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Guy: [00:00:01] You’re listening to Good Foodies, and this is episode 2. Today we’re talking to Louisa Ziane from Toast Ale about turning food waste into beer. You’ll learn how they’re building a thriving business both here in the UK and further afield. So stay tuned.

Kylie: [00:00:20] This is the Good Foodies podcast. A weekly show about people, brands and businesses doing good in the world of food.

Guy: [00:00:28] Hello and welcome to the show. My name is Guy Routledge from Sapling Digital and Eco & Beyond. And today I’m joined in the studio – as always – by my co-host Kylie Ackers. Kylie, welcome to the show. Today we get to talk about one of your favourite subjects don’t we? What is that?

Kylie: [00:00:43] We might be going to talk about sitting in the beer garden, in the sun, having fun.

Guy: [00:00:50] That’s a little vague don’t you think? What specifically are we talking about here?

Kylie: [00:00:54] I think we’re going to talk about the beer part.

Guy: [00:00:56] Are you  a beer drinker?

Kylie: [00:00:58] To be honest I’m not a massive beer fan. I’m much more of a wine and cider girl.

Guy: [00:01:02] Wine and cider, do they go together?

Kylie: [00:01:05] Anything goes together really. Yeah, and beer is a perfect drink for a hot summer’s day.

Guy: [00:01:10] Completely agree and not only is it the perfect drink for a hot summer’s day – well any day, really. Any night. Tuesday, Wednesday, whatever. Today we’ve got an amazing guest with an amazing story all about a beer that is that is making a real difference in the world.

I recently had the chance to chat to Louisa Ziane from Toast. She’s their Chief Brand Officer and Chief Financial Officer, which is an interesting combination…but she’s very smart and had all sorts of really interesting things to tell us about what they do over a Toast Ale. Which, for anyone who doesn’t know, what is that, Kylie?

Kylie: [00:01:50] Beer. Good beer.

Guy: [00:01:51] It’s more than beer though isn’t it?

Kylie: [00:01:53] Okay, so it’s beer made from bread that would have otherwise have gone to waste.

Guy: [00:01:57] Absolutely right. And it’s an amazing product. It’s an amazing story. They have an amazing mission and we had so much to talk about. And we started off by talking about how she got involved with Toast in the first place. So let’s jump straight into that conversation with Louisa.

The Interview

Louisa: [00:02:15] I was working for Tristram Stewart at the time. Tristram is a global campaigner on food waste, and an author. And he had met with some brewers in Belgium – the Brussels Beer Project. They had produced a beer with surplus bread from one of their local bakeries. He tried the beer with them and thought it was a really great tasting beer, what an amazing thing to be doing. Can we make it bigger? Can we use this idea to create a movement and to change the food system to address food waste?

He is also the founder of Feedback which is the charity that all of our profits go to. They campaign against food waste at every level from the food waste that occurs on farms and supply chain through to retail – and even into consumers homes as well.

Louisa: [00:03:15] We quite quickly pulled together our first brew. The guys in the Brussels Beer Project came over and helped us work with Hackney Brewery. Jamie Oliver’s team got interested as well so they came along and filmed our very first brew and then we got about creating the business. We had a great product, it tasted amazing and was using surplus fresh bread that would otherwise have been wasted. We wanted to set things up to have a real impact.

Guy: [00:03:49] Wow fantastic. And the process of brewing beer with bread is that a particularly common thing? Before I met you guys I don’t think I’d ever heard of that before.

Louisa: [00:03:59] Well the process actually goes back to Babylonian times. It was the original way of producing beer by fermenting bread. So it’s a very old age recipe that we’ve reinvigorated really and brought back to life. It hasn’t been done in recent years because we know now it’s quite easy to get barley for brewing. That’s the main grain that’s used and [using bread has]  fallen out of fashion.

So The Brussels Beer Project were obviously doing it and then we’ve now been doing it for two years. We’ve seen a number of other brewers as well start to do it. Many of those are collaborating with us. We share our recipe. It’s published online. So the home brewers can also be part of our rev-ale-lution and-

Guy: [00:04:58] Sorry, I just picked up the pun there. Rev-ale-loution. Very good.

