“While designing and equipping the new building, I set up a bakery in a former chemistry lab on campus and started four delivery rounds, to Brighton, Hove, Lewes and Burgess Hill. The restaurant proved really popular, not just with the business tenants, but also students and staff across the Falmer campus.
“Three years later, I opened a second shop in Brighton’s North Laine in Bond Street, which soon became our HQ. By the time we had moved out of the Innovation Centre seven years later, we had expanded into a three-storey warehouse behind the Bond Street shop, which became our central bakery, office and outside catering unit.
“The Hove Bagelman opened shortly after, offering a fuller restaurant menu, followed by a third Brighton store in the Lanes at Ship Street.
“Our delivery service, which began at the Innovation Centre, grew rapidly into providing buffets and hundreds of daily filled bagels at seven different student union shops on both the Sussex and University of Brighton campuses and buildings including Mithras House, Grand Parade and Cockcroft.
“At its peak, we baked and sold nearly half a million bagels a year, and employed around 30 staff.
“In 2007, Bagelman was awarded Sussex Best Small Business of the Year and in 2011, after 15 years at the helm, I hung up my oven gloves and sold the business to concentrate on family and a personal writing project (an elaboration of my undergraduate art thesis.)
“In the summer of 2017, after some planning, I started a new company Joyful Foods, which has introduced a range of all-natural, plant-based, gluten-free pick-me-ups (energy bar squares) under the brand Joyfuel.”
Julian, Founder and Managing Director of Worthing-based Joyfuel, says he has one simple aim: “To make better energy bars, in every sense, so you can eat better, treat better, perform better, feel better.”
He may have moved a long way away from his university studies but individualism, the sculptor’s guiding light, is engrained in his business: “We don’t believe in a ‘one-recipe-fits-all’ (Lawd knows, we tried!), because everyone’s different with different needs, different moods, different desires.
“Plus we change too, from season to season, week to week, day to day, even moment to moment. We’re getting personal.”