Here at Forward Fooding, we’re food nuts, and nuts about food. That’s why, when we heard about Nutcessity, a premium nut butter based here in the UK, we couldn’t help but be excited. Chatting to Mike, founder of Nutcessity, it was impossible not to — from his humble origins to his future plans, we learnt everything these is to know about the bare Nutcessity of life!
What is Nutcessity?
As Nutcessity, I make premium organic alternates to peanut butter using various nuts, seeds & coconut. Since late 2016, I’ve been developing recipes that are wholesome, enticing and sweetened only with whole fruit. Because I’ve got a peanut allergy I’ve never tried peanut butter — but I’m told the textures and flavours of mine are pretty different!
Where did the idea originally come from?
Out studying in Australia in 2011, I tried almond butter for the first time, and it blew my mind! Back in the UK, I started making my own, and eventually moved to Bristol where I worked for Abel & Cole and Better Food — two organic food businesses. Working at the shop, I realised there was no alternate to peanut butter that was evocative, nutritious, delicious, and organic certified. That’s when I contacted my local authority and started blending in my flat to sell jars at local markets.
What’s been your biggest obstacle so far?
I think my biggest obstacle so far is a production one — where to make, how to make, and how to transport. I moved flats 3 times in Bristol, and then in June 2018, moved back to my parents’ house in Warwick. I kicked out their utility room and kitted it out, with my Dad’s help, into a basic IKEA kitchen space.
My routine now is to live in Warwick for 3 days, making Nutcessity, then drive back to Bristol to sell to shops and at markets. Slowly but surely, I’ve found and bought the right equipment which helps me make more jars faster (thank goodness)! I also wrote off my first car so had the sort that out! Solutions not problems…
Wow! It definitely sounds like it’s been more of a chunky than a smooth journey…sorry, couldn’t not throw in a nut butter pun! So what would you tell your past self, looking back?
In hindsight, I’d encourage myself to be more understanding of time delays and how busy people can be — things take way longer than you think they’re going to take. I’m still working on being better at planning the future: in weeks, months, years… It’s boring but planning stuff and being organised really pays off.
What’s been a stand-out moment during your start-up journey?
I always enjoy walking into a new shop and showing the staff my products, because I can say so many positive things: home-made, organic, healthy, different, to name a few. So there’s no real one stand-out moment; every day makes me proud of my product. My Date & Walnut just got a 1-star Great Taste award so it’s great I can say my nut butter officially ‘tastes great’ too!
So where do you think Nutcessity will go in the future?
This is easy to say… but I want to keep things very simple. Nutcessity is going to be a small wholefood brand that supplies the likes of Waitrose, Booths and the independents, but not the Tesco boys. I’m not planning on selling supermassive amounts. Nutcessity, to me, is simply a platform for which we’ll have a team, I’ll have an income to provide with, we’ll have a colourful, wholesome, tasty product range and we’ll give back to society. I currently give a minimum of 1% of annual profits to FRANK Water and have a fundraising target of £2,500 for this year to supplement this.
Thank you for talking to us! If you want to read more about, or have a taste of, Nutcessity, check out their website at www.nutcessity.co.uk. You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook @nutcessity!
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