Baking a Difference : Kim Innes and the Crumble Revolution

In the heart of London’s vibrant food scene, a culinary revolution quietly simmers, led by the indomitable Kim Innes and her ground-breaking venture, Humble Crumble.  From modest inception as a Primrose Hill farmers’ market stall to its current status as the world’s first crumble bakery, Humble Crumble has baked itself into the fabric of the City’s culinary culture, serving over half a million crumbles in just three years.  We delve deeper into how its visionary founder transformed a quintessentially British dessert from everyday edible to gastronomic sensation, whilst cooking up a multimillion-pound business with an ever-expanding following.  

Kim Innes Humble Crumble

Kim’s journey into the world of food and business did not happen by chance!  It was destiny foretold by a lifelong love of baking and intrinsic desire to connect people through the universal language of desserts.  It was at Brighton University that this culinary passion, combined with an enduring love of comfort food, and an entrepreneurial flair, sparked into life.  Hours spent baking and honing recipes, led Kim to understand two critical factors, first-hand.  Firstly, delicious desserts, noticeably crumbles, forged emotional connections and brought people together.  Secondly, nowhere sold top-notch, comfort desserts that could be enjoyed year-round, irrespective of the season.  

Fuelled by this insight and seeing the gap in the market, Kim spent time in France as a restaurant manager, honing her knowledge of the food and beverage industry, before returning to London determined to carve her niche.  After all, a City renowned for its eclectic, dynamic food scene and insatiable appetite for culinary innovation, was the perfect canvas for her dreams.  In May 2018, armed with nothing but her passion and a repertoire of crumble recipes, Kim set up the first Humble Crumble stall. 

Early Humble Crumble Instagram post

It did not immediately attract the crowds!  Yet, despite a lukewarm start, Kim remained undeterred, viewing the initial lack of sales not as a setback but as an invaluable opportunity to fine-tune her crumbles, based on direct customer feedback. “Those early days were tough, but also instrumental in shaping the direction of Humble Crumble.  Every comment, every suggestion was a golden nugget of information that helped me refine my crumbles to what they are today,” Kim reflects, her resilience shining through.

Humble Crumble Stall at Southbank Centre

As the season’s changed, so did Humble Crumble’s fortunes.  The breakthrough came in 2019, at the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, where Kim’s stall stood out amidst festive fare and became an unexpected sensation, commanding long queues and bustling activity.   

This pivotal moment catapulted the brand into London’s culinary spotlight, and secured a coveted spot at  Old Spitalfields Market.  However, it wasn’t until the introduction of the Pumpkin-Spiced Crumble in October 2020 that Humble Crumble truly captured the public’s imagination.  Launched against the global pandemic’s challenges, it became an overnight sensation, heralding a new chapter for Kim and her burgeoning enterprise.  “Launching the pumpkin spiced crumble in such uncertain times was a leap of faith,” Kim reflects, “but it turned into a game-changer.  Its popularity was a clear indication that we had tapped into something special; something that resonated deeply with our customers.  It was heart warming to see so many people queuing to enjoy it, even in those uncertain times,” says Kim, recalling the moment her creation went viral.

This moment was more than just a testament to Humble Crumble’s culinary appeal; it underscored Kim’s ability to pivot and innovate in the face of adversity. Throughout the pandemic, when traditional business models were upended, Kim adapted by selling stock and ingredients through an online shop, keeping the spirit of Humble Crumble alive even in the most testing times.

Humble Crumble Event Camden

Needless to say, the brand’s success has attracted attention from landlords across London, eager to house the world’s first dedicated crumble bakery. Humble Crumble has shops at Camden Market, Borough Market and Old Spitalfields Market. An upcoming opening in Covent Garden is eagerly anticipated.  Yet, despite the rapid growth and increasing demand, Kim’s commitment to her original vision remains unwavering. “Ensuring the taste, quality and originality of our crumbles is paramount,” she insists.  “And, as we grow, it’s crucial we maintain the essence of what made Humble Crumble a beloved brand in the first place.”

Carefully managed it might be, but expansion offers opportunities to introduce more people to the unique charm and warmth of Humble Crumble’s offerings.  “Growing our presence in London is just the beginning,” says Kim, her eyes alight with the passion that has driven her journey from the start. “We’re not just increasing in size; we’re deepening our connection with the community and continuing to innovate in ways that continually excite and surprise our customers.”

Humble Crumble Event

Kim’s journey from hobby-baker to the founder of a thriving culinary enterprise is a source of inspiration, reflecting her unwavering dedication to her craft and her original business vision.  As Humble Crumble continues to delight palates and bring people together, Kim looks to the future with optimism, “the journey has been incredible so far, and I’m excited for what lies ahead.  Our aim is not just to continue building the business, but also keep introducing new flavours and experiences, whilst remaining in the heart of the community; a place where people can unite over their love for crumble!”

Kim’s business success acts as a beacon for other aspiring entrepreneurs.  It’s why, as a vocal advocate for female innovation, she is working with  the Buy Women Built community, to support and empower women in the workplace.  Because, in a world where the warmth of a crumble meets the heat of ambition, Kim Innes has not only baked her way into London’s culinary heart but also seeks to crumble barriers for women in business.  Her journey with Humble Crumble serves as a delicious reminder that, with a dash of passion and a sprinkle of perseverance, women can cook up not just extraordinary desserts but also transformative business success.

Humble Crumble Team

You might also like the following features: Meet Alexa Fernandez – Founder & CEO of Chili Maven, Listen to Bethan Thomas of HotTea Mama Podcast with Women In the Food Industry, and The Biskery – Bespoke, Personalised Biscuits Brand led by Mothers.

View all news

Some of our supporters

Subscribe to the newsletter

Sign up today to be first to find out all the latest news and offers from WIFI