Jemal Peters turned his life around andfollowed his passion for cooking, after the birth of his daughter. He started up Big J’s Kitchen a range of flavourful’sauces to accompany food. He uses some of the profits fromthe business to help young offenders and disadvantaged young people hopinghis success will inspire them too. (1) Who are you and what’s your business? I’m Big J from Big J’s Kitchen Flavour Of Da Street!? In a nutshell I’m a go-getter foodie. I started my own brand that makes condiments representing the UK’s urban streets. (2) How long have you been around for? I’ve been around for about two years now. I starting selling my Big J sauces in butchers and delis across London such as Allens of Mayfair, Bayley and Sage and Moen & Sons. Then I was brought in by Dragons’ Den’s Sarah Willingham to do an exclusive “Big J Pop-up Kitchen” in JJ Goodman’s London Cocktail Club throwing down the jerk and BBQ for parties such as Malibu UK, Wray & Nephew UK and a few more. I’ve put in a good amount of work. Now we’re ready to hit major supermarket shelves. (3) How will you make money? By selling loads of sauce. I’ll also expand the brand and add new innovative ranges, but I can show you better than I can tell you, watch this space. (4) What makes you different and why should someone take notice? Big J’s is different because it’s the first of its kind. We’re the first food brand to truly and genuinely represent the UK’s urban streets at this level. We embrace the culture created right here in the UK and are proud to show the world what the UK’s streets can offer. My “keep it 100” trademark is all about Big J’s being real, authentic and natural. There’s nothing artificial about Big J’s Kitchen at all. (5) What was key in terms of getting started? Gaining new priorities namely my daughter. This motivated me to do better. Before having my daughter I was quite naughty and did a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have done. Having a daughter made me change my priorities I got a job and changed my life around, which eventually led to creating my own business. Food entrepreneur Jemal Peters (6) What’s your biggest achievement to date? I’ve been a runner-up and finalist in a few business awards, but I would say my main achievement is gaining investment and taking my products from my actual kitchen to commercial manufacturing. That’s huge.
On the up Rebecca Smith · 15 July 2015
Big J’s Kitchen: The food entrepreneur who went from young offender to supermarket success
ABOUT THE EXPERTRebecca Smith
Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.