From an island in the sun to the shelves of Holland and Barrett
Sofia Gomez/Ibiza Superfoods
Verity Smith’s business started out as making healthy botanical mixes for friends – but now her products can be found in high street shops across the UK.
Inspired by a visit to an Indian farm, the nutritional therapist launched Ibiza Superfoods after finding a demand on the Spanish island for a daily dose of nutrients.
Now her brand is on sale in Holland and Barrett shops in her native England as well as in local stores in Ibiza and Boots in Ireland.
Having grown up in Norwich, attending Costessey High School and Norwich City College, Miss Smith moved to London to join the corporate world before fatigue led her to retrain as a nutritionist in 2013 and go travelling. It was during a trip to India in 2013 she discovered a farm which cultivated superfood spirulina, a type of algae.
She said: “I relocated to Ibiza and while there I started to incorporate spirulina into the blends I was making.
“Friends started coming to me and asking for mixes for different things such as a detox mix or an energy mix.”
Miss Smith, who splits her time between Ibiza, Norwich and London, began visiting local markets and health retreats to sell her blends but her big break came in 2016 when a visit to a health food trade show put her in touch with Holland and Barrett. After pitching successfully, the process of refining the product and the brand has taken two years to come to fruition but now Ibiza Superfoods is stocked in 300 stores across the UK.
Miss Smith, 40, said her task was to get the word out to a larger audience and reach new markets. “I feel like I am at the beginning of my journey again,” she said.
“My focus is now on building customer awareness and getting people to understand the qualities of the product.”
Despite having received some interest from investors in the early days Miss Smith, whose family still live in Norfolk, said she had wanted to build the business herself.
“When I was making it in Ibiza I was making it all by hand and getting lots of positive feedback,” she said. “I was getting a lot of people interested in investing which is when I thought I might be on to something bigger but I never thought it would be like this.”