Tell us a bit about you and your business.
Naturaw is a small family-owned business in the pet food sector. We’re a group of people that are passionate about our pets so we want to ensure we feed them the best we can, and that’s the raw diet.
We have a bunch of things that are unique about us. The main one being that we pride ourselves on being ethical and eco friendly; our tubs are made from recycled sugarcane (so are free from nasty chemicals and are completely compostable) and we have strict policies of standards and ethics. We also use 100% British meat, are DEFRA approved and provide a comprehensive breakdown of every product ingredients on the packs.
My journey into Naturaw started after a 30 year stint in corporate marketing and media. I myself own 2 Cocker Spaniels who actually led me to the business. I started part-time and now I have a stake in the business. I get involved in lots of things, mainly with HR, Finance and Commercial matters.
You’ve successfully appealed to a niche but growing part of the market. Well done on that! What do you think is your reason for success?
Apart from our strong ethical and eco friendly credentials, we’re an incredibly agile business. That’s helped us grow massively since Tom and Jess started Naturaw 5 years ago.
We send out food to thousands of environmentally conscious customers across the UK, every day.
This direct to consumer model we have is partly the reason why we’ve made such big progress. We’re primarily an online based business that manufacture and distribute from a Yorkshire base.
We do offer click and collect from our HQ as well as having 100+ stockists now, we didn’t have any when we first started; it’s more of an added bonus now and makes up around 25% of our business.
Our online footprint is important too. Many traditional brands are struggling to keep up with their online presence and I think it’s something we’re well placed with going forward.
2020 has been a strange year for everyone. Do you mind sharing your experiences?
Keeping everyone safe was our primary concern.
As we’re in the food production industry, we’re classed as an essential business so we’ve been manufacturing throughout the pandemic but the safety of our colleagues has been paramount.
We’ve successfully navigated the last year, partly because of the much larger premises we moved into in January.
Because of COVID, we actually had a huge surge in sales especially in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
We’re lucky that COVID definitely hasn’t harmed us; the Pet Sector is booming because people are spending more time at home and so are buying pets for companionship.
We joined the Pet Food Manufacturers Association last year too; it is important to follow guidelines and be part of a regulated industry.
Consumers are becoming more aware of their footprint on Earth and so, ethics and sustainability are becoming more and more important to everyone.
Our credentials within this area are sector leading and it’s something we’re very passionate about.
Aside from your amazing growth, what are some of Naturaw’s biggest business achievements?
We’re lucky to have had quite a few.
In 2019, we sold our millionth tub of food after only 4 years of the business being up and running.
In the year to March 2020, we doubled our turnover.
And recently, despite COVID, we completed the move to our 20,000 square foot facility which has increased our capacity significantly.
But, what we’re most proud of us is that we always have and always will stay true to our ethical and sustainable roots; despite our exponential growth, this will be something we’ll always hold close to.
Congratulations on all your achievements! Our readers would want to know how was Rocket Lawyer able to help you?
We’re a small business and no individual within the business has a legal qualification.
Just like any other business, we always need support for letters eg staff/HR related documents, finance documents, company structures, legal advice, etc.
In a previous life I have run up huge legal bills with external corporate suppliers and it’s not something any SME can afford to do.
It’s always scary not knowing what the bill may be or whether there’s any hidden costs.
Rocket Lawyer has helped us in a number of ways. Primarily, it’s a good resource at a low cost for businesses to get some basic advice and the basic templates for simple documents that may have cost a fortune if you went elsewhere.
The Ask a lawyer feature is great too. Having that free 30 minute consultation on each legal matter allowed us to understand the help available in any specific situation we were facing. This enabled us to save money compared to going to a traditional lawyer.
Rocket Lawyer’s objectives appeal to us too. It’s accessible, online, clear and transparent both in the legal information and pricing so you won’t be stung by hidden costs or fees.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since being at Naturaw?
For me, my mantra would always be to tell the truth, be prepared to learn and have an open minded attitude.
I came to the Pet Food Industry and Naturaw as a newcomer but I was willing to learn.
That’s really helped my understanding of the industry, the business and my own professional development too. So, despite the lack of experience and background initially, I was able to go from doing ad hoc jobs for the business to becoming a Director.
What are Naturaw’s plans for the future?
We’re hoping to get our Certified B Corporation Accreditation later this year to further cement our standards on ethics and sustainability.
For the business in the long-term, achieving sustainable growth is key.
The business is in a growing sector so there’s huge potential for further development.
And we want to do this all while staying true to our roots.
Our first and foremost priority will always be the sustainability and quality of our product rather than profitability.
We believe that dogs were designed to eat our food.
We call it the “rawvolution” and we hope to convert many more pet owners to our cause.