About Time You Met: Ned Barrie and Rody Perkins, Co-Founders of BarriesBy Angelica Malin
Turning a childhood obsession into a fast-growing food business, Ned and Roddy of Barries know a few things about how to whip up excitement in the competitive world of condiments. Launching with its range of five gourmet varieties of vegan mayo, Barries was founded out of a love of mayonnaise and mission to offer a better tasting version than existing plant-based options.
What was the inspiration behind Barries?
Ned has been making mayo from his grandmother’s recipe for as long as we can remember. It has been a lifelong obsession of his, and one that features in every family meal without fail. Grappling with the stick blender before a mealtime is a familiar sight in Ned’s house!
We decided to start Barries after being disappointed with the quality and taste of other egg-free mayonnaises on the market and wanted to create something that has the true flavour of traditional mayo. Ned always felt that the plant-based condiment shelf lacked quality and goodness, and so created Barries from his love of mayo and knowledge of ingredients.
We also wanted to create some fun flavours and offer something for everyone that would suit this country’s increasingly global community. What really inspired us was the level of interest and positivity we receive at home and from friends from the different flavours! There is really nothing else like Barries now, and people are excited about it!
What makes Barries different from other vegan mayos?
Barries is a British brand making what we believe to be the next generation of vegan mayonnaise. Flavour and texture are a big part of what makes us different, and we are all about innovation and will keep working and improving our recipes until they are the best! No other vegan mayo brand is as concerned with flavour as we are or doing the range of varieties that we offer. Nobody likes the idea of a battery chicken egg being used in their food and we have eliminated that with Barries – our products mark huge leap in innovation for the category. It’s exciting to stand out from the crowd!
How do you select the different flavours for your varieties?
Coming from a chef’s background, we love experimenting. This all comes down to what we know we like from previous experience – as well as a bit of winging it in the test kitchen – but also what works in a commercial environment. For example, some flavours are great to make when we are testing, but that doesn’t necessarily translate well into jars that people want to use at home. We are always experimenting and thinking of new ideas but ultimately, we draw our inspiration from our love of food and having fun with different techniques and cooking styles. If an idea comes off in this environment, we always ask the question ‘can we do it with Barries?’
What did you both do before launching Barries?
Ned worked for 14 years as an insurance broker in the city but left to be a chef in Africa and follow his love of cooking. After returning to the UK and working in restaurant kitchens in London for four years, he set about testing mayonnaise recipes and starting Barries with the help of Roddy. For Roddy, this is the third business that he has started, but has always been a big fan of Ned’s mayonnaise so jumped at the opportunity of being involved. Before tasting Barries, Roddy didn’t like mayonnaise, so we are confident that if he can be converted, anyone can!
Is sustainability and sourcing important for you?
We are committed to only using glass jars and our labels are made from paper, not plastic like a lot of other brands. We are also in the process of switching from using aquafaba, to a cleaner label plant extract of starch and protein which means no waste and minimal energy consumption. It’s a journey and like all start-ups, we are largely bound by price, but we are getting there.
How does Barries taste so great – how did you succeed where so many brands fail?
Ha! You’d have to ask them. We think there has been a sea change in what people expect from brands – people simply will not accept average anymore. However, while there is more variety, more plant-based options, and more innovation across the category, we are confident that no one has quite reached our level of innovation in terms of taste or flavour ranges. We also bring an honest mayo flavour to the table which is unique for egg-free products – we want to keep the same great taste of a homemade, thick and creamy mayo.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
As with many young businesses growing in the age of COVID, the pandemic forced us to change our business model from wholesale to retail. This mean that we had to amend our recipes to fit large scale production and remain stable in jars, with a long shelf life. It was a journey but has been a great process and our product is better than ever!
What’s next for Barries?
We want to continue growing and getting more people trying out mayonnaise. We want Barries to become a must-have for families and younger health, environment and taste-led shoppers wanting a convenient source of plant-based indulgence. In terms of other products, we had an exciting first year and are constantly innovating and creating new ideas, so watch this space!
For further information on Barries, see here.