Metcalfe is the visionary co-founder of Pret a Manger, an accomplished creative genius who excels in product development and marketing and has built not just Pret but also itsu, a chain of Asian-inspired food outlets, into strong recognisable brands.
</p > Jakobi is a driven, well-educated and commercially-orientated young buck with a head for figures, finance and sales. </p > The two are working on Metcalfe’s Food Company, a healthy snacks brand which supplies food under the Metcalfe’s skinny and itsu [grocery] brands.</p > “We have quite a unique relationship,” Jakobi explains when I meet him at an itsu store under the company’s offices in Westminster. </p > “We have very different qualities. He’s extremely creative, he’s not numbers orientated, whereas my background is in finance.</p > “He’s a visionary, he comes in every day to the office with new ideas – ‘How can we improve this product? What about the packaging?’ – and you know some of those ideas don’t work because commercially they don’t make sense.</p > “But he has that creativity which no one else has, which is a big asset – it’s just a case of managing that creativity.” </p > The roots of a partnership</strong ></p > The origins of the pair’s partnership lies in Jakobi’s decision to shun a career in finance and instead look to create a more entrepreneurial attitude in the food industry. </p > “The thing I hated about Wall Street was these large corporations, the politics, the hierarchy,” he says. </p > “Having been around very likeminded, entrepreneurial people at university, I started my own company, and it happened to be a food snacks company.” </p > Jakobi spotted a gap in the market for healthy food in cinemas and developed a product called “Pod Bites</a >” – dry roasted edamame beans covered in chocolate or yoghurt. </p > He looked at the the itsu brand Metcalfe had created and thought that the products fitted well with the healthy Asian-inspired theme. </p >
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