Working out of a portacabin in Spitalfields Market back in 2010, little did Jenny Dawson Costa know that Rubies in the Rubble would soon become one of the crown jewels in London’s growing movement fighting food waste.
With pioneering products and a business plan built on foodie passion, Jenny has successfully transformed her business into one of the leading firms salvaging produce that would ordinarily be destined for the bin.
“After researching food waste I felt that no one was aware of the issue,” Jenny says, ”whether that be from an environmental, financial or moral perspective. I wanted to find a sustainable solution to the problem; creating something that also championed food.”
As a former hedge-fund employee, Jenny was clear that she wanted to create a business and not a charity. She wanted to divert away from the “hippy notion of food waste” that existed back in 2010.
This led her to create products such as blueberry BBQ sauce, banana flavoured ketchup and a vegan mayonnaise made from leftover bean water from hummus.
Interestingly, she also employed a four-strong team of chefs from the homeless charity Crisis during the initial years of her business.
Rubies continued to expand by forming strong partnerships with farmers across the UK, purchasing “perfectly great” produce that would usually be rejected from supermarket shelves due to shape, size and colour.
Now looking to influence the bigger picture of food waste, Jenny is hopeful that Rubies’ products can help impact behavioural change among wasteful consumers.
“We are hoping that each one of our products will help people think about food wastage and also serve as a reminder of what’s in the cupboard. It is about changing attitudes and becoming aware of what you throw out. For example, you can utilise your freezer better, make soup from leftovers, plan before you buy etcetera.”
Click here to read our Sunday lunch soup recipe from Rubies in the Rubble!