15 October '22

5 minute read

Share to:

You might have spotted BOL’s distinctive colourful packaging on the shelves of your local Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Waitrose. But have you tried it? Not only is the food tasty but BOL also has a cunning ulterior motive. They want you to do your bit for the planet by eating less meat. By eating more plants. All the BOL range is 100% plant based. Completely natural. High in plant protein.

BOL Foods is an exciting company. A disrupter brand in the marketplace of food and drink. Doing incredibly well. £25m in retail sales this year. Still hungry for more. Ben Eason, CP’s Head of New Business Relationships, sat down with Paul Brown, CEO of BOL to talk all things purpose, risk and growth. They also did a bit of reminiscing about their university days as it’s been a while since they last met.

We recorded their lively chat. You can listen to the full podcast here. As an appetizer we thought we’d give you a flavour of their tasty conversation.


A bit about Paul. After dropping out of university Paul indulged his passion for sport and pursued a snowboarding career. A bad fall dashed that dream but he was inspired by the Californian approach to food. Fresh, vibrant produce. Delicious, healthy food in combinations he’d never come across before. And all with plants at the heart and soul.

In the podcast Paul tells the story of how he returned to the UK and spent the next 14 years working in the world of food and drink before setting up BOL in early 2015. It’s a fascinating story of passion, sport and food.


Paul’s ambition for BOL is simple. He wants BOL to be the plant-based brand loved by meat eaters. His view is that busy people should be able to eat well. He wanted to produce products for people who are short on time. The grab and go offer of most fast-food brands isn’t particularly healthy. Or sustainable with their impact on the planet. What we eat is the biggest environmental decision we can all make. BOL is founded on a very clear vision and sense of purpose.


BOL wasn’t always a vegetarian let alone vegan brand. Making the choice to go fully vegan was a huge risk. In the podcast, Paul talks about the initial impact that decision had on BOL’s bottom line. How he wanted BOL to become the plant-based brand loved by meat eaters. He’s certainly achieved that.


Paul passionately believes businesses can be a force for good. There’s a growing movement of businesses choosing to put their values above profit. Take Patagonia which combines high-end outdoor clothing with its own brand of environmental and social activism. Like Patagonia, BOL is a B Corp company.

It’s all about having a clear purpose and value
All whilst taking your investors with you. Not always an easy path to follow unless you’ve got investors equally committed to your values.


BOL attracts amazing talent. It’s the business school of all business schools. Paul’s team of 30 are equally as passionate about the brand. Using WhatsApp to stay in touch with each other. Sharing ideas for new products. Often inspired by their travels. Regular weekend ‘BOLidays’ (teambuilding breaks to you and I) mean they’re a tight knit group. This year it was surfing in Portugal. More mates than just work colleagues. A team that thrives under pressure. Particularly over the last few years. You can’t fake a great culture. And that culture underpins BOL’s success.


With Paul’s passion and enthusiasm BOL isn’t standing still. He’s got great plans for the company. In the next two years he plans to launch BOL internationally and triple the amount of top talent working in the business. Innovating isn’t always a smooth path to success. The grit and determination instilled by his parents plays a big part. Learning to enjoy the moment is key.

Failure as a positive has been slightly overused and misunderstood.
As an entrepreneur failing on innovation really sucks – it costs a fortune and you don’t have that many bites of the cherry.


Things don’t stand still at BOL. New products are being developed all the time. Not easy to do during lockdowns. After 3 years in the making. BOL’s recently added Power Shakes to their range of products. Ready-to-drink. A 100% nutritionally complete meal. Keep your eyes on the shelves of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Planet Organic, Ocado and for new tasty products. We love their products. Their passion. We’re true BOLievers. Eat plants. Love life.

You can listen to the full podcast here. Go on it’s really tasty. Pull up a chair. Grab a drink of your choice. Enjoy 40 mins of lively conversation. Be inspired to go for your dreams.