Meet The Business ~ Bay's Kitchen

by - 09:00

Did you know that 1 in 5 people have IBS in the UK? It can be hard to lead a low FODMAP diet or know where to start. I thought I would raise awareness for IBS, so in today's business interview, I spoke to Bay from Bay's Kitchen. Bay's Kitchen creates convenient food for a low FODMAP diet and has received many awards for her sauces. 

A collections of plates and bowls on a brown wooden table. There is cutlery and coloured napkins around the bowls, which contain low FODMAP foods


Hi there! Could you tell me a bit about yourself and your business?


Hi, I’m Bay Burdett, Founder & CEO of Bay’s Kitchen. I grew up in Cheltenham in the Cotswolds and still call it home now. I am very close to my family. I have two sisters, two nieces and a nephew! In 2012 I began suffering from gut issues; cramps, bloating, changing bowel habits, fatigue, backache. You name it, I felt it! As many people do, I ignored and covered up the symptoms as best I could for a long time. I guess I was too embarrassed to go to the doctors and just learnt to deal with it as part of everyday life. 

By late 2015, the symptoms had got so bad and so frequent, it was hugely impacting my quality of life. Finally, it all got too much. I was on holiday with my mum, sister and nieces, they were all playing in the sea (which I love to do!), yet I was lying on the beach in agony. It was that moment that I decided this wasn’t right, wasn’t normal and so I booked an appointment with my GP for as soon as I got home. 

I had the typical intolerance tests. My GP ruled out more serious issues like IBD, coeliac disease and bowel cancer, and I was diagnosed with IBS. My GP recommended that I follow a low FODMAP diet. The low FODMAP diet requires you to eliminate foods high in FODMAPs, which can be naturally found in foods as well as in additives. After researching the diet, I had to understand the foods I needed to eliminate. I soon realised there were few convenient, good tasting Low FODMAP foods available in the UK. All meals had to be made from scratch, which wasn’t ideal when working long hours and living alone! 

I then found in my research that nearly 20% of the world population are diagnosed with IBS. I knew I couldn't be the only one looking for foods which don’t contain hard-to-digest ingredients, such as onion and garlic. And so, the idea for Bay’s Kitchen was born! 

Image of a smiling woman, Bay the founder, inside a modern kitchen. She has a bowl in her hand

Why did you decide to start Bay’s Kitchen, a low FODMAP food business? 


Bay’s Kitchen was born from a desire to make following the Low FODMAP Diet far easier, tastier and convenient. I began making my own pasta sauces from scratch when trying to follow the elimination part of the diet, and they tasted pretty good! I am definitely not a chef, but I managed to make something tasty, which my friends and family enjoyed, yet didn’t contain any high FODMAP ingredients… that’s when I knew that convenient, tasty, Low FODMAP foods could be made and there was a huge gap in the market for them! 


What makes your sauces special from others out there? 


I wanted to make convenient, great-tasting, Low FODMAP foods. I also wanted to have a strong focus on brand and taste. Those of us following a free from or restrictive diet already compromise enough, we still want to be able to buy delicious food from exciting and attractive brands! So I have done exactly that with Bay's Kitchen - I have developed Low FODMAP foods, under an exciting and vibrant brand and the sauces all taste amazing! Our products are all certified low FODMAP, gluten-free, vegan and award-winning! We cater for many dietary requirements and are unique in being the only UK made, certified Low FODMAP foods available through major retailers.

Which sauce would you say is your favourite and why? 


Personally, my favourite is our Sweet & Sour Sauce! Our best sellers are the Katsu Curry, Tikka Masala, Mild Korma and Thai Green Curry – and I love all of those, but the Sweet & Sour still wins for me! Most Sweet & Sour sauces are a smooth syrup, but we have added chunks of pineapple and peppers into ours, which provides more flavour and texture which I love. Our customers really love this too! Here are some delicious recipes using this sauce:


Could you give some advice to my readers who may be suffering from IBS on how to cope on a low FODMAP diet? 


Firstly, you shouldn’t just decide to try the Low FODMAP Diet, it’s a very restrictive diet and isn’t suitable for everyone. If you have IBS or other gut issues and want to try it, speak to your GP or dietitian about it. They will advise if it’s a good thing for you to try. Once you do know it’s the right thing to do, I would always recommend seeking help from an IBS/FODMAP trained Registered Dietitian.

Whether you are seeing a dietitian or going solo on it, you will need a Food & Symptom Diary. With the diary, you record your food and drink intake for the day, but also your stress levels, bowel movements, medication etc. So many things have an effect on our guts, it’s not just food, so this way it helps you understand your key triggers. One of the key stages of the diet is the reintroduction, and it’s really important to do this. A dietitian’s support here is very helpful.

One thing which helped me so much is the Monash App. Monash University researched and proved the low FODMAP diet, so their app is the best source of information. In their app, there is a list of ingredients, and they add more all the time. They use a clear traffic light system to show which foods are low fodmap at what serving size. This means you can restrict lots of foods to a safe serving size rather than eliminate them altogether from your diet.