Louisa: [00:04:59] So we think that it could be a real industry change really. We could be driving change across the whole industry. The bread itself is a great source of carbohydrates it’s used to replace a third of the malted barley that would otherwise be used to brew.

Guy: [00:05:17] I was going to ask that. It’s not replacing the whole thing then? It’s not just bread and water and then fermented it’s just part of the recipe.

Louisa: [00:05:26] Yeah. There is an enzyme that’s needed to break down the carbohydrates into simple sugars that the yeast can then eat. Malted barley contains that enzyme. So we’ve kept the barley for that reason but there may be options for us to use an enzyme and add that to a beer so that we can increase the amount of bread that goes in the recipe.

Guy: [00:05:50] Which makes a lot of sense because there’s a hell of a lot of surplus bread out there! Do you have any stats to hand about how big this problem really is?

Louisa: [00:05:59] We know that 44% of all the bread that’s produced in the UK is never consumed.

Guy: [00:06:05] 40%?

Louisa: [00:06:06] 44% of the bread. Yeah it’s crazy. Nearly half of the bread that we’re producing we’re not eating. It’s just bonkers. We know that about 24 million slices of that occurs in people’s homes but at least that again is loaves of bread that are left on the shelves at the end of the day in bakeries or retailers and also from the sandwich industry.

We actually work with a sandwich maker. It’s the heel end of the loaf that is discarded because customers apparently don’t eat sandwiches that are made with crusts. And often it’s the first slice as well, because that first slice is slightly smaller or a slightly different shape. So for the sandwiches that you’re buying when you go to a supermarket for example, they want the two slices to be exactly the same size so they will discard that first slice.

If you imagine how many sandwiches are being sold on a daily basis, the four slices from every single loaf used is ending up in the bin before we even get on the shelves. That gives you a hint of the scale of the problem.

Guy: [00:07:18] Yeah that really is crazy isn’t it? And is that primarily the waste bread that you are using or are you using stuff from all over the place?

Louisa: [00:07:26] For our bottled beer we’re using sandwich bread because we need a consistent supply in sufficient volumes to be able to produce the beer in the large batches. We also do lots of collaborations. We recently met at Temple Brewhouse where we did a collaboration in London. And for each of those collaborations we find a bakery that is local to the brewer.

The Temple Brewhouse brew that we did was with the Flower Station who are based in Camden in London. Similarly, every time we do a collaboration brew, we will find a local source. That might be a bagel supplier, it might be a local bakery, it might be a delicatessen supplying bread for sandwiches so it can vary..

Guy: [00:08:19] Brilliant and I think I was actually at that collab brew that you guys did at Temple Brewhouse. It was amazing to see in the morning all of these huge trays full of really amazing looking bread – like sourdough and ciabbata and all this kind of stuff. And we ripped it all up and turned into beer! So it’s a great product and it’s a great cause as well. Which is which is most important to you?

Louisa: [00:08:42] I mean they’re both equally important. Personally it’s the cause that drives me to do what what I’m doing. But we can’t achieve any success if we don’t have a good product. We have always said from the very beginning that this has to be something that people pick up, they drink and they want to drink again. They will choose at second time because it’s a really good beer.

It’s not a novelty product, there’s no need for it to be a novelty product. We’re replacing one source of grain with another source of grain. There’s no reason why it should taste any less and we hold ourselves to quite strict standards around the quality of the beer. It has to be a really good tasting beer but the story is so important.

Louisa: [00:09:38] There are a lot of beers out there. The craft beer market is booming. There are over 2000 breweries in the UK now and I think what really sets us aside is that we have such a fantastic story behind it so that people can enjoy their beer – sometimes not even knowing the story behind it – and then read the story on the bottle and just feel like they’re really part of doing something positive.

They’re literally drinking away a problem: drinking the waste. There’s a slice of surplus bread in every single bottle and then all of our profits go to the charity Feedback to tackle food waste. Just by choosing this beer they’re doing something positive.

Guy: [00:10:24] Yeah it definitely seems to be working because you are just going from strength to strength. You’ve rapidly expanded outside of the UK into a number of other territories. I think I’ve actually lost track of where you are now. So can you can you fill us in?

