6 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Claire Ladkin is the Founder of All About The Cooks: a platform that allows talented home cooks to sell their ‘real food’ to local people in the city of Bristol. At 57 and having had an early career in the advertising world and then brought up two daughters, Claire is not the typical tech start-up founder but felt that this was the best time for her to begin her venture. Claire’s passion for ‘real food made in kitchens not factories’ has been long-held and before establishing All About The Cooks in 2018, Claire was a Non-Exec Director of Bristol Food Network – a central food organisation in the city seeking to create a more positive and sustainable food future.
What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own business?
“There’s no specified time in someone’s life to turn your passion into a successful business. In fact, I would argue that doing this in my 50’s means I have pragmatism I’d have lacked years ago. I feel wiser and better equipped to support those who sign up to the platform or engage with the business. Truthfully, I’m freer and have more energy and focus than I would have had during my twenties or thirties. So, I’d say don’t let age be a barrier to starting something.”
What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?
Perseverance: If you’ve got an idea that you truly believe in and have reason to believe it is financially viable, then persevere. Things don’t happen overnight for most businesses.
Purpose: Having a broader social impact through the business has really helped spur me on on days where I’m feeling a bit exhausted with it all. I know that many people – often women – are now earning money on their terms through their home cooking and talent. I also know that the money is remaining within the community and that motivates me.
Patience: When I entered into the world of tech start-ups, I underestimated the time it might take to get the tech right. When you start off, money is always an issue so you’re often having to compromise on certain elements of the tech, but even getting it to work as I wanted proved a challenge. I’d have allowed more time for that in the beginning in hindsight and perhaps been less impatient. It’s a process and it’s worth it once you get there and it works!
Pragmatism: Be pragmatic. You won’t achieve all you want to in a day, week or month but as long as you’re moving forward and building then that’s what matters. Work out what absolutely has to happen and be pragmatic about how the other stuff gets done.
Positivity: It sounds cheesy but it is true. You have to wake up every morning and choose to face the day with positivity. That’s a lot easier when you really believe in what you’re doing and even easier when you start seeing it working!
Who are the 5 Women who inspire you the most?
Michele Obama – for using her voice.
Nadia Hussein – for demonstrating a balance between having a career of her own and still standing by her family values. Also, for her love of home cooked food and sharing that message!
Holly Tucker – for providing a place for small businesses and makers to thrive – just like we want to at All About The Cooks.
Marie Curie – for her determined approach to finding treatments to cancer – in a time in history where being a pioneering scientist and a woman was rare.
Mary Berry – for re-inspiring the nation to bake and generally embrace home cooking, and for pushing on with her ambitions and career in her later years.
What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?
My favourite right now is “’Perfection is the enemy of momentum’”. We just have to get out there and do it.
Website & Socials
Twitter: @aboutthecooks / @claire_ladkin
LinkedIn: Claire Ladkin | LinkedIn