Good friends Anna and Alla began their business, Two Chicks, from scratch more than 14 years ago to bring the first ready-separated egg whites to UK consumers, after spotting a gap in the market for a fat and cholesterol free, lower calorie alternative to whole eggs.
Two Chicks has now grown to embrace a range of innovative, convenient egg-based products, including an organic and free range liquid egg white and a fresh ready-to-use pancake mix. Two Chicks is stocked in leading retailers across the UK, as well as internationally.
What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur and how do you think you can inspire others?
Part of our success was down to never taking no for an answer and just persevering with what we believed in. When we were first starting out, there was an assumption that two women with just an idea and no experience in business or food could ever make a success of it. Thankfully we didn’t listen, but there were times when it was very challenging and we had to really get creative.
We had a big job on our hands; not only did we have to convince the buyers to list the product, but we had to actually explain to them what it was and why anyone would want
to buy it, as they were all totally unfamiliar with the concept of egg whites packaged alone. We were introducing an entirely new product category and it was a whole educat-ional process. Then there was the question of in-store positioning and which buyer to approach – in America the eggs are kept in the fridge but in the UK they are not, so there was no obvious place for our product to sit.
Starting our business on such a low budget meant that we had to be extremely persistent and innovative in order to get into and remain in the marketplace.
It was a question of always thinking outside the box and pushing boundaries – ducking under the red tape at food shows to hand samples to celebrities on stage.
When we first got listings in the multiples, we would drive around the country leafleting outside the stores. We couldn’t afford the in-store market-ing options so we would go into super-markets and place our own point-of-sale on the shelves. But this activity came to an end once we were removed by security from a major supermarket chain and got a call from the buyer!
In 2016 we won the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the Variety Catherine Awards, set up to celebrate inspirational women in business. And one year after our launch, we made the national finals of the HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards, the UK’s premier competition for young businesses. So the challenges paid off!
What’s next for Two Chicks?
As female entrepreneurs, creating our own fund to support girls and young women has been a long-held ambition of ours. This idea has been further accelerated this year because of the setbacks for schools in 2020 owing to the pandemic.
We feel that now has never been a better time for our business to make a positive difference, which is why we have decided to launch The Two Chicks Empowerment Fund.
We wish to align ourselves with women’s causes. Our Fund is being set up to help disadvantaged girls and young women develop self-confidence through mentoring enterprise schemes and engagement in sports and the arts.
Over time we hope to grow the reach of the Two Chicks Empowerment Fund to support, inspire and nurture as many young women as possible and to equip them with the self-belief, confidence, and skills so that they can achieve their full potential, regardless of their backgrounds.