Louisa: [00:10:40] So we launched in New York in the spring of last year (2017) with a subsidiary company there. So we’re brewing in partnership with a brewery called Captain Lawrence really great brewery just outside of New York. We’re using organic fresh bread in the U.S.

The U.S. is such a huge market and both for beer production but also increasingly they’re very aware of food waste as an environmental issue. So we knew there was a huge opportunity in the US and we wanted to be there and to be part of it but also to be helping to shape the way that scene developed – from the East Coast in New York.

Louisa: [00:11:32] We then had a look at the map. There are so many other countries that are great beer drinking countries and also have the same issues that we face in the UK and the U.S. in terms of a surplus bread and food waste. We therefore set up a franchise model so that we could quickly get into some of those territories by partnering with people that were there who are also extremely passionate about the cause.

Louisa: [00:12:10] So we launched a franchise in South Africa in Cape Town and in Reykjavik in Iceland. And both of those franchises in addition to supporting toast and our charitable giving, they partner with charities that are local to them. So in South Africa for example there’s a charity called Soil for Life and they train up and empower local people to garden themselves to produce their own food in a sustainable way.

They are directly addressing food waste through the beer and then helping to solve the other side of the food waste problem. There’s obviously the environmental issues but the other side is that there are huge amounts of people that are underfed and don’t have enough food. And yet we’re wasting a third of all the food that we produce.

Guy: [00:13:09] It’s just a crazy thing isn’t it? When there’s so many people hungry and then there’s so so much going to waste. It’s a real shame.

Louisa: [00:13:17] In South Africa in particular, that charity was a great partnership and then we’re now looking at licensing as a model. So we’ve launched in Brazil it was our little fiesta last year at the end of the year to bring Rio into the family and we’re brewing there with a great brewery called Green Lab and supporting a local charity called Gastro Motiva as well. They do a lot of really awesome work around food waste.

Louisa: [00:13:45] So well yeah, now here in the UK, U.S., South Africa, Brazil, Iceland; we’re in five countries. We recently did a collaboration as well with another brewery up in Sweden. We’ll see how that one goes. Maybe we’ll repeat something out there. And we have a goal to be in 30 countries by the end of 2020 so we are busy, busy, busy.

Guy: [00:14:10] Wow. That’s amazing. I was going to say five or six countries in two years, that’s pretty impressive. But to get to 30 within the next two years that’s really setting your sights high!

Louisa: [00:14:23] The last four countries have all happened in the past six months of 2017. We’re now in a position to be able to grow the team. So we’re bringing in somebody who will be able to help us look internationally at where the opportunities are and where we can really have a very positive impact. And yeah, to be very strategic about where we go and how we do it.

Guy: [00:14:51] Have there been any challenges in going into so many different countries so quickly?

Louisa: [00:14:56] Yeah of course. I mean there’s an obvious challenge around the brand. So thinking around how the brand itself and how the product itself will be received in those different countries. How do people think about food waste and a beer that is solving it in South Africa?

When we’re UK based it is more difficult to to understand the local markets, which is why it has been very important for us to partner with people who are South African. They’re local. They understand the market and they understand how how to make Toast work for that local market.

Louisa: [00:15:43] And then I guess from the people side of things. We are quite a small team. We’ve been four people for two years and we’re slowly starting to grow now. In the U.S. we’ve got a team of four now. We’ve got the blend of franchises and it’s just [working out] how do you be a close-knit team on a global scale?

Louisa: [00:16:12] We use lots of technology. For example we communicate via Slack and have a monthly video conversation where we just make sure that when we get to know each other we know what’s happening around the world and that we feel part of Team Toast. We’re all part of the same team but it’s certainly a challenge and that’s one that we’re very conscious that we will have as we grow. And yet, to keep the positive culture that we have – that does feel very much like a family – as we become a pretty big family.

Guy: [00:16:52] We have similar challenges in working with a remote team. Most of the people who work with us either live elsewhere in the UK or they live somewhere on the other side of the world in some cases. And building that, that internal community, or that team culture is really tough when you don’t get to do it face to face.

