Happy Friday creatives! We hope this week has been a productive one and that you’re well on the way to realising your own business vision. We’re back with our weekly showcase of some of the best business startups and this week we have something really special for you all. We spoke to Pippa Murray of nut butter company Pip & Nut about forming her own business. In order to fund her business, Pippa moved into a shed as part of and Escape the City competition. Want to know how she achieved success? Read on below and find out!
Tell us about your business and what drew you to working for yourself.
Pip & Nut is a young and playful food brand that produces healthy and delicious nut butters. We don’t add palm oil, sugars or any other funny stuff. Before I founded Pip & Nut I was a Producer at the Science Museum managing theatre shows, and whilst I really enjoyed my job, once I’d had the idea for Pip & Nut I was really drawn to having my own company. It’s taken me just under two years to get the products to market, and the whole process from getting the initial idea inception to now having my products on the shelves has been a real baptism of fire. Having your own company means that you are constantly challenged and constantly learning. It’s very inspiring.
What inspired you to start the business and how did you get started ?
I got the initial idea whilst training for the Paris marathon. I am, and have always been, a huge fan of nut butters! Not only are they a great post exercise snack, but they are so incredibly versatile, and offer endless opportunities. However, I wasn’t able to find a healthy and fun brand, and that’s when I realised that I wanted to create my own brand. I started experimenting with different flavours in my own kitchen, and sold my products in various markets around London. The feedback I got from the customers was invaluable and has contributed the brand and products you now see on the shelves in Selfridges.
Who is your ideal customer/target audience?
I believe that Pip & Nut is suitable for so many different types of customers. Being such a healthy product it is ideal as a part of the every day diet, but equally suitable for people who do a lot of sport or exercise. By having jars as well as squeeze packs we are trying to ensure that the product is easy to eat on the go or to put into a child’s lunch box.
What does a normal day look like for you? And if no day is normal, describe the different things that you might have to do to run your business.
It is very hard to describe an average day, as there is a great deal of variety in my work tasks. Pip & Nut’s a small company which means I’m responsible for everything from marketing and PR to supply chain management, and often within the same day. That is probably one of the things that I enjoy the most about having started my own business: being involved in every aspect of the company. In comparison to working in one department it makes it so much easier to see the big picture, and to understand how everything works, or should work, together.
What would you say is the best thing about having your own business?
Having your own business means being able to have complete ownership of your brand and work, and I never tire of the fact that I can choose on a day to day basis what it is that I decide to do.
And what kind of challenges have you faced when setting up the business?
Finding a manufacturer was by far the biggest challenge and took my over 8 months to find them.
The reason being is that as a product that’s primarily nut based I quickly found out that many manufacturers are nut free sites and those that do handle nuts often only do so in exchange for manufacturing huge volumes or simply refuse to work with a start-up altogether.
It’s a vitally important relationship though, so any food start up venturing on this journey should be conscious that their manufacturing partner not only has the right equipment to make your product but is 100% supportive of your brand and products as they need to care about it as much as you do!
Where would you like to see yourself/your business in 3 years time?
I’ve got big ambitions for the brand and want Pip &Nut to be available nationwide. Pip & Nut is all about a healthy, fun and energetic way of living, and it is my ambition that those virtues will be reflected in every aspect of the companies development.
Why did you decide to crowdfund and have you got any advice for others wanting to do the same thing?
Crowdfunding is an awesome way to raise funds for your company. It creates a real narrative around your brand whilst also enabling you access to a wide pool of armchair investors who can put in anything from £10 to £100k.
Food brands tend to do well on crowdfunding because they’re very tangible with a clear route to market and the fact that Pip & Nut is such an engaging brand meant that I felt confident that I’d raise the funds I needed to get the products to market.
If you are considering raising money on this type of platform it really is all in the planning. You need to have thought about marketing, PR and, crucially, made contact with your network in order to drive people to your pitch the moment it goes live. Whilst it took only 9 days fund Pip & Nut there were months of planning that went into the fundraise.
Have you got a favourite recipe that you use your nut butters with? (And please can we have it?!)
Hmm, that is a difficult one. Many people usually consider nut butters to be a breakfast product, but I eat them throughout the day. This smoothie is however one of my favourite recipes, and it gives you a long lasting boost of energy.
Coconut Almond Superfood Smoothie Recipe
500ml skimmed milk
150ml natural yoghurt
3 tbsps. Coconut Almond butter
1 tablespoon flax seeds
2 teaspoons old fashioned oats
1 tbsp. honey
Feeds 2 – 3 squirrels
Grind flaxseeds & oats into a fine powder using a pestle mortar. Add all the ingredients into a food processor until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Would you recommend we all go off and live in a shed and would you do it again?
I would definitely do it again! The three months I spent in the shed were some of the most productive months of my life! The whole process of creating the product, the company and the brand, has been extremely rewarding and interesting. It’s very difficult to say what is right for other people, but if you have an idea that you are passionate about and willing to work hard for, I would say go for it.
Thank you very much Pippa for answering all of our questions! We can’t wait to try your nut butter recipe!
Pip & Nut is an all-new natural food brand that’s shaking up the world of nut butters. This January, shoppers will be able to find a range of three delectable spreads: Peanut Butter, Almond Butter and Coconut Almond Butter, designed to be enjoyed at any time, not just for breakfast!
Website – www.pipandnut.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/pipandnut
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pipandnut
Instagram – www.instagram.com/pipandnut