We caught up with Gracie & Sophie Tyrrell, sisters and founders of Squirrel Sisters award-winning snacking brand, to talk all things from advice to other female entrepreneurs to global expansion…
Tell us about the Squirrel Sisters
Squirrel Sisters has a range of multi-award-winning snacks that are vegan, gluten-free, 100% natural and contain no added sugar. We are one of the only snacking brands in the UK that do not add any syrups or sugar alternatives to our products, which is why we have been certified by Sugarwise. Our snacks can be found in over 2000 stores across the UK in retailers like Waitrose, Holland and Barrett, Ocado, Whole Foods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and hundreds of independent cafes and shops.
How did you come up with the idea for Squirrel Sisters?
We launched our business in 2015 after Sophie underwent major heart surgery after she was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called Wolfe-Parkinson-Whyte. After the surgery, Sophie became quite unwell and sensitive to gluten and sugar. We were living together in Balham at the time, so Gracie was able to look after her. Gracie started making the bars for Sophie while she was recovering so she could have something delicious and indulgent to eat that was also 100% natural and contained no added sugar.
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What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs looking to start a business?
There’s no better time than now. Running a business takes a lot of hard work and you need to stay motivated. Passion is crucial; you have to be passionate about whatever it is that you are doing because if you don’t have the passion and the belief then it won’t work. It’s all about passion, persistence and patience. We believe that if you’ve got the passion then go for it. We had no experience in running a business before we started Squirrel Sisters but we knew if we didn’t give it a go we would regret it forever. Trust your gut and believe in yourself.
What does the future hold for Squirrel Sisters?
We are very proud of our achievements so far. We have been a team of just 2 and have been since we launched 4.5 years ago. We have turned our passion into a nationwide success with our products available in over 2000 stores across the UK including Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Whole Foods, Ocado, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, and hundreds of independents deli’s, cafes and supermarkets.
However, we want Squirrel Sisters to be known globally for it’s delicious and nutritious snacks so we recently made the decision to join The Hatchery, introducing the incredible entrepreneur Wilfred Emmanuel Jones AKA The Black Farmer to the Squirrel Sisters team. We have waited nearly 5 years to find an expert that can guide us and help us grow our business to the next level and the wait is finally over!