Talk about ‘world firsts’ when it comes to anything edible and there can only really be one man behind it.
You might not recognise the name Charlie Harry or even know his face, but chances are you have probably heard about some of his weird and wonderful inventions.
This modern day Willy Wonka has hit the headlines worldwide and featured on television programmes on several occasions over the past few years for his glow in the dark ice cream, edible mist, ice cream pottery and even levitating cocktails.
His successful ideas and how being curious about the world can lead to innovation was the focus of a speech at the Wiltshire 3D Enterprise Centre, Wiltshire College Lackham, on Wednesday October 21.
More than 50 business owners and local entrepreneurs attended the event, which was part of The Enterprise Network’s ‘Enterprise Series’ of free networking and learning events, featuring top UK entrepreneurs who are sharing their knowledge and insights into start up, growing and innovative small business.
Charlie, who grew up on a farm in Wales where his family specialise in making ice cream, captivated guests with his contraptions and demonstrations.
His chocolate cookie edible mist and gin and tonic sorbet ice cream, made using a fire extinguisher were particular highlights and ensured there were no difficulties in attracting willing volunteers.
During his talk, Charlie spoke about his original dreams of opening up an ice cream business where he could produce any flavour and how that idea evolved into the business he has today – Lick Me I’m Delicious –the experimental food installations events company.
In recent months the London-based company has covered several high profile events including Wimbledon and Emma Watson’s wrap party for her latest film Beauty and the Beast.
Addressing business owners, Charlie said: “Whatever industry we work in we tend to become closed minded and I love working with people from completely different areas as that’s where my innovative ideas spring from.
“Opportunities can come from anywhere.
“It is about being interested in other people and other industries and I like to do things that no one else ever has.”
Charlie talked about many highlights with his hugely successful contraptions, but one that stands out more than most is when he was able to help a man with cystic fibrosis.
Charlie said: “A story about the edible mist appeared in a newspaper and following that a man called Steve got in touch and said that his condition meant he had to be fed through a tube to his stomach and as a result had not tasted food for seven years.
“He asked if I might be able to help him taste again and I was delighted to try and help.
“He wasn’t able to suck through a straw and so we ended up trying it with a syringe by capturing some of the mist and as a result he was able to taste some of his favourite meals.
“This was such an amazing experience for me to be able to help someone.”
Sheena Awdry, a project coordinator for the College and organiser of the event, said: “I first met Charlie through Engineering Innovations Network South West (EIN – SW) – a former Wiltshire College led project.
“He was introduced to me by someone who said to keep an eye on him as he has some wacky ideas and will go a long way.
“His first candyfloss whizzing machine received funding through EIN-SW and the technology was developed by one of the companies we work with.
“He is a great example of how we, in partnership with TEN, can help local businesses and what they can achieve.”
Ryan Vaughan, is marketing director of Holt-based marketing communications agency Little Lightbulb.
He said: “The event hosted by the team at the 3D Centre was exactly what we look for in terms of inspiring creativity, sharing industry leading insight as well as having the pleasure to witness the wonderful ideas of Charlie Harry.”