How I Got Here: Bryony Tinn-Disbury

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

How I Got Here with jackfruit vegan meat producer Jack & Bry co-founder Bryony Tinn-Disbury

Related tags: Plant-based, Vegan

The co-founder of plant-based meat company Jack & Bry, which recently partnered with Prezzo to supply jackfruit pepperoni across the Italian chain's restaurant estate, reflects on her career to date.

Why restaurants?
I think Covid has definitely reset our love of going out and socialising, even if it’s to visit your friends over at their house! But for restaurants, for someone else to do the cooking while we are out – it all feels like such a luxury again. Mealtimes are a special occasion in restaurants, with décor, people and hosts to inspire and entertain us. Making people happy with tasty food is our prime mission, so there is no better place to start than at restaurants. Never before, have we had the need for going out with family or friends and enjoy time together.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Everything takes longer thank you think. You need experience to see things from a new perspective, in order to grow.

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants?
Wagamama! I go weak at the knees for any Asian-inspired food. And any of Rick Stein’s restaurants for the breezy feel to them. They also do great local veg dishes!

What motivates you?
Four things:
- To learn more about jackfruit and technology and how it can shape the future of our food.
- Having a laugh with family and friends.
- Meeting inspiring people e.g. Adam Handling.
- Lastly but most importantly, my husband Tom and watching our kids grow.

What keeps you up at night?
I like the problems I know, not the ones I don’t.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to business?
Jen [Pardoe], my co-founder. With Jen's experience from the food industry and my ‘anything is possible’ mantra, we’ve steered and supported each other together on an exciting opportunity to bring a more premium plant-based meat to restaurant menus, by using jackfruit.

Best business decision?
Bringing on Clive Sharpe (ex Quorn, now our non-exec chairman) and David Flower (ex Kerry Foods, now our non-exec director) to support our retail vision and bolster our foodservice ambitions.

Worst business decision?
In early 2020, going to supermarkets meetings with product and packaging that was not ready.

How do you let off steam?
Hanging out with my husband and kids. Or now we can again, going out to a local restaurant with friends for a good old catch up.  I also do as much sport as possible. Even if that means getting a black eye from being whacked in the face with a hockey ball.

What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Lasagne, plant-based style, with jackfruit mince of course so it’s super-fast to make, but I like to add Vermondo vegan parmesan cheese – gives it that cheesy kick I love.

Typical Sunday?
It could be anything, family life takes over and it’s crazy. I’m an active ‘activities’ person as it is, so we always have something planned to entertain or educate the boys with outside of rugby practice. And usually, the thriftier the activity, the more fun it seems to be. I get my kicks from that.

Favourite Holiday Destination?
Norfolk – Holkham Beach is just bliss.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Everyone that knows me, knows I hate to waste a journey. Last year, I’d arrived in Los Angeles ready for our stand at Expo West. It was to be our first big trade event, until Covid cancelled it the very same day. So instead I got myself to San Francisco – to a Silicon Valley investor / Dragon’s Den style pitch event for food tech start ups - of which I was not even invited to. Within a few hours, I arrived, and managed to convince the organiser to hear our story, saying “I’ve just arrived from London, England”.  Fifteen minutes later I was on stage pitching my heart out. I just had to make the most of that flight, rather than just fly back defeated.

What boxset are you currently watching?
Schitt's Creek.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Deliver the best-in-class service because your customers always come first. Communication is key.

Bio

Born in Northampton, Tinn-Disbury studied Sport Science for a year at Cardiff before moving to London to study Animation and Film at London Metropolitan. It was while at university that she become a producer in the advertising industry for a marketing agency. From there she became project manager at Brand Amplifier, a charity supporting FinTech entrepreneurs grow their brand and fundraising. She followed this with a role as marketing manager at A-Gas. Tinn-Disbury founded Jack & Bry with Jennifer Pardoe in 2019.

Related topics: People, Profiles

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