A Chat with The Ludlow Nut Company

Posted on 14 Mar 2022

Their healthy - and super tasty - products have been in our vending machine for a little while now, and they have proven incredibly popular! So, we thought it was about time that the Berries Unlocked team sat down and had a chat with Helen Graham, founder and director of The Ludlow Nut Company, to find out a little more about the business.

  • For those of our customers who don’t know, can you tell us a little about The Ludlow Nut Company? Where did things begin, what was the inspiration, and where are you today?

Ludlow Nut was started in 2005, after we moved from London to Ludlow, Shropshire. We wanted to start a small business - to try something new - and as Ludlow is renowned for its good food connections, it was a no-brainer to go into that space. We came up with the idea of dried fruits and nuts, as there was no one doing this at the time, and eventually started to increase our product offerings - branching into muesli manufacturing, and creating our own nut butters among other products. Things were small scale to start with, but we soon started to rent a kitchen from the Ludlow Food Centre, and in 2018 we moved to our own bespoke premises in 2018, and we expanded massively.

  • What’s your most popular product you offer, and what’s your personal favourite?

Cashews seem to be everyone’s favourite - we have 5 different flavours, and we enjoy the process of experimenting and roasting our own; we’re able to bring products to market that aren’t already out there.

My personal favourite has to be either our crunchy peanut butter, or our coconut butter! Our hi-oleic peanuts are also very popular - and my personal favourite nut - and they make the best peanut butter.

  • We really like how you prioritise sustainability in your processes - and this was a big factor for us when it came to choosing to supply your products. Do you have any future plans in this area?

Obviously our largest investment in terms of sustainability at Ludlow Nut Co. was in the building of our premises; we installed 200 solar panels on our roof, and we use this renewable energy in our production. We’re also incredibly aware of the plastic problem, and we are taking the steps to make sure that our packaging is recyclable; we started by moving our cereals into recyclable packaging last year. By next year, we envisage that all of our packaging will be totally recyclable. However, technologies are moving fast, and we will soon be looking at compostable packaging options.

  • Has your business experienced any challenges you didn’t expect, and if so how did you overcome them?

A significant challenge has come with trying to become more sustainable; the plastic revolution - and backlash - seemed to happen overnight. It’s difficult to keep up to date on what new packaging innovations are coming out, and it’s a real balancing act, to try and ensure that changes in our packaging do not compromise or cause issues for our perishable products.

  • If you could assign just one word to how your journey has been, what would it be?

A rollercoaster!

  • Do you have any advice to anyone considering starting their own business or initiative?

When you get knocked down, dust yourself off and get back up again. Always be on the lookout for new opportunities, and run with them! Don’t be afraid to sometimes put your head above the parapet, and don’t be afraid of taking calculated risks. Trust your gut, keep an open mind, and be brave.

We really enjoyed chatting with Helen, and we hope you’ve learned a little more about Ludlow Nut Co. If you want to find out more, you can visit their website.