Building a brand with Isla Castle of Vinny
Say it with us: self 👏 service 👏 snacking. Manchester-based start-up Vinny are changing the game with artisan plant-based treats to go - we first spotted their unmissable bubblegum pink vending machines over in Huckletree and just had to know more. We grabbed Vinny Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Isla for the low-down on building a brand, the future of vegan snacking and the inspiring podcasts you should be following. Let’s go!
HI ISLA, CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO IN FIVE WORDS?
When you’re a start-up those 5 words have to be ‘just about everything and more’.
FROM INITIAL IDEAS TO MAKING VINNY A REALITY: WHAT ARE THE MOST CHALLENGING AND REWARDING ASPECTS OF STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
It’s so easy to feel really overwhelmed and as if there’s no end to your to-do list and there kind of isn’t when you start your own business. For me, the challenge has been to not get distracted by what’s going on around you and stick to your own path. The most rewarding is just seeing everything you’ve been planning and dreaming about come into fruition, seeing our physical vending machines for the first time is something I will never ever forget.
Co Founder Matt, Co-Hounder Iggy and Isla 🐾
FROM PODCASTS TO PLAYLISTS, WHAT INSPIRES YOU WHILE YOU WORK?
I’m obsessed with podcasts and I find listening to them is a great way to stay motivated. I’m loving ‘The Body Protest Podcast’ with Honey Ross and Nadia Craddick, I try and listen to female voices that make me question my own thinking. I’m also a big (huge) musical theatre fan so I’ll listen to a musical soundtrack from start to finish and I swear time goes by faster.
THROUGH VINNY, YOU’RE REDEFINING CONVENIENCE AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR OUR SNACK GAME. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE GO-TO TREATS?
Lucky for me I’m actually Vinny’s chief taster so nothing is approved without me tasting it first, living the dream. My top three have to be Abakus Seaweed Crisps, Protein Ball Co Energy Balls and Feel Good Rhubarb and Apple Sparkling Water, I love everything but these would have to be my go-to.
GO BIG OR GO HUNGRY! WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE VINNY LOCATION?
I think about this all the time and I don’t know if there’s any one place that I can think of but what I would love is just for my friends and family to be somewhere super random and send me a picture of our machines; I think that would be an ultimate pinch me moment.
WHO’S YOUR DREAM VINNY SNACK BOX FAN?
Judy Dench or Meryl Streep, not sure they’re the most realistic but you never know, Vinny could be right up their street.
WHAT’S GIVES A SNACK THE VINNY SEAL OF APPROVAL?
Taste is obviously number one but I’m also a big sucker for amazing branding, it makes such a difference to whether or not someone is going to gravitate towards a product.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS TIME?
Hopefully with Vinny Vending Machines just about everywhere and I’ll be wherever Vinny is.
Thanks, Isla! We’ve teamed up with Vinny on the ULTIMATE vegan giveaway, head to our Instagram to enter now and get serious snack ‘spo over at https://vinny.co.uk/ here. Thinking about getting your v-gang on? Join the conversation over on our HANX Life forum here.