Typically my alarm goes off around 6.30am and, if I'm being good, I'll head out for a run. It's a great way to clear my head, something I've come to depend on with the launch of the products round the corner.
I came up with the idea for Pip & Nut just over a year ago. I began noticing the trend for food that provided natural energy and, especially in the running community, the ever-increasing popularity for nut butters. They are rich in protein, really versatile and super tasty, and they are a great way to get a portion of nuts into your diet, which is why I think they are so popular in the sports world. My aim is to introduce a fun brand that plays with flavours on order to broaden their appeal and encourage more people to eat nuts on a regular basis.
Now it's taken just over a year to get off the company ground, much longer than I anticipated, but I'm excited to be looking towards a launch in the autumn. Like a lot of food start-ups your day varies hugely, and especially as the launch date creeps closer I find myself more than ever juggling a whole host of different elements.
At the moment I'm working from an office of another start-up company called Escape the City as in June I won a start-up competition that they ran. The competition, titled "Escape to the Shed', offered one start-up three months free accommodation in the shed (see pic) and desk space in their offices. Miraculously out of the 3,000 interested companies, Pip & Nut won! So once I've grabbed some breakfast I'll hop onto my bike and head to their office in Bank.
Despite Escape the City being primarily a tech start-up I’ve found it useful being able to bounce ideas off them and tap into their experience of launching their company. In particular I've been able to ask them about their experience of raising finance as I'm about to launch a crowdfunding campaign.
It’s always challenging raising the initial capital you need to get your business off the ground but what’s great is that nowadays there are lots of online platforms which you can use to raise the money. For me Crowdcube, an equity crowdfunding site, seemed to fit well with the brand and so I’ll be launching my campaign at the end of August.
So right now my day will often involve contacting potential investors and meeting with them to update them on the progress of the business, prepping the pitch page and planning the marketing activities that will support the campaign once the pitch goes live. It's going to be a nerve-wracking and hectic 60 days whilst the campaign is live but fingers crossed the preparation I'm doing now will hold me in good stead.
If I’ve been for a run in the morning I’ll be famished by 12pm. I’ll try and grab something relatively healthy from a café nearby and eat it back with the team in the office.
I’m also working hard pulling together the final elements of the brand designs and working closely with my manufacturing partner to translate my recipes into their facility. I developed the products out of my kitchen and tested them on the general public at Maltby Street Market for three months back in October to get feedback. I'm incredibly protective of the recipes so making sure they are as close to perfect as possible is absolutely critical. What's great is that my co-packer has a real belief in the brand and product range so I trust that what we'll produce will be spot on.
In the evenings I'll either head to one of the Escape the City talks to hear from other entrepreneurs about their journeys, catch up with friends somewhere in London to switch off from the start-up world for a bit or head back home (to the shed) and despite my best efforts will no doubt carry on working.
It's so exhilarating launching your own food business and I feel really privileged to be able to work on something that I believe in so wholeheartedly but it can also creep into every aspect of your life so I do occasionally need to force myself to switch off the laptop and take a break!