Food Transformed from Garbage to Gourmet
Written by Victoria Johnston on 19th January 2018
In London, a catering business is turning surplus artisan produce into high-quality, affordable meals. Although the vast majority of the UK’s retail sector food waste comes from supermarkets, it’s a problem that impacts independent artisan food suppliers too.
The scale may be small, but the quality from these suppliers is high. Everything from specialist cheeses to organic granola, and handmade crispbreads to sought-after coffee beans, is wasted every day.
French entrepreneur Sophie André runs a business delivering artisan food across the city by bicycle.
Talking with local producers, she learned that a small part of the production is sometimes wasted because of the products’ size or shape, but the quality of the products remains unchanged.
The founder of the organic granola brand Husk & Honey, explained that some batches may be a little too brown or contain an additional spoonful of honey compared to the regular one, so she would not sell it to the cafes she is working with. Following that conversation it was clear to Sophie that she could do something about this and put it to good use. And so, André’s catering business, Elysia, was born.
Unlike many food waste projects that have sprung up in recent years, the idea is not simply to redistribute waste food, but to provide a high-quality product. Elysia offers breakfasts and canapes specifically aimed at business meetings and events.