Louisa: [00:17:12] It is yeah and it’s so important. We want to be a sustainable company in terms of the products that we’re offering. But we also want to be sustainable as a people business. To make sure that we we maintain this positive culture that we have. It’s so key to our brand, to who we are, to how people see us externally but also to the people that we’re able to recruit. Everybody that’s joining us now is so passionate about the brand. And yes it’s how do we just succeed at bringing them into the family in the most positive way.

Guy: [00:17:50] And it’s great to hear about that. And this whole ethos and foundation in sustainability. And being a good business doing, good business practices, looking after your people. It’s something that is hugely important to you guys. And I believe that you recently became B Corp certified which I guess speaks volumes to that.

Louisa: [00:18:11] Yes we did! We’re absolutely delighted about this. So we have been speaking to the team at B Corp for about six months now. I think I did the assessment back in October 2017. There’s an initial assessment and then you are given an initial score. You have to hit 80 is the minimum score out of 200 to be able to certify as a B Corp.

On the environmental side we scored extremely well, in the environmental and the community aspects – because of what we do. But as a small startup we don’t have – or we didn’t have – very many processes formalised or written down. And we’ve talked a little bit about the culture that we’ve naturally built up but none of this was documented in any of our processes and our policies around the team.

Louisa: [00:19:15] So there was a lot of work to do to help us grow up in that sense. And the process of going through B Corp has helped us really analyse what we’re doing well, what we need to improve on. Then we’ve spent the past six months working on those improvements and to put in place really progressive policies.

It’s just been a really really great process to go through. We’re joining a huge global movement of people that are really redefining what it means to to to do business. To use business as a force for good. The B Corp process is really a framework for us to use now to say: okay we’re met a standard but we want to also do better. And so this is the start of doing that in a public facing way.

Guy: [00:20:17] That’s amazing and great to be able to have that – as you say – that framework to help guide you on what is no doubt a very long and complex, exciting but challenging journey. And amazing to have that real commitment to the cause about doing all this kind of stuff.

Guy: [00:20:36] As you as you were chatting away there, there was something that sprang to mind when you were talking about being a financially viable business whilst having this really good cause. How do you balance that idea of making money and doing good at the same time?

Louisa: [00:20:55] The core aspect is that we are giving our profits to charity so we have to make profit.

Louisa: [00:21:01] We have we do that through maximizing our sales and by being as efficient as possible with our costs in the same way as any other business. It’s just that those profits are not going to shareholders they’re going to a charity.

Guy: [00:21:18] It’s almost the best kind of business model because you’re not driven by things like more profit for shareholders who just go and blow it on whatever it is. It’s driven by impact. Absolutely fantastic.

We’ve talked about a lot of different things that you guys are doing already: creating amazing beer, making a huge difference on a huge issue of food waste, expanding into five or six countries within a two year period, B Corp Certification within six months. But you’re not satisfied with just that, you’re doing even more as well! Can you tell me a bit about the Equity for Good program that you’re putting together.

Louisa: [00:22:01] This follows on from our discussion about being a sustainable business. We do need investment to grow the business. We have looked at different options from debt financing, we did some crowdfunding last year as well. That helped us to expand our range. Essentially crowdfunding was essentially to allow people to pre-purchase the beers that we could then go on and produce. But we also recognised that there is a growing movement of social impact investors who want to use money to do good.

Louisa: [00:22:42] Many of those people as well as by financially supporting companies bring fantastic skills, experience and networks that can be hugely beneficial to a company. We are 100 percent committed to giving our profits to charity. So there is not an option for us to be paying dividends to shareholders.

We didn’t then want to create equity that would enable shareholders to ultimately benefit financially from any ultimate sale of the business. That’s not something that is on our agenda. But if that was to happen in the future then there would be a financial return and we wouldn’t want any of that financial return to be going to be used in a negative way. So for example taking the profits from an investment in Toast and using it to invest in fossil fuel companies.

We’ve come up with something called Equity for Good which asks our investors to pledge that any increase in the capital gains – any net increase increase – they will reinvest it in another social enterprise. It can be a profitable business, but it has to have a positive impact on the environment. Or they can donate it to charity.

