Posted 23 October 2019
Zoe Harrison and the Butterbelle team
Butterbelle founder and former Harper Adams student Zoe Harrison has returned to the University as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Staff are excited to use Zoe and the Butterbelle business as a case study to inspire and educate.
Having studied Food, Nutrition and Well-Being, Zoe will assist in teaching a range of entrepreneurship and business modules across Food Technology and Business to hand down her wealth of industry knowledge and experience to current Harper Adams students. Butterbelle has recently took the top spot at the Rural Business Awards in the Best Rural Food and Drink Business category and has just been voted runner up in the Observer Food Monthly Awards' Ethical Food category.
On returning to Harper Adams as the Entrepreneur in Residence Zoe said: “I’m really excited to start, it feels like I’m coming back home and I’ve always felt drawn back to the University. I’m looking for a new challenge as well. Sometimes you can get stuck in the day to day when you’re running a business and this is getting back out there to see what’s happening.”
Zoe began making products at home for her friends, experimenting with carefully chosen natural ingredients to produce foods with health giving properties. After perfecting the recipes using carefully sourced ingredients Zoe began supplying local shops and by the time her final year arrived she was working around the clock crushing nuts and travelling the country with the butters. The Butterbellle founder lives with her two daughters and it was once they became old enough that she was able to pursue her life-long ambition of working in the food industry and start her degree at Harper Adams. After completing her placement year working for the university’s Catering Department. To make sure she could juggle the rest of her degree with the fledgling business, Zoe returned to Harper Adams and made Butterbelle the basis of her final year project.
Zoe’s return to the University represents teaching coming full circle at Harper Adams in a variety of ways. Belle Parrish will begin her studies at Harper Adams this September but is already working for Butterbelle after meeting Zoe at the recent Harper Adams Field to Fork festival.
Always on the lookout for new talent, Zoe is looking to Harper Adams students with future placements in mind saying: “I’d love another placement student, it’s a great way to build their experience and bring new talent into your own business.”