Classlist talks to Steve Sidhu from Ten Mile Menu about his interest in organic food, farming and how he is combining his passion for the environment with entrepreneurialism.
Q1: What is your business and why did you set it up?
We’re an online grocery store specialising in local produce, organic veg boxes, traditional dairy, grass-fed meat and more. I set the business up to connect customers with local farmers and producers, to offer farmers a more regular and consistent way of reaching customers who care about where their food comes from and the environment, and who want to support their local economy.
Q2: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I have always worked in an environment in which you only get out what you put it, having become disillusioned with a corporate/purely profit-driven world, it seemed natural to at least give the idea of a ten mile concept my best shot.
Q3: What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Freedom, both operationally and strategically. I also love working with like minded individuals (producers and farmers).
Q4: Why did you locate your business in this area? What do you like about it?
We have fantastic produce around the Bucks/Oxon borders and I wanted to be able to buy more of it outside of monthly farmers markets! ten mile menu has enabled our customers to have affordable, fresh local produce in the kitchen every week, something very difficult to find before.
Q5: Who inspires you most? Why?
I grew up working on the farm of my best friend’s parents, they sold their wedding presents to help buy a few cows and a caravan. 50 years later they still work very hard, but in much more comfortable surrounds – the folk that would now label them wealthy farmers have no idea of the hard work, risk, and huge stress that has gone into achieving where they are today.
Q6: What memory do you have of your own school days?
I went to school in a Lincolnshire market town and on the whole loved it, I spent as much time as possible playing football and cricket, but still managed to do ok in my exams – must have been some good teaching!
Q7: What do you like about supporting your local school community?
Supporting local schools fits perfectly with the ten mile ethos, it’s a local business for local folk. The more we work together and support each other the better it is for all. I am biased, but I also think it is fantastic for children to grow up in a household that is mindful of where their food is grown and produced!