Guy: [00:24:12] So just to get it 100 percent straight in my head: you are welcoming investment in Toast from all sorts of external interested parties. But any financial gains that that brings, through Toast, those investors have to do something else good with it.

Louisa: [00:24:32] Exactly. Any net capital gains that they make they’ll either invest it in a social enterprise to further the social impact investing or they will donate it to a charity like Feedback for example. So that money that we’ve already grown by doing something positive will continue to do some some more positive actions.

Guy: [00:24:56] This is a genius move and I really hope to see it work and to be able to roll out to other places. Because I think one of the huge challenges of starting a business – or even just running a business for the long term – is the money side of it. The cash flow and raising funds.

A lot of people have jumped into crowdfunding because it’s a great marketing strategy as well as a great way to raise money. But it’s becoming a bit oversaturated. Whereas this is a great way to build a story and some buzz around something that you’re doing, a great way to bring in funds in to run or grow the business. But then it also is guaranteed to have even more impact in the long term. Brilliant.

Louisa: [00:25:37] Absolutely. And the people that are involved as well they are very committed to supporting us so yes they want to see us turning profits because they want to see that we’re meeting our business plan. But their objectives are very different to a shareholder that would either be taking dividends or be waiting for a capital gain at the end of it. So they do want to see us grow. But the impact of that growth is more important.

Guy: [00:26:06] And so is it for anybody to invest into this Equity for Good scheme? Or do you have to be a sophisticated investor?

Louisa: [00:26:14] So we had initially planned for it to be a crowdfunder but we have found that actually we’ve been able to raise the finance that we needed by talking to a smaller number of people. So 30 people we’ve got involved as investors and we’re closing up that round now. It may be something that we do in the future as a crowdfund. We were a little bit conflicted.

We really did want it to be *crowd* funded in the sense that we want people to feel that they are part of Toast, to be using their money as well to help build our impact and then to be able to reinvest that in an impact of their choice. But there’s a huge amount of administration involved in crowdfunding. And at this time it was really important for us to get on board some very focused people who also bring in their networks and expertise to the business.

Guy: [00:27:27] That makes a lot of sense. One thing that I’d like to wrap things up on – I can’t believe we’ve been chatting for a good half hour or so already. There’s so much amazing stuff that you guys are doing, I could just chat about it all day. Although I’d probably need a beer at some point.

Louisa: [00:27:42] I’ll join you.

Guy: [00:27:43] The Toast Ale motto is probably one of my favourites. So that I don’t get it wrong, can tell me what it is first and then tell me how you guys are living that everyday?

Louisa: [00:27:55] “To change the world you’ve got to throw a better party than those destroying it”. I love saying this motto. Every time I say it, it brings a smile to people’s face.

Guy: [00:28:05] I’m smiling right now.

Louisa: [00:28:08] Yeah it is really great. This is all about being positive and making it more attractive for people to do good than to do what is easy, and that they could do quite simply by buying what they’re already buying or doing what they’re already doing. It’s literally saying for us, have a beer. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy the food that you’re eating. Enjoy the company you’re with. And you’re doing something positive.

So just by those small actions, you’re having a positive impact on the world. And it comes around to us being conscious consumers and thinking about how we spend our money. And that’s a position of power. And so using that to have a positive impact. But to do so in a way that fits in with your life and is fun, affirming and full of joy.

Guy: [00:29:14] That’s exactly what we’re all about over here as well. And it is an amazing product. It’s an amazing story. It’s an amazing cause. We wish you all the best with it. I can only imagine it’s going to go from strength to strength. We love what you guys are doing. We love hanging out with you as well. Love drinking the beer. Love having a good time. So yeah, more of that I think is on the cards.

Louisa: [00:29:35] There is plenty more of that on the cards yeah. So in terms of living it as a team at Toast, we are doing lots of collaboration brews where we’re getting out and brewing and then drinking the beer that we’ve brewed with the people we’ve brewed with – like yourself who came down to one of our last collaboration brews.

