“Everything happens for a reason.” – An interview with Verity Foss
Who doesn’t love a burger right?! To everyone outside of Bristol I’m sorry that you don’t have an Oowee. To everyone in Bristol I am sure you are going to love this one. I would say that Oowee is now one of the most well known brands. Confession: Verity isn’t in IT, but she is a fascinating business woman, a good friend and all round great person who has a load of love to give to people’s cravings!
I spoke to verity about the idea behind Oowee, the plans for Oowee Vegan and who doesn’t want to read about burger over lunch on a Friday?………..
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT OOWEE?
Oowee is a ‘fast’ food restaurant chain across Bristol. We have 3 sites 1 being 100 percent vegan, it started 2 and a half years ago and is owned by my love and me.
WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM TO START, WHAT IS THE BEST BURGER CHAIN IN BRISTOL?
Well, I wouldn’t say we’re the best but we’re definitely the most calorific and naughty! It started because we love fast food and really wanted to open a take away, so we approached the guy who owned the take away joined on to our house and he was like yeah you can have this if you like. 6 weeks later we had a take away and then we were like fuck, what do we do now!! We watched loads of Youtube videos on how to make burgers and just went for it. It was the biggest shambles of an opening we literally had the doors open for 5 mins and had to close again as we had never been professional chefs and didn’t even know how to prep. We also had the world’s biggest menu and hadn’t even had chance to practice even 20 percent of the menu. We closed for about 3 days and came back with a bang and ever since we’ve grown and improved and hired really intelligent/creative people to help us grow.
HOW DO YOU JUGGLE LIFE AND RUNNING 3 SHOPS?
I’m just really good at delegating. I don’t think you could physically give every shop as much time as you give the first one so you just hire people you trust who care for your business like you do, to do it.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND OOWEE?
Well we’re going to grow the vegan brand, that’s the one we would like to become a multi-site chain. Hopefully we will be able to do that in London, we are currently living between Bristol and London and really enjoying London life.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
In life it would be keeping a job in recruitment for more than 3 months without being fired. In Oowee nothing, because being a burger tester was definitely my calling and when you love Mcdonalds as much as me creating a fast food restaurant was a breeze ???? There are of course a couple challenges in running a business but there generic in all businesses, staff, suppliers, unreliable equipment …the usual.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN WANTING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
I would probably say make sure you have some money to back yourself up. You need to be financially stable before taking on a huge financial risk as having money worries at the start of a new stressful venture is the last thing you need. Also you need to test the concept, so if there is the possibility of doing it on a trial or temporary basis first then always 100 percent do that, for example a pop up kind of thing .
And try not to get feedback from friends there the most critical, get feedback from strangers.
I also believe although it feels like a good idea to do something super niche and outside of the box, you really do need to make sure there is an audience for it. I see lots of people do this and it’s not worked out. If you are going to be really out there you need to have super strong branding and a following.
Instgram is hands down the most important form of advertising for all business so keep it interesting and regularly post and engage!
IF YOU COULD START AGAIN, WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
Ummmm probably nothing because all the stupid things I did have taught me a valuable lesson. I don’t mind making mistakes as they always have a positive impact after – 9/10
WHO IS YOUR SQUAD:
Charlie Watson- my best friend, boyfriend and business partner (only person who finds me funny)
Sophie Kaur- my best friend
Darcie Cornish – the funniest person in Bristol.
And that’s it, Verity Foss, you are one of the most interesting, funniest humans I know and super proud of you.
Keep rocking girl!