The journey to date May 29, 2019 16:56
I co-founded Medical Supermarket, my first company back in 2010 with Udhi. It's fair to say when we started we had no clue on, well, anything. We just stumbled from one mistake to the next. We learnt quickly that sales took three times a long to come in, the lows can be terrifying and the highs don't seem to last that long. However we caught that entrepreneurial bug. We both loved the competitive nature of owning a company and we enjoyed building a team who were just as passionate about the brand as we were.
Snaffling Pig (Giggling Pig as we were originally called) started as a complete passion project. I thought I could work during the day on Medical Supermarket then in the evening drive pub to pub selling pork snacks. Best case it would be a great story to tell. Worst case I could just eat the stock. I set to work on building a product and brand I liked. No research. Just asked myself would I buy this in the pub. I created the flavours I liked, built a website I would visit and created a tone of voice based on my own personality.
Deliveries of product would arrive at our office each week and I'd store them under my desk. My mum, Victoria, wanted to help and hit the road around Essex and Suffolk and sold to over 150 pubs. This worked for about 2 months before the deliveries were getting so commmon that we had to spread into the warehouse, and then I had to employ our first member of staff, Lucas. Now things got real, the brand was responsible for paying someone's salary and I had to make the company grow up quickly.
Udhi was incredibly supportive. He focussed his attention on Medical Supermarket, giving me the breathing space to give SP everything it needed. It was always our plan that Udhi would use that time to get Lloyd our CEO up to speed on Medical Supermarket and only once he was running at full speed would Udhi slide over to SP.
By the time Udhi came over in September 2017 we were doing about £1m a year. Not bad for business 2.5 years old. 18 months on from that we are well on our way to breach £4m in a year. Starting a company is tough when you do it on your own, but when you have a business partner who literally is the left hand to your right, magic does happen. We settled into a rhythm. He focussed on supply chain and finance and I got down into the detail of sales and marketing. Gave us a chance to really hammer out the brand purpose and develop a kick arse brand plan.We've now reorganised the team so Udhi can head up On-Trade sales (Pubs) as this is such a critical part of our business and I can focus on the Grocery sales side, including launching our range of pork meats.
I guess we have so many reasons why SP continues to go from strength to strength. But to sum it up to just one thing, it would be a dedication to our values. They are simple and govern every decision we make. Do Great Things. Have Some Fun. Don’t Be A Dick. These values have allowed us to recruit the right people and it’s empowered the team to do the right thing. It’s kept the customer at the centre of our world. It’s stopped us worrying what competitors are doing but instead give us free reign to break the mould and create truly innovative products. We are powering now. But we have spent 4 years doing this on our own.
We’ve learnt some tough lessons and gained some big wins. We’ve now proven the concept, got the business to a secure position and on the verge of landing some big fricking fish. Now is literally THE BEST time to thank our customers for getting us here and so we’d like to give you the chance to own a piece of us. This September 2019 we’ll be launching our BRING HOME THE BACON crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube and selling shares in Snaffling Pig. The money we raise from this will allow us to sell into more pubs, grow our pork meat range, helping us develop a range of sausages, bacon and cooked hams. The total pork meat category is worth £3.2b, and we’re doing 0.1% of that. Growing our business to 10 times the size in the next few years would be hard work but totally achievable.
We’re not looking for any old investors either. That’s why we’re not approaching any Venture Capitalists or Private Equity firms. We want to create an exclusive SWINE DINING CLUB of investors, all of whom get our brand, our culture and love our products. Our customers have always been our best sales team. It’s you guys who tell your local pub to stock us, who tweet the supermarkets demanding we’re available and email in saying they want to try a Maple flavoured pork crackling. We know that if we had 2,000 of our most passionate customers own a piece of us, we’d grow faster and slicker and the ride would be a lot more fun. You guys could sample new products first and give us live feedback. We’d hold exclusive shindigs across the country and you’d get access to special discounts and money can’t buy merchandise. We’d share the highs and lows with you. You’d be an important and vital part of the team and as corny as it sounds…we’d make some piggin’ magic happen.
WE'RE ALSO EIS COMPLIANT
Yep. Tax relief of 30% can be claimed on investments (up to £1,000,000 in one tax year) giving a maximum tax reduction in any one year of £300,000, provided you have sufficient Income Tax liability to cover it. You can read more about that here.
INTERESTED IN KNOWING MORE?
If you have any questions in the meantime or if you'd like to come and see our set-up and learn more, we'd love to show you around. Feel free to email me directly at email@example.com.
As always, investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware.
Founder & CEO