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Talk Straight | Think Smart with Spencer Craig

Talk Straight | Think Smart with Spencer Craig

Spencer Craig grew up surrounded by people who ran their own businesses but he didn't realise until later in life how much that would impact him. That's why starting Pure felt like the natural thing to do when he spotted a gap in the market.

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I grew up in a family where people ran their own businesses, everyone I knew ran their own businesses.

Spencer Craig, Founder and Chief Executive, Pure

Pure provides natural, healthy food-to-go stores across London. It was founded by Spencer Craig as a product of the entrepreneurial environment he grew up in, learning about tenacity and the resilience from working in a start-up, and inspired by trends he saw in New York. 

After selling his flat and getting investment from family and friends, Spencer walked the streets "counting people" to establish the location for his first shop in Soho. No data, just instinct. A location which continues to thrive today. 

Despite the huge changes to the food market since then, Pure has managed to retain its competitive edge, by providing healthy food for people on the go. They pride themselves in bringing pleasure into that experience. However, as as they were taking that next step to become a medium sized business, those "people on the go" had to stay at home due to COVID19, and everything paused. An exceptionally testing time for Spencer and his team but it meant an unscripted experience with radio presenter and DJ Chris Evans was even more special. 

Listen to the podcast to hear the start of Pure's story, how employees are at the heart of the growing business and the reality of the impact of COVID19. Subscribe to our Talk Straight | Think Smart with Howard Kennedy series to hear future episodes from a wide range of inspirational entrepreneurs.

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Quick fire round

Each episode we ask our guests quick fire questions. Hover below to see what this revealed about this week's guest, Spencer Craig....

Favourite item on Pure menu

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Blueberry Bircher

Would you grow, sell or start again?

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Definitely not start again, would love to grow

People or tech - where would you invest?

Why us down arrow

People, every time

Perfectionist or launch and learn?

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Personally, I'm launch and learn. But operationally, we have to be perfection.

Is Zoom here to stay or distant memory?

Why us down arrow

It's played a brilliant part but cant replace the energy of people

A little more about this episode…

Spencer Craig grew up in a family where running a businesses was the norm. But he didn't realise until later in life how deeply ingrained in him the idea to start a business was.

Following the influence of those around him he opted to join a start-up after finishing uni, rather than go down  a more traditional route like law or banking. It was here that he learnt more about the tenacity and resilience you need to be able to build a business. 

Then came Pure. Spencer was inspired by his own lunch time habits of going to Pret as well as trends emerging in New York - they were ahead of the game when it came to healthier eating. After selling his flat and getting investment from family and friends, he went out to find the perfect location, and ended up setting up shop in Soho.

Since then they've worked hard to find what makes them special. They want to provide healthy food on the move, bring pleasure into that experience and make sure it's not too expensive. They've managed to retain their competitive advantage, by providing healthy breakfast and coffee, despite an increasingly competitive marketplace. 

One thing that's really important for the business is its people. So when the pandemic hit, protecting the team was a priority. It was a challenging time as they were at a growth point that made being agile difficult and they had to stay closed for a long time.

What does the future hold? They're striving to continuously improve and be better. And with some recent attention from presenter and radio DJ Chris Evans, Spencer hopes that Pure has given itself a fighting chance of coming out of this stronger.

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