Munchy play

Munchy Play

Solving mealtime struggles, their innovative kids’
plates feature a built-in track for toys, bringing fun to dining.

Munchy Play® is an independent start-up from London, founded by entrepreneur Sophia Procter.

From a plate designed with a train tracks, to another with a race track, Munchy Play's plates are helping to spark children's imaginations, at the same time as make dining for parents, stress free.

We speak to Sophia Procter on why she started the business, as well as what the deciding factor was for her to get barcodes from GS1 UK, and what she has learned on her business journey so far. 

How and why did you start the business?

Munchy Play

Like many parents, I struggled at mealtimes with my toddler. Just getting him to the table, let alone keeping him there was a battle…except when he had his favourite toys with him.  

Inspired by this, one day, I reached out for his favourite toy train and created a make-shift track around his plate...and that’s where it all began! 

I looked everywhere online for a kids’ plate with a track around it but nothing existed. It was at that point I decided, I would make one myself. 

What has been your most memorable moment of success in your business journey so far?

When you’re launching a new and innovative product, there’s no blueprint in place, you’ve got to create it from scratch. Finding the right manufacturer was imperative to our success story, and an important part in our journey. 

More recently, we were blown away to be nominated for “Best Children’s Tableware Design” in the Junior Design Awards – it’s huge recognition!  

When did you realise your company would need a barcode, and which GS1 standards and services do you find most helpful for your business?

Once I had a prototype of the kids’ plate and it proved a hit with parents, we made the necessary tweaks and moved onto production. 

It was at this point that I started to explore creative ways to package the product and think about the placement of a barcode. GS1 were the natural choice and made the process easy. 

I’ve enjoyed a number of their “How to” webinars, which have proven a real help, especially the one by Kevin Dixie, of fuelmywebsite, I’ve watched it at least three times! 

Where do you sell your products, online or in stores?

Munchy Play

Currently, Munchy Play is available on Amazon, and our own website www.munchyplay.com. When I think back to that “eureka” moment when I came up with the idea, Amazon was the first place I went to look. In the research phase, when I spoke to other parents about where they shop, it was one of the top destinations too.

We use Amazon FBA, which proved to be a smart move during lockdown, ensuring customers received their orders quickly. Our products are eligible for Amazon Prime too.

What is a typical day like for you?

I’ve been working remotely for the past few years and find that routine helps. I try and get out for a walk first thing to stay energised. 

I’m one of those people that lives by a weekly list of goals, which I’ll go through at the start of each day. No two days are the same, but it usually involves a few Zoom calls, checking stock and order levels, and attending webinars to stay on top of trends. 

I’m very involved in our social media. I love chatting to other parents on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, they have really supported us. 

Being a working mum, I try and fit this all around the school run, which often means long and unsociable hours. Just as well I’m not missing out on any social events right now! 

What lessons have you learnt in running your own business?

Munchy Play

You’ve got to surround yourself with cheerleaders: people who share your vision and enthusiasm. People who believe in you and will give you that extra boost when you need it. Being a start-up is isolating and will test your strength of character, so every now and then, you need to have good people to check in with. 

For me this is a combination of friends, ex-colleagues and business mentors who get it. I was fortunate enough to meet Liam and Polly through the Enterprise Europe Network, which champions support start-ups and has helped me to navigate daily challenges.  
 
I’m also part of the Amazon Accelerator programme with Enterprise Nation – which is free to anyone starting out. I’ve never met a more helpful or supportive team, especially Liz – I highly recommend it to any other start-ups. 

What are currently your biggest challenges in the business? What keeps you up at night?

Navigating the “new normal” is a challenge that all business owners will face going forward, but I also believe there’s never been a better opportunity to support British businesses and get behind start-ups.

I’d love to expand Munchy Play, working with brand partners on exclusive lines and licensing opportunities. That’s my next challenge to conquer!

What are your biggest priorities in the short term?

Building the Munchy Play brand and business is an important priority. That means listening to customers, tracking trends and monitoring supply and demand. We have proven to be very popular in the gift market, so that’s something I’d like to explore in more depth.

Tell us an interesting fact about you?

I’m a “supertaster” – someone who has more taste buds than average and experiences taste with greater intensity.

Who inspires you?

I’m quite in awe of James Watt – one of the founders of Brewdog. They had a solid brand ethos from the start and have never veered away from their values.

During the pandemic, they pivoted to start making sanitiser, and were one of the first businesses to introduce safe distancing in pubs. James is one of the great disruptors of our time, who isn’t afraid to do things differently.  

I’m also inspired by other self-made entrepreneurs including Holly Tucker, Joe Wicks, and Theo Paphitis – all three have tweeted about Munchy Play too, how great is that?

how great is that? What top tip/piece of advice would you give to our other brands/sellers?

There are no shortcuts to success, you need to invest time in your business. Upskill where you can in order to keep costs down. For instance, I learnt how to use photoshop, build a website and even a touch of coding along the way.  

But you also need to know where to call in experts to plug the gaps. I worked with engineers, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, safety testers and manufacturers to ensure Munchy Play is a world-class product. 

Any funding options?

Munchy Play is completely self-funded, although we are always open to new ways to grow and evolve our business. One of the fundamentals I’ve learnt is to be open to every opportunity that comes your way. 


Visit www.munchyplay.com or follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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