Founder focus: Lucy and Jemima of Tart London and Wild by Tart
Using seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced produce from local farms, Tart London creates bespoke shoot catering for some of the biggest industry names. Alongside Tart London is Wild by Tart, a neighbourhood restaurant with drinks kiosk, deli and restaurant. BALANCE caught up with founders Lucy and Jemima to find out how the business came into being.
What was your eureka moment?
After catering for 5 years we got to a point where we were either going to take the company to the next stage, invest and push to become a big, thriving catering company or take it in a completely different direction. Although catering is very lucrative it wasn’t in our hearts – we had previously had a pop-up restaurant in Queens Park and it kept playing on our mind, it was really hard work but we loved it. So we decided to risk it all and open our own spot – and haven’t looked back!
What is your elevator pitch?
Wild by Tart is a neighbourhood restaurant in Eccleston Yards, Victoria. Our menus focus on wholesome, farm-to-fork dishes made using local and seasonal ingredients. We source lots of ingredients from our family farms in Northumberland and Somerset. Alongside the restaurant, we have also created a bar, deli, juice and coffee kiosk, retail store, events space and photography studio.
How did you test your idea?
We didn’t – will power and a very steep learning curve.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business on their own?
Go with your gut, prepare for a bumpy ride and don’t let anyone squash your vision.
Do you have a mentor or are you one?
No, but we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing, inspiring people who have been kind enough to give us their time, wise words and support.
What’s your plan B?
Eek – don’t have one! Move to a desert island?
What is the most worthwhile investment that you have made?
Hard-working talented people
What one failure are you glad you experienced?
Not glad, but what we have learnt most from is making a decision on what you want to hear – especially when it comes to hiring. It is easy for people to pull the wool over your eyes and effectively lie to your face, and we have got burnt here a couple of times – it hurts because your trust is broken. We are harder now and do our research!
What is coming up for Tart London and Wild by Tart?
Travel – we have a thirst for new inspiration as have been in Victoria for the past year. We are starting to work on an idea for a new book… Then perhaps site number two… Let’s see…
What book would you recommend that everyone reads and why?
We have loved the art of the restaurateur – stories from many of our heroes. The third plate by Dan Barber is fascinating.
How do you find balance in your daily life?
Understanding that life is short and it’s just a job at the end of the day – and appreciating family and friends, consciously stepping away from work and enjoying time with our loved ones.