Griff Holland, co founder of Friska, epitomises the enthusiasm and energy you all too often find in some of the awesome humans of hospitality. Spending a couple of ours in Griff’s company was an utter pleasure. His level of obsession about just the right amount of avocado that should be any one bite of a sandwich reminded me of why a life of hospitality is so all consuming and almost impossible to nail. So many details to obsess about.
One of the great things about setting up a food or drink business is that you have the perfect reason to test – and taste – lots of edible things, in the name of market research.
Griff, took the work of testing and tasting to impressive (possibly obsessive) extremes. Whether it was offering samples of five different types of chai to fellow diners in India or quizzing American tourists in Vietnam about their lunch habits back home, Griff was relentless in his quest to work out what makes us feel really good when we go out to eat.
And his research paid off, because, right from the start the ‘Feel Good Food’ vision of Friska has impressed a succession of funders and has gained a loyal following in Bristol and Manchester.
But, as you’ll hear, Griff, and his co-founder Ed Brown, have learned hard lessons too – including the importance of serving great coffee and having something familiar, like a chicken sandwich, on the menu.
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