The process of launching White Rabbit Pizza has taught co-founder Nick Croft-Simon some valuable business lessons.
Build an idea
We were working in The White Rabbit pub in Oxford and Matteo [Ferrari – co-founder] tweaked the existing menu based on his family recipes. The pub developed a real reputation for the quality of its pizzas (which it still serves!) and we were getting a lot of requests for gluten-free and vegan variants. We started talking about bringing the product to the retail sector, noticing a distinct lack of innovation compared to other categories.
Refine your proposition
We spent a whole year before launch developing the recipe in a tiny kitchen upstairs in the pub, going to trade shows and designing the packaging. You learn it all on the fly: no one teaches you how to create a barcode, complete a new line form or fill in nutritional information. But you speak to people, make mistakes, learn from them and keep going. People are always happy to give you advice and you need to take advantage of that from the outset – it will come full circle in the end.
Develop your brand
We toyed with the name for months. Eventually, we realised that the answer was staring us in the face: the pub where it all began. We didn’t want the name to be too product-specific because I think your brand should always transcend any single range. We knew we were passionate about amazing pizza and we knew we had an authentic origin story: White Rabbit Pizza encapsulates all of that perfectly.