Make sure you go through your cupboards and put anything ‘high FODMAP’ to one side or donate it to a food bank. Make sure you stock up on low FODMAP ingredients. Keep food that can be a ‘quick meal’ as this is usually our downfall when we are hungry. Also, have a look at some blogs and cookbooks and get some good recipes to hand. You could batch cook to have ready in the freezer.

In summary, my key advice is:
  1. Get help from a dietitian
  2. Use a Food & Symptom Diary
  3. Reintroduce as many foods as you can
  4. Download the Monash App
  5. Sort your cupboards
  6. Find blogs, cookbooks and support groups

There is a burlap tote bag to the left of the image with Bay's kitchen logo on. Next to the bay is a pyramid of jars. The jars are all of Bay's Kitchen range

What is your favourite part about working at Bay’s Kitchen? 


 I love it when I see we have been tagged in Instagram posts and stories of people making their dinner and being genuinely excited! My mission with Bay’s Kitchen was to make the diet more convenient and tastier, and seeing these posts proves we have done just that! I get very nervous before exhibiting at shows, but when I’m there I love it, as I get to interact face to face with our customers which is great!
I also can’t deny that being in a food business is great as you get to do taste testing! We trial lots of products before selecting the final recipes to produce on a scale.

What challenges have you faced when setting up and running your business?


Setting up a business of any kind is very hard, but especially in the food industry, which I hadn’t worked in before! It was a huge learning curve for me. There are so many times I nearly packed it all in, however, my parents actually helped get me started with an initial investment. I also knew the business could work. Those two things kept me going through all the hard times. We have run into many problems along the way, including:

  • shelf-life issues
  • trying to find investment for the business to keep going
  • finding a manufacturer who will take a risk on a start-up but won’t charge prices which then makes the RRP too high
  • gaining certification in Australia (even just getting the samples to Australia is challenging!)
  • growing sales… the list goes on.

Is there anything you’re working toward or wanting to achieve? 


We are always working towards a bigger range of products. We have quite a few new products due to launch in the next month or two, which we are very excited about, but we are already looking at what comes after that! We also want to be available in more places, making us more convenient to buy! I want to achieve my mission of making the low FODMAP diet convenient and tasty! I think we are achieving this to some extent, but we still have an awful lot more we can do!

If you could sum Bay’s Kitchen in 5 words, what would they be? 


Sorry… is 5 key points ok?!
  1. Award-winning
  2. Delicious
  3. Low FODMAP food
  4. Small female-owned business
  5. Premium/Luxury brand

Thank you for answering the questions! Did you have anything else you would like to tell the world?


 If you have IBS, you’re not alone! The best thing I ever did was talk about it to my friends and family. Once I did, I found everyone I spoke to either suffered themselves or knew someone who did. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders as I wasn’t trying to hide it anymore. When I wasn’t stressing about trying to cover up my symptoms, my symptoms actually improved!

A collection of sauces and different meals that you can make with the sauces. There is cutlery on napkins scattered across a wooden table with bowls of spaghetti, tacos and rice scattered around

I want to thank Bay for this amazing and inspiring interview. It is nice to hear that there are people out there, aiming to find solutions for quite common issues. I didn't realise how many people suffered from IBS, and I feel more educated on the topic. There is still a lot more I need to learn about IBS and low FODMAP diets. Do you suffer from IBS? Let me know how you cope and what your favourite low FODMAP meals are!



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16 comments

  1. Its so inspiring that something great has come out of a diagnosis and that your trying to help others in a similar situation

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    1. It is really nice to see someone making a big change! Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

      Em x

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  2. This is such an interesting post. I guess you don't really think of restricted or altered diets when you are able to eat a completely 'normal' one. I have learnt so much. I love how passionate Bay is about her brand!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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    Replies
    1. It's really nice to see people out there making a change. I didn't realise how many people suffer! Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

      Em x

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  3. A really useful and informative post, I suffer and this is such great reference for anyone that does suffer, thank you for sharing!
    Sarah

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    Replies
    1. I hope you're coping and doing okay! Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

      Em x

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  4. Sounds like such a wonderful brand! I love how Bay is trying to help people in a similar situation to her. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

      Em x

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  5. This sounds like a lovely brand - I had never really thought about how your diet might need to change upon diagnosis. Really informative post so thank you for sharing.

    Tash // A Girl with a View

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

      Em x

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  6. This was a really interesting interview - I'm really enjoying this series of yours Em, thanks for sharing x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love shedding light on new businesses. Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

      Em x

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  7. What a great post! I loved and appreciated the statement about not just starting the diet without consulting a dietician or physician. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

      Em x

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  8. This was such a great interview!! I was diagnosed with IBS years ago so I'll have to look into Bay's Kitchen :) xx

    Holly | www.gollymissholly.uk

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  9. Thanks for sharing, interesting to read the interview, its nice to hear of products with specific conditions in mind :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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