Start-up snapshot: Ingredients and recipes delivered to your doorstep

Gutsy Green is a new South African-based service that supplies customers with pre-portioned ingredients and recipes necessary to cook a selection of meals at home.

Customers pick their meals for the week from the website, based on dietary requirements and preference, and the company then delivers the ingredients and recipes directly to their door. New recipes, with all relevant nutritional information, are added monthly.

Gutsy Green aims to eliminate food wastage and meal prepping as customers are supplied with only enough ingredients to make the respective meals.

The founders, husband-and-wife team Kyle and Carla-Mari Moore, shared some of the challenges they face and how they plan to combat them.

1. How did you finance your start-up?

We self-financed our start-up through the profits of our other venture, Gutsy Tutoring.

2. If you were given US$1m to invest in your company now, where would it go?

It would go definitely go into customer acquisition, marketing and product awareness in South Africa. Because our concept is still relatively unknown in the country, we would need to educate the public on what our product is. We would also use it to develop the company’s infrastructure.

3. What risks does your business face?

Like all start-ups, we risk failure. But we have tried to negate a lot of the risks by reducing monthly costs wherever possible and guaranteeing profits. Our biggest risk is first-to-market competitors with deeper pockets.

4. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?

The best form of marketing so far has been word of mouth. Family and friends actually see what a difference it makes in their lives, as opposed to being told on an advert or website. Word of mouth is the most successful now because of the relatively unknown aspect of our product in South Africa. However, we are in the early phases, so this trend could change. Social media is also proving one of the best forms of marketing in our industry because of the visual aspect of it.

5. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.

Our proudest entrepreneurial moment was to officially launch Gutsy Green and get our first referral. We had worked long and hard to just get off the ground, and many things had gone wrong. So when the launch date came and we actually started trading, it was a very awesome moment for us.

6. What has been the biggest mistake you have made in your start-up, and what have you learnt from it?

Our biggest mistake was to opt for cheap developers to build our website. We thought we could get the best website up and running with cheap web developers from India. This did not work out for us, as we had to completely rebuild our website and re-launch a second time. Sometimes using cheap developers works and you can launch a business with it, but in our case it didn’t and we wouldn’t risk that again.