16th July 2014

Claudifin 1

Brits go lolly for the crafty Claudi and Fin

How did you get started?
I met Lucy (the co-founder of Claudi and Fin) at a playgroup whilst on maternity leave from my TV job (making, amongst others, Kirstie&Phil Theme Nights with Raise The Roof Productions for Channel 4). It was Summer and Lucy had been hunting around for a wholesome lolly to give her daughter - when she couldn’t find anything available, she decided there might just be a gap in the market for a healthy frozen yoghurt lolly.  She told me about her idea and being a keen cook, I was only too happy to get involved experimenting with different flavours! Initially the plan was to sell our lollies at farmer’s markets locally, but when we saw a competition offering the chance to pitch to Sainsbury’s buyers, we decided to enter.  Trust me when I say we were amazed to be shortlisted from 400 applicants to pitch.  We were even more amazed when we won a 12-month contract to supply 300 stores!

What inspired you? 
Our children and a passion for honest, great tasting food.  I’ve always been suspicious of additives and ingredients with complex sounding names, so after I had my son, it made total sense to do everything in my power to avoid giving them to him.

How did you learn your craft?
Trial and error!  Initially we produced frozen yoghurt that was too icy - then we made batches that wouldn’t stay on the stick.  We also made flavours that didn’t work at all – I made a rhubarb and custard flavor that was a big no-no with our chief taste testers - the kids.  Thankfully, we managed to overcome the problems and produce something really delicious.

What do you love about making and selling your product?
Well there’s the very obvious bonus that I am constantly dreaming up and trying out new flavours! I also love how varied my days are.  One minute I’m coming up with ideas for social media or dreaming up new products, the next I’m trying to do the bookeeping (trying being the operative word!)

What challenges have you faced?
We made one fairly major rookie mistake!  When we started out, we had a different name.  We spent money developing a website and marketing materials using that name only to discover that someone else owned the trademark.  We’d already pitched to Sainsburys using that name, so it was pretty embarrassing, not to mention costly when we had to start from scratch.  Thankfully inspiration for a new name was right under our noses in the shape of our children; Claudia and Fin.

What’s your most popular product in Summer 2014?
Our Strawberry lolly just pips the mango one at the post, but there’s very little in it and both are delicious!

How would you describe your creations?
Creamy, (we use Greek-style yoghurt which tastes gorgeous) packed with fruit and bursting with flavor.

What’s special/unique about them?
They are the first Greek style frozen yoghurt lollies and the first frozen yoghurt specifically designed with children in mind.  They are less than 57 calories a pop (so great for Mum and Dad too) and enriched with Vitamin D, which is essential for the development of healthy bones.

Can you share with us some of your special ingredients?
We choose our ingredients very carefully – if we wouldn’t give it to our children, it doesn’t go in the lolly, it’s a simple as that!

Where do you get your inspiration from for new products?
We are always in delis and at farmers markets looking at beautiful packaging and tasting amazing local produce. Other people’s creations inspire us, along with the desire to make our children smile when we give them a new flavor to try.

What advice would you give others thinking about turning their passion into a career?
Do it but make sure you do your research! It’s important to know if there’s genuinely a market for what you want to create.  The last thing you want to do is turn your passion into something you resent if things don’t work out.

What does the future hold?
We want to create new products that people will love and trust. We’ll start with more flavours of lolly, but after that, both Lucy and I feel the sky is the limit! There so much food in the frozen aisles that isn’t particularly healthy, it would be lovely to shake things up a bit!

How many stores have you sold into?
We are currently exclusive to Sainsbury’s, in 300 of their largest stores.  For your nearest stockist you can visit http://www.claudiandfin.co.uk/our-stockists/

Where can we find out more about your products?
www.claudiandfin.co.uk facebook.com/claudifin Twitter: @claudifin.  You can also give us a ring – 020 3490 8484.  We love a chat!