A passion for food

Rudi Schogger set up therudefoodco in April 2012 from his kitchen table and the healthy food brand has grown so quickly that he is now franchising it around the UK.

Rudi Schogger set up therudefoodco in April 2012 from his kitchen table and the healthy food brand has grown so quickly that he is now franchising it around the UK.

Rudi describes himself as a serial entrepreneur since he left school. “I set up my own business providing professional services to lawyers at the age of 18,” he says. “It was mere chance that I chose law. Food has been something on my agenda since I was a little boy when I drew pictures of the restaurant I wanted to open. I enjoy food in every variety and I think there’s nothing better than feeding people, but I’m not a preacher. I let the food speak for itself.”

He started developing therudefoodco on his own around his children’s school hours and he and his wife still do the school run despite their success. They are now aged nine and seven. His wife was working in the NHS. About three months after the launch the business seemed to be going so well that his wife left her job and it became a full family business.

The business runs from the family home, but has warehouses and offices in Brighton and Dartford. “It’s really expanded fast. It’s very exciting. It shows the values we have and the products we are selling are of the moment. They are pressing everyone’s buttons.”

The emphasis of the company is on healthy products. It works with established retailers to provide a range of health food from on the go express ranges to one-stop-shop market range.

The company provides food  wholesale to cafes, colleges, hospitals and hotels and supply state of the art vending machines of healthy food and drinks. They sell mobile food boxes of snacks and drinks to local communities, businesses and at events. They also supply honesty boxes to offices, surgeries and staff rooms, where they  simply ask that customers leave the correct money so that they can keep coming back and re-filling the supply.

Brand and values

The biggest challenge he has faced has been creating the wider brand and making it coherent and comprehensible to everyone. The name derives in part from his own name, but it also hints at healthy food. “It always brings a smile,” says Rudi. “I get lots of comments.”

He started looking at the possibility of franchising a year into the business. “I want to create the perfect business model for people to be able to run from their kitchen table like I have done," he says. "It is a natural fit with family life and is ideal for parents. I also wanted it to be accessible to everyone. I started my first business with just £300 which I used for stationery and a phone. It took a year to get that right and now we are flying.”

He is looking for franchisees who share the business’ values and aspirations. The company’s brand stands for doing things in a different, unique, smarter, honest way, he says, “with a little bit of amazing thrown in”. Its main values are originality, quality and integrity.

Rudi says interest is growing in the franchise. Starter kits, which include therudefoodco boxes, stock, uniform and a business pack, cost £250 plus VAT, but the price depends on the size of the potential area the franchisee can cover and franchisees also have to factor in costs such as petrol and delivery. Those with areas including bigger cities will cost more. There are no other hidden costs. Once they have paid for their starter kit and first order from therudefoodco catalogue, all franchisees are given £500 and a 14-day credit account.

Franchisees don’t need any previous retail experience. They just need a passion for food and a friendly, confident and professional manner. Full training in everything about the products and building and running the business will be provided as well as a complete ‘how to’ manual.  Those who have not run their own business may need additional accounting training.

“Franchisees  have to care about the business,” says Rudi. “We have strong family values. There’s nothing better than running a business from the heart of your home. It is also about a certain lifestyle based on customer service and a certain joy for life.”

*If you are interested in contacting Rudi about franchising, click here.





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