There’s something delicious about a good start-up story. And when that story features rocky road fudge, gooey brownies and sammiches so good you will be holding back the tears between bites; well, we’re pretty much drooling to hear all about it.
Last week we sat down with Meg Pascoe, the salted-caramel-sauce-wielding goddess who co-founded The Counter, to find out how awesome you have to be to start a business that literally specialises in happiness.
Alrighty, Meg. Let’s start by hearing the wonderful birth story of The Counter.
The Counter was born at the smallest little market in Jozi, where we sold fresh bread, our now-famous brownies and an assortment of homemade jams and cordials. I had always dreamed of opening a restaurant, and before I’d even realised it, that small step was the start of something amazing.
On a scale of 1 to terrifying, how has starting your own thang been?
Starting The Counter really wasn’t terrifying. It was passion-fuelled. I worked full time for nearly three years while running my own business on the side, so it was always a little side project. As it grew and grew, I knew that I had to take the leap. I’ve been running The Counter full-time since October 2013 and I haven’t once looked back at my old life.
We hear that you rather like social media. (Wink, wink). What is your favourite platform and why?
Ha! Just a little bit of a social media fan! I actually love Instagram more than anything (although Twitter is an obvious close second). I just wish that I would remember to take photographs of other things besides food – I look at some people’s feeds and I’m jealous of their gorgeous photography skills and eye for cool detail. The first thing I think of when I get (or prepare) a delicious meal is to take a shot for Instagram. One glance at my photographs and I remember all of the awesome shit I’ve done over the past year.
How has using social media specifically helped to build your business?
I always tell people that The Counter definitely would not be where we are today without the use of social media. We were the tiniest company when we started – two passionate foodies selling sammiches at markets. No one knew who we were. Create a Twitter account and BOOM! People are suddenly knocking on your (proverbial) door for food. To this day, I haven’t paid for one piece of advertising or marketing. I’m always so excited when someone pops up to buy something at a market because they’ve seen pictures of our food on Instagram. How amazing?
What are some of your expert tips for Facebooking, Instagramming and Tweeting like a boss?
Expert tips? From me? Eish. I would probably tell people to be themselves. I’m the same person online as I am in real life – full of shit. Don’t like the way we serve up our burgers? So what, go eat somewhere else. We make fucking amazing food and it’s not for everyone, but we know that. So ja, be yourself. Just be cool.
And now for the most important question: if you could serve up some of your wicked brownies to someone famous, who would it be?
Well, I’ve already sent them to my favourite “celeb” ever – Victor Matfield, and he loved them. So that’s pretty much a dream come true. I suppose the next famous person who deserves our brownies is Oprah. Bitch loves chocolate.
So, kids, if you’re into eating incredible food, looking at pictures of incredible food, or sassy talk about all of this food – follow @CounterLove on Twitter and @the_counter on Instagram. And then go get a real-life treat at one of the markets The Counter frequents. Your waistline might regret it but remember when we said that thing about ROCKY ROAD FUDGE? That is all.
(Written with love by You&Me’s awesome copywriter: Jenny Coulson)