How we've helped Cultura Live Foods

Growth Hub case study

Business overview

Experienced chef Paul Learney takes a fresh look at fermented foods.

You’re always going to be excited about your own ideas and business but what the Growth Hub did was take away so much of the confusion. It really centres you.


How we helped

Chef Paul Learney says Growth Hub has given him a fresh outlook on his start-up food business.

Paul spent 27 years working in kitchens and was running his own restaurant in Cornwall when a serious back injury forced him to reassess his career.

He had started up a vegetable fermenting business as a ‘side hustle’ before deciding he could potentially make a go of it as a full-time venture.

Cultura Live Food is a collection of specially fermented pickles, such as kimchi and sauerkraut, that add flavour to dishes or can be enjoyed as a condiment with cheeses, salads and more.

Paul had plenty of ideas and know-how about food and flavours but wanted support to turn a much-loved pet project into a profitable business venture.

“I had a really good idea of what I wanted to do, and I did think I had a really good idea of how to get there,” said Paul. “But there was so much information in my head that I was getting muddled up.

“I was going down one route and coming back on myself.”

Paul was doing some online research and came across the Growth Hub. He contacted our team of experts who were able to offer him advice on everything from marketing to finance and costing. Paul was also referred on to free business support workshops, where he was able to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“The workshop just seemed like it would send me down the right route and just give me a bit of clarity on this huge bundle of ideas in my head,” said Paul, adding that being able to bounce ideas around and pick up feedback on his products proved invaluable. “It helped me to refine some of my ideas.”

Growth Hub’s experts signposted Paul to the right help and support, as well as giving him advice on his customer base and marketing strategies.

“It actually made me rethink my whole business structure, which has really amplified things for me,” said Paul. “It’s sent me down a line where I should be making a profit a lot quicker than I would have done if I’d gone down my own initial route.”

Cultura Live Food, based in Troon, Camborne, will soon be launching its new products. The range - made using locally sourced ingredients - includes a ‘sauerbeet beetroot’, a blend of beetroot, red cabbage and fennel seed.

Paul says talking to Growth Hub has reinvigorated his passion for what he’s doing and given him some much-needed focus.

“You’re always going to be excited about your own ideas and business but what the Growth Hub did was take away so much of the confusion,” he said. “It really centres you. I think it makes the journey of starting up a business a lot more enjoyable because, all of a sudden, it doesn’t seem quite so daunting.”

Paul said he would recommend the Growth Hub to any business in the area for the advice and support the organisation can provide but also for the networking opportunities on offer.

“Cornwall is a fantastic place to run a business or be a producer,” said Paul, "and Growth Hub really gives you that focus and opens up all those opportunities.”



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The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub from May 2016 -  June 2023 was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and match funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.  The project received £2,848,591.49 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. 

Business name Cultura Live Foods
Contact number 07966 944039
Contact email [email protected]
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