Bloggers in Business: Vicki Montague

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Foodies100 is full of very creative and talented bloggers who not only have fabulous blogs but also run businesses along side their blogs. We thought it would be a great idea to highlight these people and their business. If you would like to be featured email foodies100@fleaenterprises.com.

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We start off with Vicki Montague, also known as the Free From Fairy

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What is your business/product?

I have developed the world’s first wholegrain rice and gluten free flour blend in my own kitchen. 

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What inspired you to start this venture?

When I found that there was nothing wholesome on the market to feed my coeliac daughter I set about creating my own flour blend that I could use in all her baking, from biscuits to bread, cakes to pastry.  In addition to selling the flour, I am planning a range of e-recipe books showing people how to make all their favourite foods with my blend.  The first of the series is published and focusses on pastry.  It outlines how to make gluten-free (and in some cases dairy and egg free too) shortcrust, rough puff, Danish and choux pastry. 

How long did it take you to develop your product and how did you know where to start?

It took me around two years to develop the flour blend because I experimented with 23 different blends before I came up with this.  I wanted something that would work in all my bakes so that I didn’t have to have loads of different types of flour for different things.  That meant a lot of testing!  I had no idea how to get it on the market, and had no intention of doing so until a friend suggested it.  Google is a wonderful thing. There is so much to get your head around when taking a product to market, but with Google anything is possible!  It is equally important to know who to ask about things when and to make full use of contacts that you have.

Do you have any advice for other bloggers who are thinking of turning their talent into a business venture? 
Just do it! Don’t over think anything…if you do you’ll never do it.  The best advice I can give is to do a lot of research and know your market but also to just get on with it.  The best way to learn is by mistakes and feedback and you won’t get either of those by thinking about something.  Entrepreneurs always say that you have to have failed to be successful so although I had failure I decided to just put my flour out there and see what happened.  A word of caution though…before you do that make sure you can afford the consequences of it not working out!  I worked out that if nobody bought my first batch of flour it wasn’t a problem…I’d buy a large chest freezer for the garage and store it all in there until I had used it all up.
 
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Where can we buy your product?
Currently it is only for sale through Honest Eats, an online specialist food store where you can shop according to your dietary needs. Along with retail sales, they are dealing with all my trade sales. However, I have been in discussions with some large UK shops and supermarkets so watch this space (if I’m brave enough). I’ve even been approached by a large bakery/restaurant in Dubai so the Free From Fairy may spread her wings overseas!

We wish Vicki every success in her new business. To find out more visit Vicki’s site Free From Fairy.

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Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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