We Had a Great 2017!

 

Hi everyone, it’s Jikky!

2017 started off with one of those surreal moments where I just thought ‘Huh… so that just happened?’ Back in November (2016), getting Channel 4’s invitation to appear on Rebecca Seal’s food trend talk (Sunday Brunch) was already mind boggling enough, and I’d gone through the entire process of sending them the pasta samples and whatnots. But actually seeing Gusto Nero pasta on live TV was a a whole ‘nother story; I had no words. A year before that, Gusto Nero was no more than an idea flittering between my ears, then half way across the world, fields were sown, rice was grown, and suddenly we were on one of Britain’s most watched channels on new year’s day. Great!

 

Then came my favourite part of the year. The International Food & Drink Event 2017 in london was Gusto Nero’s first trade show. It was an event that brought like minded foodies and people with passion for healthy eating together, and an amazing opportunity for networking and collaboration opportunities! I met inspiring brand founders, many of whom I’m now good friends with. It was incredible how nice everybody was to a new brand like Gusto Nero. I would like to give special shout-outs to Abakus Foods’ delicious jujube snack, Real Good Ketchup’s homely recipe with no added sugar, MiiRO’s fantastic free-from ice-lolly, Seed and Bean’s organic extra-dark chocolate, Rebel Kitchen’s incredible coconut drinks, and Giving Tree’s freeze-dried mangoes!

 

July saw the apex of our brand performance, which could not have made me prouder. At Taste of South, Gusto Nero pasta featured on Barbara Cox’s cooking show. For someone who is a Global Award Winning Nutritionist with fantastic cooking skills, Barbara was very humble and down to earth, not to mention an Excellent cook! She was incredibly generous, and someone who has not only cooked a really delicious meal out of Gusto Nero’s pasta, but also shown me the value of women power and what changes we could bring to this industry.

Watch our video on YouTube: Gusto Nero Pasta – Global Award Winning Nutritionist Top Choice!

Watch our video on YouTube: People Trying Black Jasmine Rice Pasta for the First Time!

 

 

August came and Gusto Nero left British soil for the first time! Think reggae music, think colourful clothes, think of the sun and spices! That’s right, Gusto Nero made it to Spain’s Rototom Sunsplash, the largest Reggae festival of the year. Our black jasmine rice pasta went on a cooking show to promote natural eating; we were delighted and humbled to have chef Claudia Peña de Silvestri make an incredible dish to go around at the festival. This was our first international campaign, and it felt fantastic!

 

 

Before we knew it, the end of the year was upon us, and it happened with a bang! Just as loud as the year had begun, Gusto Nero now has the pleasure of stocking with Planet Organic! We hosted free sampling sessions London-wide, serving newly cooked pasta right off the pot. Being a foodie at heart, I was first hesitant about cooking pasta on the spot, since I didn’t want it to lose its texture before everybody got to try it. However it turned out that my fear was totally unfounded, and we got positive reviews saying it was very delicious. We had a lot of fun, and so next year will see Gusto Nero in action with these cooking and free sampling sessions a lot more often with new menus, so look for updates on our Facebook page!

 

“First year launching in the UK has been my real roller coaster journey! It’s been tough but fun.Thank you for every encouraging feedback via emailing, warm hug and kind support I received at many food shows Gusto Nero being presented at. You couldn’t imagine how much it means to me when hearing that our pasta genuinely being you or your family’s favourite choice …. Thank you!” – Jikky (Gusto Nero Founder) 

5 Ways to Make Your Festive Meal Healthier And Tastier!

5 Ways to make your festive meal healthier and tastier!

 

 

  1. Peckish for some potatoes?

Switch to sweet potatoes for more vitamins and lower calories, and give your meal a flavourful kick! My good neighbour once imparted a bit of little knowledge that I’ve since lived by… Instead of deep frying or drowning your potatoes in fat before roasting, if you boil the (sweet)potatoes first, give the pieces a vigorous shake in the colander with a tiny bit of olive oil THEN roast them, you’ll get the fluffiest, crispiest roast potatoes with barely any extra calories!

 

  1. A pinch of herbs in your parsnips!

 

Cut your parsnips into small chunks and brush very thinly with extra virgin olive oil. Again, avoid goose fat or a copious amount of oil. Instead, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, then add 2 teaspoons of fresh sage and rosemary to enhance the taste and bring out the parsnip’s natural flavours. Now roast the healthiest and most delicious parsnips you’ll ever eat!

 

  1. Be picky with your turkey! 

 

If you’re having the big bird this December, chances are you might be a tad worried about where all that turkey’s going. Fear not! If you stay away from the skin, you’ll cut down on all that saturated fat. Also, a good thing to know is the leaner part of the turkey is the white meat, which is lower in calories and fat than dark meat but has roughly the same amount of protein!

 

  1. Spruce up those sprouts!

 

Nobody likes Brussels sprouts, they’re horrible. But if you’re celebrating Christmas, they’re so quintessential you just can’t leave them out, but you probably won’t have very many anyway. Well, believe it or not, if you steam those sprouts for a bit, quarter them then sauté with a bit of butter and some garlic; throw in some pine nuts and you’ll wipe the bowl clean in no time at all!

 

  1. Mmmm, mince pies!

 

Instead of spooning dollops of mincemeat into your pies, why not opt for some fresh fruits? Take just a bit of mincemeat and spread it in your pastry cups, then fill those with chopped up fresh apples, pears, and perhaps black grapes if you’re feeling adventurous! Also, instead of the usual shortcrust pastry, try baking your mince pies with something lighter like filo pastry. You’ll find it’s rather delicious!

