Going it alone

Jenny-Dawson-008Congratulations to the fabulous Jenny Dawson who ditched her job in hedge funds to forage for discarded fruit and veg to make jams and chutneys, which she sells at one of the country’s fanciest foody markets. As well as making great use of food that would otherwise go to waste – often boxes of unsold mangoes or mange tout – she provides jobs for women who have fallen on hard times. Last night her business, Rubies in the Rubble, won the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award for her socially responsible enterprise and now has a £100,000 a year turnover. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/10826109/Veuve-Clicquot-new-generation-award-winner-Jenny-Dawson.html

It’s the stuff of chick lit fantasies and so much better for being absolutely true. I’ve just been reading Jenny Colgan’s seductively plausible feel-good novel The Beach Street Bakery about a girl who escapes a high-flying but bankrupt business life to set up home in an abandoned bakery and lo and behold, uses her loaf to bake her way to health, wealth and happiness. Yet while we can only dream of baking our way out of repossession with nothing more than a Cath Kidston pinny and a tray of home-made cupcakes, Jenny Dawson’s story is so much richer for being true.

There’s something so irresistibly straightforward and escapist about these ragu to riches stories that makes me want to dust down my pickling pan and start scrabbling round the fruit and veg stall outside the station for abandoned onions and tomatoes. The trouble is I know that despite all my initial enthusiasm and dreams of opening a rustic yet scorchingly trendy shack selling Fried Green Tomatoes, I’d never get much further than trawling eBay for exactly the right vintage dungarees.

So how about you? What would be your dream enterprise… and what’s stopping you..? Please share below.

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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