Claret Capital Partners was delighted to have the opportunity to back Butternut Box in September 2020, having monitored its strong growth and assessed its long term potential for success.
Earlier this month, we spoke with co-founder Kevin Glynn on how Butternut adapted during the pandemic and what’s next for the leading human-grade, fresh-cooked dog food company in Europe.
How did Butternut Box come to life?
Our story all started with a dog who couldn’t stop farting, called Rudie. Dave’s family rescued Rudie after she’d been abandoned, and she was in a really bad way. Her skin was sore, her mood was low and her farts were… terrible, to be honest.
After months of vet visits, they began to think Rudie’s diet could be to blame. They started to cook her meals from scratch – sourcing and gently cooking healthy ingredients – and developing the perfect recipe. In just weeks, Rudie’s well-being transformed.
Her sore skin and farts went away, and her energy came back. One day whilst out on a coffee break (in our previous job) with Dave, he mentioned the remarkable turnaround Rudie had due to her change in food to a fresh diet.
That was the lightbulb moment for us and after realising there was no company providing fresh dog food that resulted in dogs living long and living well, so we decided to quit our jobs and set it up ourselves! COVID-19 has affected every business in some way..
How did Butternut Box adapt during the pandemic?
We saw three big impacts from COVID-19 on Butternut.
Firstly, the volume of online shoppers increased dramatically and secondly, there was a spike in the number of people becoming pet owners looking to buy dog food.
We, like so many other companies, had to completely switch to a remote way of working as a business as a fresh dog food company, whose shop front is – and always has been – online.
We feel very fortunate that these first two impacts of COVID-19, for us, worked in our favour.
That said, the challenge for us, was making sure we prioritised the experience and happiness of our existing customers alongside taking on new customers.
As for the third impact, we moved into remote working quite seamlessly. We’re an online-first business anyway, so we were fortunately well set up to begin with.
Going forward, and looking to a time when restrictions lift, we see the wider team at Butternut taking more of a hybrid approach to remote working.
What are you most excited about in the future of the company?
We have loads to be optimistic about when it comes to the future of Butternut. We had our 5th birthday on the 15th of March, but at the moment, it really does feel like we are just getting started and only scratching the surface on what we can do as a team for our customers.
The most exciting elements ahead for us are caring for more dogs in the UK, increasing our range and offering for our customers and expanding into international markets this year.