What do you currently do?
I’m the Founder of a new food brand called Pip & Nut (www.pipandnut.com). We make a range of utterly delicious all-natural nut butters that includes a Coconut Almond Butter, Almond Butter and Peanut Butter.
We’re a new company – just five months old in fact – and growing fast, having secured listings with over 275 stores and are soon to add a couple of major supermarkets to our list of customers. This means I’m constantly working on different things, from supply chain management, to marketing campaigns or sales.
It’s a pretty challenging job that keeps me on my toes but I enjoy the diversity.
What is your inspiration in business?
Food and drink in the UK has evolved massively in the past 10 years. Today when you walk into the supermarkets there’s a huge amount of diversity on the shelf and I find it really inspiring. However what really excites me is seeing how other challenger food brands have managed to disrupt a category and transform it for the better. A great example of that is BEAR, a health snack brand that’s revived the dried fruit category, or the Collective Dairy, who create the most delicious yoghurt imaginable and truly add something unique and different to the shelf. All these businesses started from small seeds and have now grown into established and well-loved brands, and I look forward to taking Pip & Nut on the same journey.
Who do you admire?
As a business owner I have a huge respect for other people who have also ventured into the exciting rollercoaster world of running a company. One of those people is David Hieatt who I’ve been to a see speak a couple of times, and also read a number of his Do Lecture books. And, every time I hear him speak, or read something he has written, I find it really resonates with me. For instance he says that businesses should be run on passion, but not ‘hot passion’ which he says is short lived, but ‘cold passion’ which stands the test of time and allows you to push through the highs and lows of running a company.
Looking back would you have done things differently?
I try not to have regrets as, generally speaking, mistakes are there to be learnt from. I guess though, I wish I’d got the products to market quicker. It took me almost 20 months to launch the brand and I’d have loved to see the products in the hands of the consumers faster. Having said that, considering that I’d no experience in FMCG prior to launching the brand I think this time was useful in helping me get to grips with the industry.
What defines your way of doing business?
For me, doing business is about collaboration. It’s about working closely with suppliers, customers, investors, and employees, so that everyone benefits and is as excited about working with the brand as I am about working with them.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
My advice is to take advice. Get in touch with those people who have more experience than you do so that you can learn from them and apply it to your business. No one can be expected to be an expert in everything so finding people who are and being open to their suggestions will help grow your business faster.