Jessica Kruger

Ethos Co-founder. Age 28.

Please could you tell us a bit about Ethos?

Ethos is a meat-free restaurant just a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus in central London. We’re a pay-by-weight concept, which means you don’t have a normal menu like you do in a restaurant – you get to pick and mix what you like.

How did you find yourself setting up Ethos?

I was at home at Christmas about four years ago seeing my family in Australia and my mother was preparing to go overseas to California to work on an animal farm. She suggested I watch a documentary to understand why she was going and I was so shocked to see how our food gets onto our tables. It’s really sad and it’s really cruel. When I went back to Switzerland, which is where I was living at the time, I found it really hard eating out. The options at restaurants were really poor. So I decided to do something about it and started a restaurant.

Where did you find the confidence to start Ethos?

I found the confidence to start a business by being really honest about what I don’t know and being okay with that. It’s about asking the silly questions and not being ashamed. It’s important to focus on your talents and accept the things that you’re not very good at and finding someone to help you with those things. I think confidence comes from knowing yourself.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Starting a restaurant was something I’d never done so it was a pretty big risk! Luckily it’s paid off so far, but it’s definitely a work in progress.

I found the confidence to start a business by being really honest about what I don’t know.
If your teenage self could see you now what would she think?

My teenage self would be really proud of what I’ve done and proud that I’ve overcome, to an extent, my shyness.

Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you?

I think I’d have to say it’s the culture of entrepreneurs rather than one particular person. I find it’s more about discovering the world of entrepreneurialism… there are people who are going out there and taking big risks, often failing and getting back up and trying again.