Simply Matcha is a small business operated by two food lovers and matcha enthusiasts, Victor and Nethya! Founded in April 2021, Simply Matcha has quickly grown to become a household favourite brand for matcha products and their products can be found in several supermarkets around London.
Founded by a medical student and a trainee lawyer, Simply Matcha believes in producing a product that is not just great in taste but also good for the body. This is why they only use simple, all-natural ingredients, to ensure that their product not only makes you feel good but is also packed full of authentic, unadulterated matcha taste!
Loving the wholesome concept that Victor and Nethya bring forward to the kitchen table, we at Honest Food Talks wanted to learn more about the duo that started this whole shabang! Here’s our interview with Simply Matcha’s co-founder, Victor Lim.
Where did the idea for Simply Matcha come from?
Simply Matcha is an idea that started from our love for all things matcha! We visited Japan in the winter of 2019 and came across Matcha Spread. We loved the rich matcha flavour. There was a delightful balance between sweetness and the earthy astringency of matcha.
When we returned to London we struggled to find anything like the wonderful matcha spread we had in Japan and this started our Simply Matcha journey. We experimented with different recipes for months, adjusting and changing the volumes of different ingredients and working with different bases.
We eventually settled on a recipe that we think will allow our fellow matcha lovers in the UK to experience the same excitement we had in Japan.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive, keep yourself busy?
I am currently a 4th-year medical student at King’s College London. My typical day usually consists of waking up early for hospital placements, attending to patients and having a few business calls during short breaks in between seeing patients. Meanwhile, Nethya is a law student and is currently finishing her legal practice course.
Despite our busy schedule we still dedicate our evenings to producing small batches of our matcha products. This ensures that every customer receives the best quality products made with care and love.
Based on our schedule we are usually quite busy and productive however, it is important to make sure that despite our busy schedule we find time for ourselves and time to relax.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
We often find ourselves taking small short breaks between jobs and work. This short rest is important as it allows us to take a step back to either rest or to take some time to think about problems. After a short break, we find that our productivity increases.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take on as many opportunities as you can! Getting exposure to new experiences, people, and places is invaluable. It helps build character and your network.
What is the one thing you do over and over again and recommend everyone else do?
We always reflect on our business at the end of each month. This helps us to evaluate whether the changes we’ve made works and how we should tackle new obstacles.
And lately, we’ve also been trying to do more personal reflection as well to build our self-awareness and personal growth!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We believe the key to a successful business is to do what you know and love, and most importantly to always listen to the customers.
Moreover, we constantly aim to improve our products (this can be in terms of taste, product range etc.) by asking what customers think and asking them if they could change one thing about the product, what would that be?
We can never satisfy every single consumer but it is always important to accept feedback in a humble manner.
What's one trend in the F&B industry that excites you?
As matcha enthusiasts, we have been thrilled by the rise in popularity of matcha over the last few years! Matcha is a popular flavour profile that has been around for many years in East Asia and we are so happy to see it thrive in the West!
Other than matcha we are big fans of Japanese cakes and pastries. We were very excited to see stores such as Arome Bakery open in Central London as well as Sakurado and Kova who make delicious strawberry shortcakes (our favourite cake).
What is the best £20 you recently spent?
We recently spent £5 on a date stamp to use on our labels. It's not quite £20 but it has completely changed the way our expiration date looks! Now it has a more professional look about it, we used to just handwrite the date (sometimes they would look illegible).
We also recently downloaded a game called Pokemon Unite on the Nintendo Switch which cost us nothing! That has been keeping us entertained for a few weeks in our spare time.
What is your favourite quote?
Our favourite quote is by J. M Barrie from the book Peter Pan. “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
We find that this quote reminds us to always believe in ourselves and it is this self-belief that will keep us growing.
What are some of your favourite places to eat at?
We love travelling around and eating a variety of cuisines and foods! Being local to London we have a plethora of fantastic restaurants to choose from but we always seem to find ourselves back at the same few places.
Our favourite cuisine is Japanese and we highly recommend Kikuchi in Tottenham Court Road. They are very authentic and serve some of the best sushi we’ve had in the UK.
Another favourite of ours is Mitsuryu restaurant in Hampstead Heath. They are more budget-friendly and their sushi is amazing! We also met their owners and the chef who are very lovely people and very passionate about making good food!
However, our overall favourite restaurant in London is a very small and modest Taiwanese restaurant called Old Tree in Chinatown. The prices are very affordable and the food is really tasty! Definitely, one to visit if you love Taiwanese street food!
What's the best thing to order from Simply Matcha?
We would highly recommend our Matcha Milk Spread. If you love matcha you will love our spread!
Are there any exciting plans coming from Simply Matcha soon?
We are currently working on developing a couple of new products!! We are very excited about it.
Most of them will be matcha drinks which will be supplied to supermarkets as well as some small matcha foods/bites!
Simply Matcha UK is based in London. You can find their products in several supermarkets around London or order directly from them through their official website.
Next, read our interview with Hazel’s Cremerie! Another couple-run F&B business in London that serves vegan ice cream sandwiches.