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James Averdieck

Former founding CEO of Gu, James Averdieck now runs The Coconut Collaborative, a yoghurt business which uses coconut milk. Stepping from deserts to organic products, James is a serial entrepreneur who knows the secrets to success and creative marketing. An expert in bringing a quality product to the market, James can educate the business world on the key to bringing a great idea to life, and leading a company to fruition. 

If you are interested in booking James Averdieck for your live event or require any additional information regarding James Averdieck then please fill in the enquiry form and one of the Speakers Corner booking agents will contact you within 24 hours.

Call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070
or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk

James Averdieck Biography

James Averdieck lived the dream. As founder and Managing Director of Gü Chocolate Puds - the fastest growing food company in the UK and a brand credited with revolutionising the quality of desserts – he is an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word. He built the brand with passion and sold it for £32 million. James is compelling and unique as a keynote speaker, as he delivers the message that at the heart of entrepreneurialism lies the idea, the journey, not the exit strategy, and not the final sale price.

In the process of building his brand, James realised his chocolate dream of selling soufflés to the French and chocolate to the Belgians...Since he sold his beloved Gu, James has become aware that the money, the power, the pleasure-seeking, the cars and the kudos, will never match the thrill of running and building the business. He is living proof that...

James Averdieck lived the dream. As founder and Managing Director of Gü Chocolate Puds - the fastest growing food company in the UK and a brand credited with revolutionising the quality of desserts – he is an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word. He built the brand with passion and sold it for £32 million. James is compelling and unique as a keynote speaker, as he delivers the message that at the heart of entrepreneurialism lies the idea, the journey, not the exit strategy, and not the final sale price.

In the process of building his brand, James realised his chocolate dream of selling soufflés to the French and chocolate to the Belgians...Since he sold his beloved Gu, James has become aware that the money, the power, the pleasure-seeking, the cars and the kudos, will never match the thrill of running and building the business. He is living proof that it’s not about the money.

James, the entrepreneur, conveys a strong message about the value of loving your business. He speaks about true entrepreneurship; how to simplify ideas with an innovative approach, and how to make your dreams achievable. He shares the ups and downs of running a business with a raw and honest appeal.

His enormous success lends him credibility, and his endearing transparency, combine to create a charismatic, intelligent and thoughtful keynote speaker, from whom important lessons can be learned.

Background and career

Born in Yorkshire in 1965, James was educated at Uppingham School before studying Economics at Durham University. After uni, James joined the graduate programme at strategy consultants Arthur D. Little, where he learnt about the key drivers to a successful business, but wanted to get closer to the coal-face.

James spent 9 years in the Food industry working for Safeway and St Ivel and learnt about Sales and Marketing and running businesses. With St Ivel he moved to Belgium and became a convert to Belgian gastronomy and, as he says, ‘went native on the chocolate front’. It was in Brussels that the seed was sown for his UK chocolate venture.  James saw the opportunity of marrying high-quality chocolate patisserie with efficient UK supermarket distribution.

James realised that UK consumers were demanding more quality and moving away from mass-produced ‘branded’ products. He was confident he could take on the big players.
He wanted to create a brand “more focused than the big brands on using high-quality raw materials to deliver uncompromisingly good products.”

Gü, the brand, is about chocolate extremism – evoking nostalgic memories and magical smells of baking with chocolate.  The brand was embraced with love by the supermarkets, launching first in Sainsburys and Waitrose with the others following apace.

James has turned his attentions now to a healthier brand, The Coconut Collective, a non-dairy based brand.  

As a speaker, James' knowledge combined with natural story-telling makes him an ideal choice for any audience looking to be inspired

Speaking Topics

James Averdieck is the man who built and sold Gü! A master entrepreneur who realised his dream, lost it, and has invaluable lessons to impart.

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Food & Wine
  • Leadership
  • Marketing & Branding  

For further information or to book James Averdieck, call us at Speakers Corner on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk

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