Ruth Dronfield, Atlantic Kitchen Captain
The most common question I am asked as the Managing Director of Atlantic Kitchen is ‘How did you get involved with seaweed?’
This is a fair question as for ten years I was an Event Manager running large-scale outdoor events in London and around the UK. I was on the senior management teams that run Field Day, Bestival, Winter Wonderland, BST Hyde Park and I also ran my own little production company for more exclusive private parties and mini-festivals. But the roots of Atlantic Kitchen run far deeper than this…
I was born to hippy alternative parents in London, who took me on marches and dressed me in corduroy dungarees and certainly didn’t cook ready meals. I was brought up on home-cooked food and deprived (to my profound annoyance at the time) of pop-tarts, stringy cheese and shop-bought cakes. I was definitely the only kid in my class who had crumbly wholemeal bread sandwiches instead of nice, neat white ones. My mum is vegetarian so I was exposed to vegetable-based meals of rice, stews, salads, curries, quiches, lasagna and bakes. I grew up with the assumption that a mainly vegetable, pulse and grain diet was healthy, sustainable and normal. So, when my friend Dawn told me about her idea to set up a seaweed business to promote good eating and living, something resonated. That was in December 2012.
Since then we launched a range of three dried seaweed products (here), crowd-funded, done deals with brilliant suppliers in France, Spain and Ireland, launched a range of three soups with seaweed (here) and are now stocked in over 150 stores in the UK including Wholefoods, Planet Organic and Ocado. See here for more stockists.
It’s a huge challenge and a great honour to run Atlantic Kitchen and share the wonderful word of seaweed and its’ myriad of taste and health benefits with the world.
To stay in touch, join our mailing list or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Experiment wildly and enjoy!