The ‘Lick the opposition’ pop-up breakfast at Terre a Terre

Katariina Jarvinen, Light Trick Photography

Photo Credit Katariina Jarvinen, Light Trick Photography

I’m a sucker for a misfit entrepreneur as you probably know and everything about Lick screams unconventional and full of heart! I’ve been a member of Brighton Chamber for a little while now, but have been unable to make their Friday morning breakfasts, so when I saw that they were hosting a pop up with the guys from Lick I was very happy that I would be able to attend.

I was even more pleased upon discovering it was to be at Terre a Terre and hosted by Steve Bustin who always manages to make his interviewees feel relaxed and conversational.

So on a beautifully bright but rainy morning at the back the East Street restaurant after mingling with new members and thanking Ben Lambert of Neptik for sponsoring we ate a truly scrumptious breakfast and then got down to it.

Lick was started back in 2000 by Ky & Owain entrepreneurial school friends who were not able to join us for the breakfast. Tom who’s now also on the team (and known the boys since university) explained that Owain is not a fan of public speaking and we would likely not get a word out of him and Ky is recuperating from a broken neck (not as dramatic as it sounds, he assured us)

Tom became a part of the small team shortly after they moved to Brighton and knows all there is to know about the duo and the brand it seems.

The boys grew up in Tenby and started their fro-yo adventure while still at school, purchasing a trike and selling their homemade frozen yoghurt to the locals. The following year with their profits they bought a second trike and later grew their empire further still by leasing a beach for the summer and renting deck chairs, a bouncy castle and yes, more frozen yoghurt. Eventually they had saved enough to move to Brighton and open the UK’s very first frozen yoghurt store.

You can read their full story here and watch their awesome little video here.

“Why Brighton?”

“Well, it’s a great place to start something new, and all our friends were here!”

Tom shares their story with a relaxed air. Upon being asked about how the decisions have been made over the years his response is;

“We’ve always just done what we love and hope something comes from that.”

Which seems like a bloody good strategy to me. Decisions which, I should add – led to the closing of the iconic Brighton store after 6 years – opting instead for wholesale supermarket distribution of their ‘lick tubs’ – first with independent suppliers, then Ocado and Sainsburys.

It is clear to me that what underpins everything for these guys and their standout brand is their passion, values and creativity.

It is pleasing to me that the creation of an effortlessly innovative and ‘cool’ brand has come not from contrived planning sessions and “strategy meetings” but instead from a deep and true love of friendship, business and creativity.

Having never had the same money as their competitors, and so unable to compete on that level – somehow their creativity, resourcefulness and innovation and their “we never try and fake anything” attitude has won hearts and minds.

The guys have now moved to New England house – they have a record label which will likely never make them any money – but as long as it continues to covers costs and they’re still having fun, will remain.

Do they miss being on the high street?

A little but they host events, have in house artist residencies, a school, and house a regular pay-what-you-can yoga class – go check them out and say hi!

and whats next?

Soft serve fro-yo apparently – their revolutionary formula will mean that they may very well become a house hold name – except maybe not in the UK – we don’t eat enough ice cream…Ireland on the other hand…

Whatever is next for them I’m sure it will evolve organically and be a lot of fun!

I really enjoyed hearing their story, I found it inspiring to hear that staying true to your values, honoring fun and friendship and creativity above all else has lead these guys to where they are today.

I wish them loads of luck and can’t wait for their soft serve frozen yoghurt concessions or their sugar free recipe (which might appear later in the year)

Ebonie xoxo

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