New Covent Garden Soup Co

John Stapleton

John Stapleton is the ‘Authentic Entrepreneur’ with over 30 years’ experience in pioneering new FMCG categories and establishing and growing consumer-led businesses in both the UK and the USA.

John provides business growth advice and mentorship to growing businesses. He is a business thought leader and speaks on a wide range of entrepreneurial, management & motivational leadership topics:

A founder of three start-ups, John is an expert at developing new and innovative consumer brands. John now actively manages an investor/Non-Executive Director portfolio contributing value-added business growth advice, guidance and mentoring to business owners. John is a founder-member and a member of the Investment Committee at Redesdale, the only venture capital fund dedicated to the early-stage Irish food and drinks sector. In addition to this, John is resident business advisor to Bord Bia’s entrepreneurial start-up programme in Ireland and is investor director of Mission Ventures, a progressive business accelerator designed to build challenger brands in the UK food & drink space, principally in partnership through Corporate Venture Accelerators (

In 1987 John co-founded The New Covent Garden Soup Co Ltd., which pioneered and grew the fresh soup category in the UK. On reaching over £20m revenue, New Covent Garden Soup Co was sold in 1998. John then co-founded Glencoe Foods Inc., designed to bring the fresh soup concept to the US. On returning to Europe, John established a consumer branded food consultancy and worked with a number of corporate and early-stage growth businesses across the FMCG sector in the UK, US and continental Europe.

In 2005, John co-founded Little Dish, which supplies healthy, natural and convenient meals and snacks to children over one year old. Little Dish created the chilled toddler food category, developing full UK retailer distribution and became the go-to brand in fresh toddler food and healthy snacks. Having grown to approx. £15m annual revenues, John sold Little Dish in 2017.