Aaron and Mica are partners in life and partners in business. With a guiding hand from Mica, what started as Aaron's dream has become reality but not quite as he’d imagined…
Aaron and Mica, from Romford, are the dream team. Having started their food business in May 2018 they have gone from strength to strength.
Aaron originally aspired to own a restaurant selling bagels and had never considered life in street food.
“The overheads of a restaurant are really high, especially in and around London. Mica took me to a street food market and it was then we decide that was what we were going to do.
“I did originally want to sell bagels but Mica suggested we stick to our roots and what we know and love, and that’s Caribbean food. We realised that nowhere really sold the food that we liked to enjoy – we wanted to do something different but something that we knew we liked ourselves, so we chose Caribbean dumplings.”
Mica adds, “when you search for dumplings online all you see is Chinese dumplings. We knew that our business could be different, and this would be our USP.”
Aaron works part time and Mica had been working full time in fashion when they began their journey into street food trading. She went freelance so that she could support the business as it quickly came to light that it would be a two-person job.
On the steps that it took to start Dumplin Ltd, Mica states, “Aaron did a lot of the background work, food hygiene, registering with the council and everything.
“Once that was done we looked at the menu – we wanted strong options for our customers and we wanted to include vegetarian and vegan options so that we could involve everyone. Our chickpea dish is one of our most popular dishes!
“We wanted to make food that our parents and grandparents have made but with a modern twist. We tried our recipes on family and friends to the point that they were sick of us, but we knew we had to get it right.
“In May we decided to take the plunge and just go for it – we knew we had to do it sometime!”
Aaron and Mica now trade every Sunday on Chatsworth Road Market in London and have had great feedback on their dishes. Street food trading has quickly become their new passion and they hope to be able to make it a full-time venture, attending festivals, events and more markets.
Aaron says, “trading on a market is something I would have never have thought of doing, but now I’m here I wouldn’t think of doing anything else. It’s important for anyone thinking of starting up a food business to take time to get their product and service right. Get feedback and make changes so you know that the product is something you’re happy with.”
They recently attended the National Youth Market organised by the NMTF and hosted by LSD Promotions in Stratford-Upon-Avon where they delighted the taste buds of passing tourists and Stratfordians alike!
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Mission For Markets is a campaign run jointly by NABMA and NMTF