 

Also, some countries (pshh, Italy!) have pasta as part of their festive meal around this time of the year. So if you’d like to give your celebrations a unique twist, visit Our Shop to view our selection of Black Jasmine Rice pasta! 

 

 

Welcome to the Warehouse!

 

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“Oi Jikky, your boxes are here!”

Somebody shouted from across the warehouse and waved at us. Jikky waved back and said victoriously.

“Well, it’s about time!”

Hi again, it’s Nash here. In this episode, I’m taking you to the warehouse where we keep the pasta. ‘Why?’, You ask. Well, that’s because we’re now setting up an online ordering system to get those orders to your doorsteps of course!

But first, let me tell you about how we got here.

Since the Free From show in Olympia ended, Jikky’s been focusing on getting a new shipment of pasta over from Thailand and setting up a pick-and-pack system for online delivery. What started off looking like a smooth sailing phase in our enterprise, ended up becoming a tempest that broke the mast when the shipping company we used suddenly went bankrupt.

Oh dear.

Hundreds of boxes of pasta were stranded at sea, and no matter how many urgent calls of plea we made, in the end we just had to wait it out.

Jikky bemoaned the unfortunate twist of fate for a few hours. She then set off to work on putting together a system where the pick-and-pack company and the delivery company can work together, which brought us to where we were: the warehouse.

 

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After a few weeks at sea, the pasta finally arrived. So today, we had a meeting with representatives from the warehouse who would pick up the pasta and pack it as per you orders, and people from the postal service company who will then get the pasta to your door. We all sat down together to brainstorm.

Until now, it’s mostly been the case of us dealing with stakeholders from abroad to get the products manufactured and shipped. Now, however, we found ourselves in the company of the most helpful team we could’ve ever imagined working with. The coordination between the warehouse and the postal company was incredible; they realised that we’re a new enterprise, they knew we wanted the system to hit the ground running without a hitch, and they offered plenty of helpful advices to guide us along.

 

Gusto Nero Black Jasmine Rice Pasta

 

This was our goal from the very beginning, to have us local people working together; nothing mass produced, nothing put together by machines, just individuals and local companies getting quality food out to like minded people.

When we finally bring you the products (soon), we want this to be the message that goes out. “Gusto Nero is international, its products are from abroad and something we’re really proud of, but it’s also brought to you by the local people here in Norfolk who try their best to give you the best.” We want to share with you how proud and grateful we feel to be working with real people, here in Britain.

 

The Allergy & Free From Show: 8 – 10 July 2016

 

Gusto Nero Organic Gluten Free Healthy Pasta

 

Hello again lovely readers! We’ve had our hands a bit full in the past few weeks, and guess what? We finally launched our products at ‘The Allergy & Free From Show’ at Olympia in London! The show was Europe’s biggest event for organic, gluten free, dairy free and GMO free health products, and it absolutely crept up to knock on our door before we knew it.

 

It was such a memorable event and we thank you so much to all of you who came to the booth! I’d be lying if I said the preparation wasn’t gruelling, but we really did have a ton of fun.

 

Our workspace was abound with excitement the week before the show. We spent a week in a total frenzy preparing for the event, with the graphic people working until the early hours on our banners, the tech team getting the website ready, while others busied themselves with finding decorative furnitures that would fit our tiny booth and Jikky dashing about doing paperwork and everything else at the same time.

Organic Gluten Free Pasta Gusto Nero

Gusto Nero Organic Gluten Free Healthy Pasta

 

As you know, we’re based in Norwich; all the pasta has already been transported to London in advance. It was on the eve of the fair that we all packed our bags and headed for the capital, feeling a little sleep deprived and rather nervous but nonetheless very excited. Jikky was wondering aloud whether any of it was going to sell and had brought along her largest suitcase in case she had to take any of the pasta back, despite outcries from the others that it was all paranoia.

The fair started at 10 am at Olympia, but reportedly Jikky got there since 8 before any of us were even awake. The tiny two-by-one metres booth was packed with boxes of pasta, and all around us were big name brands I’d only ever seen on boxes and the telly. I suppose it’d be safe to say we all froze when the first customer walked up to the booth.

 Gusto Nero Organic Gluten Free Healthy Pasta

 

Sophia, if you’re reading, this one is for you. Thank you for buying that box of macaroni, you were our first official customer, you’ve cut the red ribbon and kick started it all. It was only after you’ve left the booth that it dawned on us that the pasta actually sold.

Oh wow, it actually sold!

After that, it was episodes after episodes of Jikky tirelessly introducing the brand to everybody who dropped by, and truly Gusto Nero was garnering lots of attention from shoppers and hosts alike. We barely had any pasta left to show on the last day of the event. It was surreal, the responses were overwhelming, it totally exceeded our expectations and we absolutely could not have done it without you.

Jikky had busied herself chatting with people who filed in with a lot of questions. What exactly was this black rice, where was the pasta being sold and was it on the shelf anywhere? Well, we are proud to say that all of the products that you saw on the day will be available for order on our website very soon.

‘Some people gave me hugs’, Jikky grinned after the show was over, ‘They said it couldn’t have been easy running a business by myself, they showed such great support and I’m really proud of the brand. You know what? …

This is all I ever wanted!’

 

Gusto Nero Organic Gluten Free Healthy Pasta