We’re out talking to our stockists all the time doing sampling. We love being out and meeting the people who are buying and drinking our beer and being part of the Rev-ale-loution. So yeah, inviting everybody to have a party with us.

Guy: [00:30:12] That’s brilliant. And just to wrap things up, for anyone who’s listening who is either thinking about starting their own food business or is running their own food business. Have you got any advice for them about how to weave in some of this “doing good” into their product or into their business practices?

Louisa: [00:30:33] One of the best things that we found is to build up your your relationships. There are now a lot of food businesses, drinks businesses and other companies that are doing things in the circular economy and addressing food waste. But also looking at packaging for example.

We’ve found that the people that are involved in these businesses are so engaging and so eager to share their knowledge and their skills and they’re also really good people to hang out with. So I’d say get talking to people. Learn from each other and let’s build our businesses but let’s build a movement together and support each other to have a real impact.

Guy: [00:31:26] Luisa Ziane from Toast. And you can find out more about them and order their delicious beers at toastale.com. Our Resource of the Week is still to come. But up next is our Lessons Learned.

Lessons Learned

Guy: [00:31:44] All right. We’re back in the studio and it’s time for our Lessons Learned. This is the segment where Kylie and I chat about the interview that we’ve just heard and pick apart some of those highlights and key takeaways. So Kylie if I do say so myself: amazing interview with Toast. They’ve always got so much interesting stuff to say. What were some of your favourite bits?

Kylie: [00:32:06] One of the things I like about Toast is they have a great product. As I said, I’m not a massive fan of beer, it is still a really good beer. And what that means is people are going to buy the beer for its own merit and then later on they’re going to learn about the bread and the food waste. So it’s a great way to educate people or to share a message or a cause through something that they love already.

Guy: [00:32:32] Yeah. And such a powerful way of doing it because then you will get to enjoy a great product and then if you’re interested or if you start reading the bottle then you get to discover this whole new dimension to it. They’ve had some incredible growth over just a very short period – in two years – and I’m sure that part of that is because the product is fantastic. But secondly because the mission is fantastic and there’s a really nice way of discovering it.

Kylie: [00:32:55] Yeah. And then there’s nothing better than being able to enjoy a drink and know that you’re doing some good. Maybe not so good for your body or your health but, good for the planet!

Guy: [00:33:06] Well I hope that’s how more people start to see it. I mean I’m not entirely sure if it’s going to become this mass market thing that everyone gets on board with Toast because of the food waste component. But perhaps they could get on board with buying it because it’s a great beer. And as all of their profits go to charity, which is an amazing stance to take right from the beginning, then that’s great stuff. Anything else that stood out to you that is worth chatting about?

Kylie: [00:33:31] We’ve known Team Toast for quite some time. And one of the things that ever since day one that I’ve been really impressed with is their team are like best friends who share an immense passion – number one, for beer but also for food waste. And the problem that they’re solving now.

Guy: [00:33:52] Perhaps it’s not something that you as a consumer often get to do is to really get to know the people behind a business. But every time we go out with Toast, it’s such a joy to watch them as a team, as people who are really passionate about what they do. And that that culture of building a team is really really difficult.

They’ve been small for a long time and so I guess that’s helped and they’ve been working together over two years or so. Louisa was talking about some of the challenges of building a culture as they get bigger. And it’s something that we’ve struggled with a little bit as well. And in fact our Resource of the Week coming up after this is is a great tool to help with some of that stuff. Anything about the team culture that stood out to you in particular?

Kylie: [00:34:41] One thing that really impressed me is the the B Corp certification and the way that has meant they’ve had to concentrate a little bit more on the way that they as a team operate their policies their procedures. And perhaps even their efficiencies.

The way that they work with all their remote teams and as you said that’s something that we struggle with. It’s hard to build a family or friendship or almost intimacy with people that you’re communicating via a voice or via a written word. It’s very different to in person. So it’s really nice to see that they’ve spent that time to develop even better practices.

Guy: [00:35:29] Yeah absolutely. And I think there’s I mean there’s so much that we can pull out of this interview and we’ve actually got a whole load of notes in front of us. I think this will probably drag on too much if we went through all of them. But can we just talk about their Equity for Good thing. I mean what a genius idea.

