My Gammie’s Journey
Mother & daughter win entrepreneurship final with allergy-friendly foods
A brand new range of allergy-friendly health foods for nursery-aged children has won the University of East London’s 10th E-Factor entrepreneurship final in London.
By Business Matters Magazine / November 15, 2015
Held at the prestigious Level 39 venue in Canary Wharf, My Gammies beat off strong competition to secure a £6,000 investment and a range of business support in the coming year.
UEL psychology student Rebekha Gooden and her mother and business partner, Marie-Anne Rasé, a UEL alumna, impressed judges with their range of fresh bread, waffles, cupcakes, energy bars and cassava chips free of wheat, gluten, dairy and nuts.
Speaking after their win, Rebekha said, “It was really unexpected. We’re so happy to have won. It feels surreal but it’s lovely to have a whole room full of support. The judges see our vision.”
Asked what it was like pitching to a full room and panel of expert judges, Marie-Anne said, “We were nervous beforehand, but it’s something we’re really passionate about. It’s close to our heart.”
The pair came up with the idea after Rebekha’s daughter, who has a fatal allergy and various intolerances, experienced difficulties when it came to finding appropriate food in restaurants, shops and nurseries.
Timothy Isle, UEL’s Enterprise Officer and co-organiser of the competition, said it was great to see how the business ideas had developed over the months leading up to the final. “This is only the beginning for all our finalists,” he said, “I’m really excited to see their ideas progress and become credible businesses based at Knowledge Dock.”
Event judge and director of the Canary Wharf Group, Howard Dawber, said the group was happy to support E-Factor. “With the tech sector in Canary Wharf now established as one of Europe’s main centres, there couldn’t be a more exciting time to be working in partnership with one of the UK’s most innovative universities.”
Other finalist pitches included an interactive art installation live streamed over the internet, a nightclubbing app, a business bringing together local services and organisations in east London and a website helping students find accommodation.
Successful Launch of My Gammie’s Kitchen!
The Launch of My Gammie’s kitchen has finally arrived!
It has been a demanding journey that has taken longer than we anticipated. There have been many unforeseen delays, however, we prevailed and on June 22nd 2016 we all watched Ly’ora, the inspiration of our company, struggle with blunt scissors to cut our gold banner representing the official opening of our kitchen.
This eagerly awaited day has taken time, energy, effort, research, finance and teamwork to achieve. Though every person that contributed to this milestone were unable to attend our corporate event all involved openly expressed their pride and excitement in line with our own.
We were blessed with the presence of Brigita, Tim and Kadeeza from the University of East London’s innovation team and Tahir from Get Set for Growth, all of whom have supported us through the majority of our journey so far.
We have come a long way and still have a long, exciting, challenging way to go. What’s next you say? Well My Gammie’s product launch of course! An event that is not to be missed so keep an eye on this page to stay informed.
My Gammie’s 6 original Products
As with all amazing business ideas and products, there is usually a story that explains how the idea manifested. Here, at My Gammie’s, our stories always begin with Ly’ora. As the baby of our family for the past 5 years we have seen, experienced and felt the struggles of Ly’ora being socially excluded time after time. From Ly’ora’s own dining room, to the dining room of others, commercial restaurants and even while travelling, Ly’ora has had to watch others enjoy what she must go without.
As compassionate mothers, before founding My Gammie’s, we felt each event of Ly’ora’s social exclusion deeply and personally. Her reoccurring sadness, disappointment and envy of other children was always obvious. So we created a solution and this solution started with My Gammie’s first 6 original products. These are the products that helped remove the dread that accompanied Ly’ora receiving a new birthday party invite or attending a brunch, lunch or dinner in or out of the home. These 6 products are where My Gammie’s originally began.
In order of establishment we have:
1) My Gammie’s White Bread Loaf: Ly’ora’s Gammie, (grandmother) took it upon herself to learn about gluten free flour and create Ly’ora’s own special bread loaf recipe because Ly’ora couldn’t eat any of the commercial bread products in the supermarkets or health shops. Ly’ora went without bread in her diet for nearly a year due to this struggle, therefore, I am sure you can imagine what a momentous moment it was when Ly’ora enjoyed her first slice of bread after so long.
2) White Flour Baguette: So Ly’ora finally had her very own bread, Yay! However, Ly’ora had never enjoyed a baguette before and once again there were no commercial options for her. This meant that Ly’ora couldn’t enjoy garlic bread with us or a warm crusty baguette. Therefore, Ly’ora’s gammie, after attending a range of courses in Mauritius, established My Gammie’s very own baguette recipe.
As a child Ly’ora is often invited to children parties and events and as expected there are always treats available for the children to enjoy. As of yet none of these parties have incorporated treats for the food sensitive child. For this reason Ly’ora was always left out. So Ly’ora’s mother established some treats that could be made in advance, frozen if needed, and brought to parties to elevate further social inclusion for Ly’ora. These original treats are as follows:
3) Plain Cupcakes: As with sandwiches, cupcakes could easily be labelled a staple food with young children, what with all the birthday parties they attend, though unfortunately Ly’ora always missed out on the simple pleasures received from eating cupcakes with her friends. Ly’ora often had to make do with fresh fruits as an alternative to any cake based treats and I am sure you can all imagine how well that went down with Ly’ora.
4) Plain Celebration Cake: Like with other children’s parties, Ly’ora had once even experienced missing out on her own specially made birthday cake. Unfortunately, a family member had genuinely forgotten about one of her food sensitivities and, though the cake was beautifully made, Ly’ora was unable to enjoy it. This was an eye opening and highly significant experience. This inspired Rebekha, (her mum) to create a birthday cake so Ly’ora would never again go without eating a cake and not to forget make sure all other food sensitive individuals could enjoy some too.
5) SAFE CHOX Chocolate: Who doesn’t love a little bit of chocolate every now and again? Ly’ora certainly does but once again couldn’t enjoy such a simple pleasure. As a common treat practically present in abundance in every shop, it was an obvious treat to establish for Ly’ora very early on. Now a favourite with the whole family we can all enjoy a chocolaty moment with Ly’ora though she will always be given VIP treatment receiving the largest portion.
6) Fudge Chocolate Brownies: Cupcakes and celebration cakes are one thing but it certainly isn’t enough for a child that enjoys a variety of tastes and flavours. With Ly’ora being a chocolate lover it was only a matter of time before we had to come up with our own version of a brownie and so we did and now the rest of the world can enjoy our products with us.
All My Gammie’s products are free from the 14 main allergens as follows:
Celery | Cereals (containing gluten) | Crustaceans | Eggs | Fish | Lupin | Milk | Molluscs | Mustard | Nuts | Peanuts | Sesame seeds | Soya | Sulphur/sulphites
All products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans
Free from animal fats
Free from animal-derived food colours
Vanilla products may contain trace amounts of alcohol. We use vanilla in some of our products.
Please consult the product details or the FAQ for details. We can produce these products without vanilla upon request.
Free from preservatives and additives
Though our ingredients, premises, recipes, packaging and delivery process are free from the main allergens; The utmost care is taken to uphold this standard, though, it is not impossible for contamination to take place that are beyond the control of My Gammie’s especially on outer packaging due to careless handling and other such situations.
For this reason and as a safety precaution we advise all customers to transfer purchased contents into domestic containers once received and to carefully discard of all outer packaging.