Business management

Claire Heron-Maxwell, Sprout Health Foods

As part of our campaign with Getty Images to change the image of female-led entrepreneurship, the owner of Newquay-based business Sprout Health Foods tells her business story.

“It’s hard work, but there is lots of support out there when you need it”

“We were aware that there was a thriving community of people interested in health and well-being in the town,” says owner Claire Heron-Maxwell, “but there had been no health food shop to serve them for over 10 years. I had experience in the health food industry, as well as being a qualified nutritional therapist, but it was really the right building coming along at the right time that drove the launch of the business.”

As Sprout Health Foods is classed as an essential business stocking food, cleaning products and immune-supporting nutritional supplements, Heron-Maxwell says she and the team were “fortunate” to keep trading throughout 2020. “Initially, we did adapt the business slightly by not allowing customers inside the shop itself, and by rapidly listing our stock online to allow customers to create baskets of goods, which they could then collect at the shop,” she explains.

I never imagined I would want to work for myself, but when the time was right, it was a great move to make

Claire Heron-Maxwell
Owner of Sprout Health Foods

Sprout also teamed up with a local Mexican street food vendor to enable deliveries to addresses in the town and surrounding villages, as well as creating more outdoor seating to allow for changes in coronavirus tier restrictions.

Heron-Maxwell says there have been many moments in Sprout’s journey that she is proud of. “They usually involve engaging the community in some way – whether that’s helping to establish a spoken-word scene in the town, hosting vegan night markets or running wintry Christmas markets.” She’s also proud of providing a platform to allow other health and wellness professionals to reach their local audience. “It really is great to watch a community come together.”

Her one piece of advice for women looking to launch their own business is to seek support when the time is right. “I never imagined I would want to work for myself, but when the time was right, it was a great move to make. As everyone says, it is hard work, but there is lots of support out there when you need it.”

Heron-Maxwell says she is really pleased to have been asked to take part in the bank and Getty Images’ Female Focus #BeTheRoleModel initiative: “It has encouraged me to take time to reflect on my journey as a business owner and the overall success of our enterprise.”

Claire Heron-Maxwell of Sprout Health Foods continued to trade throughout a challenging 2020. She added a collection service and more outside seating for customers, and teamed up with a local Mexican street food vendor for distribution.

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