Cooking duo are recognised in list of the UK’s top 50 fastest growing female-led small businesses

Flip Woods and Hoops Anderson of Main Ingredient.
Flip Woods and Hoops Anderson of Main Ingredient.
  • Cookery pair are number 22 on business poll
  • They launched Main Ingredient just five years ago
  • Prime Minister David Cameron wrote a letter to congratulate the duo on their success

A cooking duo have been praised by the Prime Minister after being listed among the top 50 fastest growing small businesses that are led by women.

Potten End-based Main Ingredient polled in the Fortuna 50 Index of the UK’s fastest growing female-led small businesses - published to coincide with International Women’s Day.

I think if you have an idea and you really feel that you want to do it then you should not let anything stop you from trying to do it.

Hoops Anderson

Flip Woods, of Berkhamsted, and Hoops Anderson, who lives in Boxmoor, are behind the business which hosts large and small scale fine dining events, corporate cooking team building sessions and serves up delicious dishes from an upmarket street food van.

The business ranked number 22 on the poll and Prime Minister David Cameron wrote a letter to the pair, who launched their venture five years ago, congratulating them on their success.

Hoops, who herself specialises in large fine dining events, said: “We couldn’t believe it.

“We are really proud that we are girls and that we are doing it, but we love working with the blokes too. We have got lots of lovely men that we work with in the kitchen when we need them, so it is a team effort.”

The secret to the fast growing business success has been the corporate team building days.

“That is probably 70 per cent of the business now and it is great,” said Hoops, whose real name is Julie.

The team building events see business people come together to cook three courses and enables managers to identify strengths and weaknesses within the group.

Mum of one Hoops, 49, said: “It is very interesting because every day is different.

“I would encourage anyone, but particularly girls, because sometimes I think that we get tied up with other responsibilities and we are constantly caring and I don’t think that should ever hold you back or stop you from doing what you love as a job.

“I think if you have an idea and you really feel that you want to do it then you should not let anything stop you from trying to do it.”