One of the best things about going to vegan festivals is to find out new vegan products available in the local market. I’ve missed the VegFestUK Brighton this year and will have to wait till Bristol – happening on May 21st and 22nd – to try Good Full Stop, the newest addition to the vegan bars options available in the UK.
I had the opportunity to interview the Founder of Good Full Stop, Richard Stoker, to find out more about their delicious range of vegan healthy snack bars:
You’re well established as an importer / exporter of dates and date-based products, so how did the idea of launching your first ever consumer product come about?
We’re actually the largest importers of Dates in the UK and probably northern Europe, importing and processing thousands of tonnes each year. Making a date based bar is a logical step for us in to what is clearly a growing market. However, becoming a manufacturer is a totally new thing. We’re babies but we are learning fast.
What is it about Good Full Stop bars that make them appealing?
They’re healthy, incredibly nutritious, and they taste great. And they are filling without too many calories. They’re a great snack ‘on the go’ to get you through to lunchtime without piling on the pounds. Pop them in your kit bag, your sports bag or the kids lunch box. A customer at VegFestUK Brighton described one of the chocolate varieties as a ‘healthy guilty pleasure’. We quite like that. It sort of fits.
Why did you decide to launch a product that is healthy, gluten and dairy-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
I myself have been a vegetarian for well over 30 years. A tasty snack that’s both veggie and vegan is the obvious route for us to take. Vegans and veggies will agree I’m sure, sometimes we have to pay twice. We pay at the till and then we pay with a small sacrifice when we don’t get quite what we want in terms of flavour in order to choose the veggie, vegan or just the healthy option. Most times it’s a small unnoticed sacrifice to live life slightly differently to the mainstream.
I wanted to make a product that does not compromise on flavour and I hope most will agree we’ve nailed it. We think our bars are delicious. You don’t pay twice.
Good Full Stop bars are already available in Holland & Barrett in the UK. What are the distributing plans for the product?
You can buy them from us of course from our website www.goodfullstop.com. You can also buy in the Grape Tree stores and numerous independent health shops and deli’s. We are just launching in Iceland (the country not the supermarket) and are already selling in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Watch this space for the rest of Europe.
What’s your favourite flavour combination of Good Full Stop bars?
Clearly, cool and minty is my favourite, but I have to tell you we have two new flavours in the pipe-line that are quite possibly THE best yet. That’s all I can say for now.
We always want to know a bit more about the people behind the brands, so tell us who is Richard Stoker?
Back in the day I started as a market trader and that’s pretty much what we still do today. 30 odd years ago I’d get in my van and drive to market, choose my produce, drive back, set out my stall and sell.
The customer would buy based on the value I delivered, or not, and come back to get more the week after. This is pretty much what we still do today. A successful business is about delivering value.
On a personal note I’m a family man with 3 great kids, all grown and flown. My eldest daughter Lucie is a barrister, middle-girl Joss (Stone) sings a bit and my son Harry is a photographer/videographer. They’re all veggie and have been since birth, you could say since conception.
I’m also a qualified sailing skipper and aviation pilot. This year I’m taking my balloon rating in the states. Look out for our Good Full Stop balloon!
Good Full Stop will be appearing in the upcoming vegan festivals in the UK this year. What’s the importance of supporting events like this?
We dipped our toe with a veg fest earlier this year. The response was truly inspiring for me personally.
We spend a lot of time formulating in the kitchen and carrying out factory trials. It’s great to see peoples faces when they taste the bars. The curious inquiring frown transforms to a smile with raised eyebrows. And the noises people make. Mmmm. Ahhh. Nice. Delicious. I’m going to record some for the website. It really is very encouraging to see your product hit the spot.