When Robert Jakobi, 29, tried to sell his edamame snacks to the Itsu chain, Julian Metcalfe, 54, its co-founder, asked him to be managing director of his new snack business, Metcalfe’s Food Company. It is the latest in a series of ventures for Metcalfe that began with Pret A Manger in 1986. Today, the firm has two brands that are sold in supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose and have sales of £9.1m. The Itsu grocery line includes miso soups and noodle cups, while the Metcalfe’s skinny range includes gourmet popcorn.
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