In the 3rd instalment of our Independent Worthing: Unwrapped series, we meet Karen and Jasmine of Souk – Worthing, formerly known as Teba International.
IW: What inspired you to start your own business?
K: I have lived and worked in many places around the world and found it difficult to buy products from home especially when feeling a little homesick so know what it’s like to be craving certain foods that the supermarkets don’t stock. That along with a passion for trying new foods from all over the world.
IW: What is the best thing about what you do?
K: There are so many reasons we do what we do but the best thing is our local community and our customers. Personally, I love chatting to our customers and getting to know them, what they are looking for, what they like and don’t like so that we can offer a more personal service.
J: I love talking to and meeting new people; our shop wouldn’t work without the amazing people we have around us. I also really enjoy working with the products and organising the layout of the shop.
IW: What pearl of wisdom would you impart to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
K: Make sure that you do your research properly so that nobody takes advantage of your naivety! And love what you do.
J: don’t let every little setback get you down, sometimes you just need to take a breath and get on with it.
IW: What are your ‘go to’ local businesses?
K: There are so many great local businesses and although we don’t get out very often we do like to support as many as we can. We are currently working our way around the many local food establishments and most that we have tried are already firm favourites.
For gifts and treats we love Flowers 4, The Cosy Candle Co, Clear Creations, Hello Dodo, Irenas Cakes and Bakes, Perfectly Preserved and Templelion Tea.
Our everyday consumption of coffee is possibly the most important and thankfully we have South by West right next door with the best coffee (in our opinion) around!
J: l agree with all of the above, massive shout out to all of them, wonderful people, wonderful businesses. I also love Blitzkrieg Chop, it’s a really cool place to go to get your hair done!
IW: What do you get up to in your spare time?
K: Spare time? What is that?
Any spare time I get is normally spent with friends and family. I do like to cook but Jasmine does most of that these days.
IW: What’s your guilty pleasure?
K: Literally doing nothing is my current guilty pleasure! Having taken on the business ourselves, there are so many things to get done that there is always something to do. I particularly like to do nothing with a bag of wine gums and my feet up.
J: Watching compilations of Strictly Come Dancing on YouTube.
IW: What’s your favourite way to start the day?
K: It depends on what day it is…
Although I complain about being tired for the rest of the day, my favourite day is Market day as I get to go and buy fresh produce. There is nothing quite like being out and about and finishing the bulk of my work before the sun has even come up!
On a normal day I can’t start the day without coffee.
J: not having to open the shop. And then going back to sleep.
IW: If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things could you not do without?
K: I couldn’t do without a good book to read, A catalogue full of new food products to get excited about and a pad and paper to write down the many ideas that race around in my head.
J: Spotify, a pair of sunglasses and a boat.
IW: What plans do you have for the future?
K: In the short term we are expanding on our ranges of Vegan products and even more World foods plus we are hoping to use more local suppliers. We are looking into more ethical produce having started with our eggs which are now free range, organic and from local farms.
We have so many plans for the long term but it depends on how things pan out here.
J: Off to uni after my year off, but for the next year my heart belongs to Souk.
IW: Anything else you would like to add?
K: We would like to thank everyone that has supported us and spread the word about us to their family and friends, especially during this last year. We really do appreciate it!