Shaper: Cat Gazzoli

Show aired on 28th January 2017

Transcript

Cat Gazzoli

Cat Gazzoli is founder of organic baby food brand, Piccolo. Her founding principle was to create organic wholesome goodness made from ethically sourced product. Cat is also former CEO of Slow Food UK, the global campaigning organisation for good, clean and fair food.

Cat’s love of food started in her family’s grocery shop in the mountains of Italy, with her food career taking off at the tender age of 21 with the United Nations food agencies in Rome where she created campaigns and programmes promoting sustainable livelihoods for farmers. With a background in linking the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community, Cat has launched programs across the UK to help families consider the provenance and nutritional make-up of what they put on their plate. Her passion, love and understanding of good food is at the heart of Piccolo, ensuring the brand is like no other.

Reflecting Cat’s Italian roots, the brand celebrates the Mediterranean approach to health and wellbeing that champions fresh ingredients, lovingly prepared and shared with friends and family. Piccolo believes that Mediterranean goodness is all about promoting that life is better when there is a balance in areas such as nutrition, flavour, family and community.

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…the blends that we use and the ingredients that we use and where they are sourced from…that’s part of my DNA and so important to me when building a brand and making a delicious tasting product.

We still have a small grocery shop up in the mountains of Northern Italy near Geneva so I grew up around a lot of pesto making and ravioli making.

I was hearing from British parents across the UK that they wanted some blends that would have a little hint of basil or mint and it would be just a little bit more stretching of their child’s pallet.

At this point even though we are in eight hundred different stores and supermarkets, it’s still very much a small family business.

I still cook for my team all the time. My kitchen, my home, is right next door to our office…

I am kind of the black sheep of the team because I am the one that wasn’t coming straight from, you know, grocery retail, branded goods…

I made it a point that Piccolo would have very diverse funding on the gender side. We have two female investors now and I’ve just launched a Piccolo with AllBright which is the first female platform for female founder lead businesses.

I am quite collaborative, I bring in my team on key decisions, I work very closely with our directors and I do think that is somewhat typical of female leadership. I am not a Mussolini let’s put it that way.

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