On the up · 5 July 2018

The co-founders who fell in love and now produce London’s favourite tarts

Tart founders, Adam Harrison and Jason Smith
After working in Brazil for six months, this ex-Facebook employee and his cheffing partner decided to start up their own food idea in London, Tart.

Five years ago, Adam Harrison andjason Smith decided to reinvent the humble tart, starting out with a stall at Herne Hill Farmer’s Market, the couple worked into the night to produce enough for the weekend sales.

After being able to sell over 200 a day, they felt ready to ditch the juggling act of two jobs, and open up shop with the first in Clapham and a second store in East Dulwich.

As the first part of our “I fell in love with my co-founder”‘series, Business Advice caught up with Harrison to find out how they split up work and home life and what iconic comedy duo they are similar too.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_UvjTLqFwR/taken-by=tart.london

Who are you and what is your business

We are Tart London and we bake the tastiest savoury tarts you will ever have. With 2 cafes and more to come, we operate a bakery-cafe model and shall be expanding into wholesale this year.

When was the business founded

As a market stall in 2013 and then as bricks-and-mortar just before Christmas in 2014.

What is the company’s turnover?and how many employees are there?

£800k gross sales per year and 23.

How did you both meet

At 4 am in a nightclub in Vauxhall of all places! Then we didn’t see each other for a year before going on a first date.

What inspired you to start a business together

To combine our skill sets, jump out of corporate life and give it a really good go together! Jace was the head chef at Stationers Hall in St Paul’s and I worked in marketing at Facebook. After a stint in Brazil with my work, we decided to return and find a food business idea to get stuck in.

What specific roles do you both have

Jace runs the kitchen, ensuring we produce all of the tarts, salads, brunches and cakes we need for both shops. I pretty much doeverything else with an emphasis on the numbers, marketing and front-of-house team.

How do you separate work disagreements from your personal life

We don’t! It’s impossible to leave things at the front door. We just make sure to talk through things, find a path forward and then change our attention to anything but Tart.

Do you have any rules to leave work at work

Nah, it’s impossible. Tart’s always in our head and people ask us about it all the time. We just try to limit conversations about work to the absolutely necessary and ideally within the first hour of getting home. After that, it’s dinner, chilling out and Netflix.

What are your individual strengths


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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