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ArtForm: City Showcase Markets, Food

I founded Capsicana because I absolutely love chillies and Latin American food.

I’ve eaten in many true Mexican cantinas and always wanted to bring the fantastic flavours of authentic Latin American chillies to as many people as possible. At the end of 2009, after having a Saturday afternoon sofa time epiphany, I decided to quit my job in London to pursue my dream to develop the best food brand I possibly could, based around chillies and Latin American cuisine.

The story of Capsicana from it’s origins to where we are today is best told in 2 stages:

Stage 1 saw me start trading on a market stall. My start-up capital was £500 with which I bought a 5kg bag of rare chilli flakes, some zip lock polythene bags, and a few branded header cards that I stapled to the tops of the bags. Shortly afterwards I bit the bullet and invested ALL of my capital in importing a consignment of chillies directly from Mexico. Finding a supplier was hard enough, but communicating with them was harder still. Every time I telephoned them they put the phone down because of language issues. It took the persistence of calling them 2 or 3 times a day, every day for about three weeks until finally an English speaker picked the phone up. Tenacity has its reward and my first consignment was on its way! It was a scary time, not least because my chillies were held back while being cleared through customs and I thought they were going to be incinerated but I’m happy to say that that didn’t happen!

As the business grew we started to attract media attention and secured many radio appearances plus coverage in national (magazines & newspapers) and local press – and we were named as one of the best up and coming food brands in the Fine Food Digest!

I continued to develop the business and product offering, adding condiment sauces and extending the range out to 35 product lines until I had taken this stage 1 concept as far as I could.

At this point, I knew Capsicana had to innovate to go further and set about completely relaunching the business into what you see today.

For Stage 2, I looked at every aspect of the business and set about developing the offering into a more exciting and engaging consumer proposition that we could grow and take to more consumers. The Mexican and Latin American fixtures in UK retail are occupied by lazy companies that are not delivering what people want and Capsicana is on a path to shake things up.

It’s been a fantastic and exciting journey so far and many obstacles have been overcome along the way. As we grow even more our focus will be where it always has been – making the best quality and most flavoursome products we possibly can.

Thanks for reading and your support. Get ready to see a whole lot more of Capsicana!

Ben Jackson.

Featuring In:

ESM 2015 Friday
Friday 29.05.2015
ESM 2015 Saturday
Saturday 30.05.2015
ESM 2015 Sunday
Sunday 31.05.2015
ESM 2016 Friday
Friday 15.07.2016
ESM 2016 Saturday
Saturday 16.07.2016
ESM 2016 Sunday
Sunday 17.07.2016
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