The Chilli Leap of Faith!
Chillies filled me with optimism and confidence. It felt like my chilli dream was going to work! “Pivot” became a reactive business term during COVID. Two decades earlier, I was being proactive and effectively jumping off a cliff into the mist! No one had done this before—it required a chilli leap of faith!
Chilli Business Start-Up Funding
I was “bootstrapping” the venture on a shoestring budget.
I wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute—would you?
So, I combined an economic theory with a safety net strategy:
Economic Theory: Say’s Law
Say’s Law, in a nutshell, maintains that supply creates its own demand. “If you build it, they will come” if you liked the film Field of Dreams. Therefore, if I grow chillies and make excellent products out of them—they will sell. Easy peasy!
Sounds good, but what if the chillies don’t sell?
Blind optimism works well, better sometimes if you cannot see the potential fall from a great height! However, I was not making a chilli leap of faith without a parachute.
Leap of Faith Safety Net Strategy
My safety net strategy was to have another source of income to bridge the gap between creating the chilli business and establishing an income stream. I was also a university lecturer in economics, business, and MBA, and a digital (IT) consultant. I would continue to teach and my digital skills were to play a large part. I even won an award for my chilli website!
My Vision: Getting Chillies on the Shop Shelves
There was a gap in the market. My vision was to get more varieties of chilli on the shop shelves. Tomatoes had achieved this.
Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I only saw 2 types of tomato on the shop shelves: a Spanish tomato and a big beef tomato. In the noughties (year 2000+), many more varieties of tomato were available on the shelves. I was hoping to achieve this for chillies.
You may have noticed chilli availability has improved today. I’m not saying I was solely responsible for that, but I helped 😊
Educating The Nation About Chillies
I was a university lecturer and education was my thing. I wanted to use my chilli knowledge to educate the nation about chillies. I talked about:
- Taste or flavour in varieties
- Heat and the Scoville Heat Scale
- Health benefits, and
- Made it FUN! 😊
I did this at events and through my award-winning chilli website, which was achieved by my association with some networks of people which I will talk about next in part 4.
Local Food Evangelist
The term “Local Food Evangelist” did not exist. But that is exactly what I was—a Chilli Evangelist.
I believe that the love I had for chilli growing, the enthusiasm and the willingness to educate the nation about chillies shone through in everything I did. Someone famous commented that it felt like there was “a smile in my voice” during a competition I entered in the media, which I will discuss later. That smile and enjoyment was borne out of the indestructible hope, love and excitement about my hobby blossoming into a business. I seemed to embody Say’s Law in action!
In Passion Lies Power
I followed my heart, engaged my passion for chilli growing, took a leap of faith and began chasing my dream.
With no money, no guidebook, very little advice and a handful of chilli seeds ‘n dirt, I made my chilli leap of faith and JUMPED into the world of food and drink!
READ ON… Part 4: The Foodie Community
Who is RK Alker Children’s Author?
R.K. Alker Best-Selling Children’s Author was born in the UK, but he was MADE IN LANCASHIRE!
He is famous as the TV & Radio ChilliMan aficionado and a champion of local producers or “Food Evangelist!”
R.K. Alker has a career spanning more than 3 decades of university lecturing, content writing, UK 999 emergency ambulances, media and entertainment as the colourful TV ChilliMan which contributed to this hilarious children’s adventure book written for his kids.
Read RK Alker Funny Kids’ Author’s amazing story in the PRESS SECTION CLICK HERE
RK Alker is an author of funny children’s books from Chorley, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom, Earth!
His little girls think RK Alker is the Best Funny Kids Author in the World.
Find RK Alker Children’s Author Events, Book Readings, Children’s Bedtime Stories, Kids’ Storytelling, School Author Visits, Children’s Book Signings and more on Eventbrite.