This week on FEW Member's Corner, we would like to introduce you to Jenny Tan, Co-Founder of The Raw Circus, a 100% plant-based raw vegan meal plan and lunch delivery service.
Hi Jenny, what inspired you to start THE RAW CIRCUS?
My business partner and I were working in Africa for many years running a brand agency, and at the end of 2017 we were really burnt out. My mother Coco, who had been living in Hong Kong for a while, suggested we both come over to do a raw vegan cleanse to get us back on track.
We did a two week cleanse, and felt better right away - physically, mentally and spiritually! But we also realised that preparing raw food at home is actually a full-time job that requires a whole lot of equipment - who’s got time for that?! That’s when the idea for THE RAW CIRCUS and the raw vegan meal plans was born, and what better city to launch than Hong Kong.
How did you get into plant-based eating?
Back in 2000, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Instead of doing chemo therapy, she beat her cancer with a raw vegan diet. From one day to the other, she went from being a carnivore to being a raw vegan, and within a month or so, she was fitter than ever. That’s when I first realised the immense power of plant-based nutrition, and that’s when I first became a vegan.
Coco went on to become an international speaker on the topic of “The Power of Food”, and with THE RAW CIRCUS we’re hosting workshops, so keep an eye out for upcoming events!
What makes THE RAW CIRCUS special?
We basically make healthy food taste really good. Vegan is a hot topic in Hong Kong right now and while other meal plans offer vegan “options”, we fully specialise in vegan cuisine, so we really dive into the deep end, bringing out the diversity and creativity of vegan food that you can’t find anywhere else - the gourmet-factor. Our guilt-and gluten- free desserts, cakes and sweets are to die for... and we make amazing nut cheeses!
We are also the only meal delivery service in HK to offer a Zero-Waste solution. You can get all deliveries in reusable containers that will be picked up at the end of the week.
If you don’t want to commit to a meal plan but want to try out what vegan food is all about, try out our Vegan Virgin Experience - get a full day’s worth of delicious vegan food, including breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner and dessert, as well as a cold-pressed juice and an infused water.
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE
I didn't have to do any fundraising for THE RAW CIRCUS. But I've launched many projects over the years, and this is a rule I established for myself: Don't ever let anyone invest in your business that doesn't understand your business. They can trust you all they want; if they don't trust your judgement (which is different from trusting you as a person) they will take it personally when a projection doesn't work out the way it was envisioned, rather than understanding the underlying business environment. That puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on your as the owner of the business.
On growing teams…
Don't grow too fast. Only fill positions for work you really can't cover yourself. Delegation often takes more time than doing it yourself.
On building credibility…
By being consistent and having good communication with your clients. Clients feel safe when they know how to reach you to express their concerns or issues. Everyone knows things will go wrong, but it's important to be reachable and deal with the situation immediately.