What a year it has been for us! Here are some highlights (and lowlights) of our little startup for the year 2018!
Will was shortlisted for Launchpad’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018. In the same month, he submitted his visa application.
A cringy parody of “I Will Follow Him” by Will and the Chilli Pastes. It was so cringy that it made it to the BBC Sheffield’s Breakfast Show with Toby Foster! We also exhibited at our first trade show (Fine Food Show North 2018) in Harrogate and Mak Tok’s Sweet Chilli Paste was awarded Editor’s Choice.
Marketing on a budget! :D#maktokuk #ohmychillipaste
Posted by Mak Tok on Sunday, 11 February 2018
We launched our first gift box in conjunction with Mother’s Day. Oh, Will had both of his wisdom teeth extracted which left him looking like a pear. He still went out selling our amazing chilli pastes though.
Mak Tok stepped foot into the Lakes District and introduced our first stockist in the Cumbria, The Hazelmere Cafe and Bakery! Also, we worked with Design Futures at Sheffield Hallam University to create our brand new look.
Mak Tok’s 1st Year Anniversary (can you believe it?!). It’s so special because Will’s parents secretly flew all the way from Malaysia to celebrate this milestone with the Mak Tok family! Sheffield’s Mayor, Cllr Majid Majid also attended the event and launched our brand new look along with two new flavours – Mak Tok’s Satay Chilli Paste and Mak Tok’s Fire Chilli Paste!
We made #history of our own last week. #blessed to have such an amazing community supporting our startup! Thank you #sheffield – special thanks to @hying_327 @xiao_xiao_is_a_good_girl @yuentian95 @theuniversityofsheffield @sheffieldissuperinsta …#maktok #maktoks #maktokuk #chillipaste #entrepreneur #startup #celebration #milestone #foodpreneur #foodie #malaysian #madeintheuk #yorkshire #leeds #birmingham #london #dubai #goodfood #chili #chilli #sauce #condiment #hotsauce
Posted by Mak Tok on Thursday, 10 May 2018
June (The Great Depression for us)
Will’s visa was refused and he was forced to leave the UK within 14 DAYS! Mak Tok was facing closure and it was the same time Will 2.0 joined the team (what a tricky position to be in). Nothing stopped him and all of us in Mak Tok as we pushed through. Will launched Project #savemaktok along with a petition that was shared and garnered nearly 3,000 signatures. We launched Mak Tok in Keelham Farm Shop with the support from one of the founders, Victoria Robertshaw. We even had our first professional video made by Jordan from Jordan Carroll Film!
Despite all odds, Will was awarded the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award by HRH Prince Andrew. Later in the month, Will received a letter from the Home Office stating that his appeal was rejected and was sanctioned to work directly on the business. Shang, the soul of Mak Tok, stepped in and took over the startup along with Will 2.0 while Will went on to focus on getting his case right with the solicitors and accountants. Whilst all that happened, our Sweet Chilli got its first Great Taste award!
The team attended our first crayfish party and OMG, it’s a heaven for us seafood lovers! The crayfish tasted gorgeous with ALL of our chilli paste and we can’t wait for it to happen again in 2019! We even had our first Mini Summer Party in the office where the women were the better drivers than men (on PS4). Will 2.0 and Shang brainstormed on things we could do to improve our online presence with Eat Fish Design.
Project “website redesign” started! We also exhibited in our first London show – Speciality Fine Food Show! Will’s visa was finally approved by the Home Office and our story was featured in Yorkshire Post (Will even burnt his finger from picture perfect stunt). We debut Mak Tok’s theme song through a video to share all the good news and to thank all those who’ve stood by us through our darkest period. Besides that, we launched our chilli pastes in Leicestershire with Langton Greenhouse.
Christmas MADNESS began! We were always on the road doing Christmas shows. Despite all these craziness, we managed to launch our yearly Christmas ad where we incorporated one of our Malaysian folk tunes and turned it into a Christmas smash hit Mak Tok style.
Christmas Storytime with #auntyMTKLet our famous and funny aunty tell you a story about her fashionista friend Jessica. Learn how they celebrate their #Christmas this year! Find out more at maktok.com Don't think Marks and Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, & Sainsbury's can compete with this video! ??..Singalong:Don't know what to eat,Everything makes me sick,My boyfriend heard my cry,He gave me something nice to tryI was so amazed,I can't forget the taste,Now every day I crave,For my Mak Tok's Chilli Paste!Woo oh oh, chilli paste (MAK TOK!)Chilli paste (MAK TOK!)Chilli paste, I love Mak Tok's Chilli Paste x 2Christmas time is near,You don't know what to buy,So let me help you dear,Let's order Mak Tok's tonight!Jessica do you think…Do you think I should buy?Why you always think think?Jessica help you to buy!Woo oh oh, Christmas with (MAK TOK!)Christmas with (MAK TOK!)Christmas time, must have Mak Tok's Chilli Paste! x2
Posted by Mak Tok on Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Mak Tok’s Sweet Chilli Paste sold out for the year! After months of dreaming and planning, we finally launched our first-ever (definitely not last) pop up kitchen in Sheffield at Oliver’s. It was such a success and we can’t wait for our next one!