciting, yet scary at the same time!
What exciting events do you have coming up?
We have some very exciting things coming up at Primal Roost! We hold monthly seminars at the shop – these are often on a Wednesday evening. To name a few: on Monday 13th March we are very excited to announce that we are hosting a screening of the documentary “What’s with Wheat?” by Cindi O’Meara. She is an Australian nutritionist who is flying over to the UK to travel around and share this ground-breaking documentary with our communities. This event will also feature a Q&A with Cindi; Jennifer Tschieche, The Lunchbox Doctor; and others after the screening. On Wednesday 15th March we have Nutrition Consultant Emma Randell featuring at Primal Roost talking about Good Fats vs Bad Fats. We also have the creator and founder of Love Kombucha, Melanie Millin coming to Roost on Wednesday 19th April to talk all about the importance of fermented foods and kombucha making. And on 24th May we are welcoming back Nutritional Therapist Keris Marsden for her second talk at Roost. All our events are listed on our Facebook page and can be booked through there on Eventbrite!
What advice would you give to those who want to start their own shop?
If anyone is looking to start their own shop, my fist piece of advice would be to make sure you have sat down with someone in the trade (if you aren’t yourself) and be fully aware of how much the venture is really going to cost. You can’t pay bills with passion and enthusiasm!
Secondly, have a very clear business plan of what the company will look like and what your business objectives are. That way, whenever you are stumbling around and looking for direction, marketing ideas and even training staff, you have a solid foundation to build upon for each of these things. Otherwise you will find yourself winging it and things can start to take off on tangents. You need to make sure everything ties back together and everything works towards your business objectives and vision.
But even more importantly, I would also recommend you look beyond your own goals and purpose, to a higher involvement in your community where you can link back to the people that you look to for business. We are learning this now. We are extremely passionate about health and wellbeing, hence why we have chosen to eat in this particular way! But the wellness that it has brought us has surpassed even our own expectations. I attribute much of our drive and determination to the fact that we look after ourselves. We see the importance of our own health in building our families, dealing with stress, even just having the motivation to get out of bed every day. We used to be stay at home mums – we had little jobs on the side, but none of the three of us were properly pursuing careers. And this experience has taught me that if you believe it, you can achieve it. If you take care of yourself, work hard and have faith then anything is possible. We have built a business to prove it, and we want to support other women to realise the same.
Having a business of our own gives us the opportunity to do that. With a venue at our disposal we are starting to run Women’s Empowerment courses, called Shine. We hope to encourage other women that they are valuable and that they have strength and purpose. We are every excited to have the opportunity to contribute to build women to believe in themselves.
Check out Primal Roost’s website here, and make sure to follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all of their exciting developments!
If you’d like your shop, café or restaurant to be featured on our next Spotlight, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!