WIFI Chats Podcast Artwork

WIFI Chats is a series of podcasts hosted by Mex Ibrahim, co-founder of ⁠Women in The Food Industry. We want to celebrate and champion the inspiring stories from the women who work in every part of the UK food industry. Hear their stories on our podcast.


Women In the Food Industry

In this episode Mex - co-founder of Women In The Food Industry talks to the first ladies of UK BBQ - Sam & Shauna of the award winning Hang Fire BBQ & the BBC hit series Sam & Shauna's Big Cook Out & authors of best selling cookbook - The Hang Fire Cookbook Recipes & Adventures in American BBQ. They discuss what led them to quit successful careers to travel across America through the Southern States and return to Cardiff to start an amazing career in food.

In this episode Mex, co-founder of Women in the Food Industry, talks to Claire Ogley, Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research at The Vegan Society, the world's oldest vegan organisation, about one of their busiest times of year, Veganuary. We uncover stats about vegans in the UK and the rise of plant-based foods and also theories on why more women are vegan than men! Claire also gives useful tips on how to move into a Communications role in the food industry.

In this episode, Mex, co-founder of Women in The Food Industry talks to Bethan Thomas, co-founder of HotTea Mama, an award-winning tea company (including several Nourish Awards), making teas to support better periods, pregnancy, motherhood and menopause. HotTea Mama was founded by Bethan and Kate Achilles following fertility struggles, subsequent pregnancies, and parenthood experiences. Bethan worked as a tea buyer for some of the UK's biggest tea brands before setting up the sustainable tea business.

In this episode, Mex, co-founder of Women in The Food Industry talks to Amanda Ross, CEO & Co-Founder of Cactus TV, who amongst other shows have produced the multi-award winning show, Saturday Kitchen, for 17 years. Amanda is strong champion of women and discusses why this is important, plus she candidly explores her experience of working as woman in the TV world. 

In this episode Mex, co-founder of Women in the The Food Industry talks to Lucianne Allen about how she made the move from being a barrister to running her family's successful butchery business - Aubrey Allen. It has been in her family since 1933 and supplies meat to some of the nation’s best-known chefs.

In this episode Janie chats to Nicola Matthews from Tony’s Chocolonely a few years after our first interview with her in 2019. Janie charts the growth of the company since that podcast.

Dawn Davies is Head Buyer at The Whisky Exchange. Women in The Food Industry co-founder Mecca Ibrahim caught up with Dawn to discover how she made the move from wine to whisky, and with over two decades of working in the drinks industry behind her, we learnt what she thinks of the trend towards low / no alcohol drinks. Also find out what motivates Dawn and her thoughts on gender difference in drinks!

Tony’s Chocolonely is a brand which aims to bring about slave free chocolate.  Women in The Food Industry co-founder Mecca Ibrahim caught up with Nicola Matthews, their Marketing manager in the UK and Ireland to find out more about Tony’s work, what they are doing to make their slave-free chocolate mission global and how they balance that serious mission with their bright, bold and somewhat crazy products. 

One person who is working constantly with start ups on innovation in the food and foodtech industry is Lesley Stonier, Chief Marketing Officer of Forward Fooding. The organisation works to help create partnerships between established food organizations and startups to create a brighter future of food. Our co-founder Mecca Ibrahim caught up with Lesley to find out more about her work, the Food Tech 500 and what we can learn from big food brands. Find out more here

We had a chance to catch up with Head Chef, Ruth Hansom, of Pomona's on Hereford Road in Notting Hill who  joined the line up of chefs who competed in the Bocuse d’Or National Selection on 30th September at The Restaurant Show. The Bocuse d’Or,  is the world’s largest and most prestigious cooking contest and Ruth was the only female chef to make the finals to represent the UK. Our co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, spoke to Ruth about the competition behind the scenes at London's busy Olympia Exhibition Hall.

We turn to the growing demand for cannabis infused drinks and the world of CBD – the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.  We met Gemma Colao Managing Director & Co-Founder of OTO CBD, a wellness company whose mission is to help people discover the power of CBD through thoughtful and effective products which can easily fit into their daily lives. Our co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, chatted with Gemma about the regulations of marketing a product associated with cannabis, what the health benefits are and whether the market is really growing in the UK.

In the fifth of our Female Food Founders Interviews we were delighted to interview Renée Elliott who had a mission to push organic and natural food out of the niche it was in back in 1995. Planet Organic is now the UK’s largest fully certified organic supermarket and sells over 8,000 product lines in eight stores within the M25.  Our co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, chatted with Renée  about changes in the organic market since the mid nineties, her inspirations and that tricky definition of sustainability

With the move towards plant-based food is there a future for steakhouses? Our co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, chatted to Katie Chesney, Head of Marketing EMEA of The One Group, who moved  from restaurant management to marketing the STK Steakhouse group of restaurants in EMEA. Katie shared how she moved into the hospitality world, STK’s relationship with farmers, her favourite dishes on the menu and her views on some of the issues facing women in the food industry.

Celebrating winning a place in the Estrella National Restaurant Awards Top 100 and being the only woman in the north of England to win, our co-founder, Janie, chatted to Chef Patron, Stosie Madi from The Parkers Arms about what that feels like.  Stosie shared her inspirations, style of cooking, passions, what it’s like to run a business and her views on issues facing women in the food industry. Here is our full interview with Stosie.

Interview with Luciana Berry – MasterChef The Professionals, Le Cordon Bleu Mentor & Private Chef. If you had just graduated from Le Cordon Bleu London do you think you would be able to face the critical eyes of MasterChef The Professionals judges Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing, a week later? Women In the Food Industry co-founder, Mecca Ibrahim, got the chance to speak to Luciana Berry about her experiences championing Brazilian food, cooking for Prince Edward, braving the critics and what happened after MasterChef The Professionals. Here is our full interview with Luciana.