How to start a business in a foreign country, with ex-Lawyer Michael Philippou of The Frozen Fruit Co. | #415

How to start a business in a foreign country, with ex-Lawyer Michael Philippou of The Frozen Fruit Co. | #415

Did you hear the one about the two ex-London lawyers, who are married to each other, who get confused for brother and sister so often it’s weird, who moved to a foreign country (which one of them had never been to before), sell everything they own, have a baby, and start a plant-based Vegan soft serve concept in Santa Monica … with no prior cooking experience? Me either, until one of them contacted me for a interview!


“We landed in Santa Monica where we found people to be very open to trying new concepts and new food items … and it’s really a place where all the early innovators are … and we straight away knew that that’s where we needed to be. ”

– Michael Philippou,
Frozen Fruit Co.


There’s loads more tips and insights just like this that will help you build that beautiful business of yours into the empire it deserves to be. Hit the PLAY button above to listen now, or subscribe free to hear the full interview. You’ll also find the full interview transcription below.

If you have questions about leaving your current job and starting a business you love in a foreign country, then you’ll get the answers in this interview, including:

  • How do you leave a high paying ‘secure’ job to start your own business?
  • How do you get proof-of-concept on a business idea?
  • How do you decide to start a business in a foreign country?!
  • How do you go about setting up a business in the States?
  • How do you create a brand from scratch?
  • How to WOW your customers?
  • How do you find the right staff for your small business?
  • What is Transaction & Reaction Marketing?
  • And plenty more …

Michael Philippou, is an ex-London Lawyer. He and his wife Victoria (also an ex-London Lawyer) both suffer from a massive sweet tooth, but are also conscious about what they eat.

So, they started experimenting out-of-hours (like Lawyers don’t work long hours already!) and finally landed upon what they call their fruit-swirl recipe, which they started selling to local businesses. It wasn’t long before they had proof-of-concept, receiving a BBC Good Food Award, quit their jobs and got featured in Vogue, Tatler, and Jamie Oliver’s magazine!

They then decided to sell up everything and move to Santa Monica – the heart of Veganism – where they had only 3-months to make this business idea happen before Visa laws would send them packing.

You know why I love this story? Because it’s full of business courage and marketing smarts. Here’s two people who’ve had the guts to make a massive life change, to create a product and business they absolutely love, and who are laser-focused on creating amazing customer experiences.


Here’s what caught my attention from my chat with Frozen Fruit Co.’s Michael Philippou.:

  1. I love Michael’s approach to wowing his customers, and in particular that one simple question he and Victoria ask often … which is “How should the customer feel when they … walk in the store? Read the menu? Interact with a staff member? Taste the product?” If wowing your customer is a part of your marketing that your struggling with then I’d also suggest reading my mate Amanda Stevens book Turning Customers Into Advocates.
  2. I love how Michael and Victoria made a very conscious decision to place themselves in a highly innovative environment by moving to Santa Monica … the heart of the Veganism. Now, I’m not suggesting we all pack our bags and head North or South, but I am suggesting it would be a good idea to take stock of who you’re hanging around with the most when it comes to seeking business inspiration. These people, whether you know it or not, will be impacting heavily on your business’s success.
  3. I love the fact that the Frozen Fruit Co’s menu is limited to just four flavours. A gutsy move, but  amsart move. Like I said, choice hinders decision, so if you want to make it easier for people to choose to buy from you, offer them a small selection of well thought out products or services. They’ll love you for it.


Michael Philippou Interview Transcription


Well originally it was something we were both looking for in the market and we just couldn’t find it. We were lawyers at the time. We had a really bad sweet tooth. We love pastries. We love ice cream and we were just, didn’t love the way it made you feel, kind of both mentally and physically, after you kind of put a lot of stuff has long ingredient lists you know lots of sugars and we were just like why can’t you just get that same feeling but it with a really simple ingredient list and then nasty’s but doesn’t compromise the taste and flavor and is something you could almost had for breakfast and that kind of really kind of got us on to the idea. But it wasn’t to say that we weren’t put off from the idea for a bit to begin with as well.

Read more

But the marketing gold doesn’t stop there, in this episode you’ll also discover:

  • My response to a listener’s critical feedback about last week’s episode
  • Which two motivated listeners win in this week’s Monster Prize Draw

Resources mentioned:

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If something in this episode of Australia’s favourite marketing podcast peaked your interest, then let me know by leaving a comment below.

May your marketing be the best marketing.





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