By Leah Fox
Two pals quit their jobs to set up a PANCAKE business together after originally meeting by chance as food-obsessed housemates.
Sophie McGregor, 28, and Ella Harland, 25, met when Ella moved into Sophie’s flat in Pimlico, London, in 2016 and they quickly became best of friends.
Former finance worker Sophie, and intern Ella realised they shared a love for perfect pancakes when they began making them together for every breakfast.
So in 2017, after 18 months as flatmates, the unlikely business partners decided to throw caution to the wind to launch Griddle, a company selling pre-packaged healthy pancakes which can be heated up in a toaster.
Sophie, originally from Penn, Bucks, said: “Moving in with Ella by chance changed both of our lives – it was like the right place, right time, with the right person.
“When I was renting out the second bedroom in my flat, I got it down to two people – one girl, who seemed very sensible and professional, then Ella, who had a certain energy about her and had brought a large supply of nut butter with her!
“Ella moved in and we got on really well and shared interests in food, cooking and sport – we always made pancakes for breakfast or a hangover brunch, and that’s where the idea for Griddle started.
“Ella always used to leave a trail of destruction behind after making pancakes and you’d be walking on literal eggshells, so we came up with the idea for something that was a quick and easy meal.
“Never in a million years did I think my flatmate would end up being my business partner!”
After living in other rooms she found on flat-sharing site SpareRoom for a few months, Sophie had found the perfect place to live and used the website to find a new housemate.
Meanwhile, Ella had been sleeping on the sofas of friends in London for five months and was looking for something more permanent.
The girls believed other pre-made pancakes on the shelves weren’t healthy enough, and were looking for a wholegrain pancake that could fuel them after going on a jog and wouldn’t make as much mess.
Ella, originally from Dorking, Surrey, said: “I really enjoyed living with Sophie because we’re of a similar age and had similar interests, we lived together for a year and a half before we created Griddle.
“We’d always loved pancakes because they’re pretty healthy and you can customise them however you’d like – and with Griddle pancakes you can tackle the problem of mess as you don’t need to clean up after making them.
“When Sophie and I lived together we had a strict cleaning rota, but I’m someone who makes more organised mess and Sophie’s a bit neater, so there were some texts about that.
“It’s nice getting to work with a really good friend, we can just be really frank and honest with each other.”
Sophie and Ella have big plans for Griddle in the future, hoping to sell their pancakes with a major UK retailer and expand to become a household name across supermarkets nationwide – with the snacks currently available in independent stores across London.
The pancakes are available in three flavours; banana and chocolate chip, lemon and poppy seed and cinnamon and raisin.