Kylie: [00:35:45] I would say Genius with a capital G. And my little note here is Toast – we’ve written about Toast before and talk about them in terms of a circular economy. So that is taking something from another process and rather than letting it go away as she put it in to another process and produce something else.

And that’s what they’re doing with this this equity funding is they’re saying let’s take money in to do good and then the money that comes out has to go into something else to do good. And so that money has almost like a second lease of life to do good it. It’s a it’s a really innovative concept and I really really hope it takes off.

Guy: [00:36:24] It’s a really amazing idea and I would love to see it work and I’m sure it will. And I would love to see it implemented in many more businesses across the world.

Kylie: [00:36:36] If they hadn’t closed their round of funding I would totally be putting my money behind Toast. They’ve got a great product but I love this form of investing. I think it’s a really new way to encourage people to think about what their money is doing.

Guy: [00:36:52] Well we may not be able to invest in them anymore but we can go and order some beer.

Kylie: [00:36:56] Done.

Guy: [00:36:58] Excellent. Well I’m very much looking forward to cracking open a couple of bottles of Toast very soon. Let’s transition now into our Resource of the Week segment.

Resource of the Week

Guy: [00:37:08] This is actually something that Louisa mentioned in the interview and something that we just alluded to when we were talking about team culture. Kylie, what’s our Resource of the Week this week?

Kylie: [00:37:18] Slack. No we’re not “slacking off”. It is a piece of tech that is very similar to Google Hangouts or WhatsApp. It’s a messaging app that you use to communicate with teams and groups of teams.

Guy: [00:37:33] Yeah and it’s something that we use at Sapling and Eco & Beyond. Everything is inked together for us. It’s a brilliant way to have that constant open lines of communication. So we have all sorts of different channels for conversations. We have channels to talk about things that we’ve either found or want to share on social media. We have a Founders channel where we can just chat to each other about private business stuff. Then we have a whole load of different channels for different members of the team who work on different areas of the business. And if we didn’t have this it would just be all stuck in email which is a nightmare.

Kylie: [00:38:13] And it would be especially so since we have a couple of our writers and team members that don’t live in the UK. And members of our team who don’t come and work in our office every day. The volume of e-mail that that produces – I don’t even know what to think about it. So we use Slack where a lot of people would use email and it’s much more efficient and you can have multiple people in there chatting to one another. You can search it.

Guy: [00:38:40] And I think the great thing about it is that it’s all transparent and that I think for for a businesses that is trying to do good and have good sustainable practices and a good team culture, keeping everything out in the open is really important.

Kylie: [00:38:53] Yeah I agree we often go in to a channel and say to everyone, “we’re thinking of this, what’s everyone’s thoughts?”. It’s a great way to just involve everyone in the team and they don’t even have to be online at that time. We have people in different time zones, so they can come back and join the conversation when they’re online – when it’s their morning.

Guy: [00:39:13] And probably the best thing about it is that it’s completely free. I mean they do have a paid plan if you want extra features or extra storage and a few other bits and pieces as well. But it is a free tool. It’s brilliant, whether you’re a team of one – well maybe a team of one wouldn’t work so well. But even if you’re a team of two, it’s hugely beneficial to get all that conversation out in the open. So if you’d like the sound of that head over to slack.com check them out. Highly recommended way of communicating with your team.

Guy: [00:39:44] So that just about wraps up another episode. Thank you so much for listening. We really appreciate it. For notes and links and details of everything that we talked about including a full transcript of the whole episode, head over to our web site at goodfoodies.co.uk.

Guy: [00:40:00] If you enjoyed the show and love what Team Toast are doing to change the face of food waste, we’d really appreciate it if you’d share this episode and leave us a positive review on iTunes. It’s a great way for people to find the show and to find out all about the amazing things that brands like Toast are doing to make a difference.

Guy: [00:40:19] Next time we’ll be chatting to Kimberly Hurd from Tabl about building a community for artisan and independent food producers and their mission to change how we discover and talk about food. It’s a really interesting one. Hope you can join us then. So thanks very much. We’ll see you next time. Bye for now.