Let’s get the weekend started with a new Behind the Biz interview.
If you’re new to Prettygreentea then you may not be familiar with #BehindtheBiz. It’s my weekly interview series where I discover fun and exciting businesses, the people behind them and their business journey. I hope you enjoy today’s rather delicious biz.
Today I’m chatting to Farrah, the founder of Moose Maple Butter.
Where did the inspiration for Moose Maple Butter come from?
The Moose Maple Butter story began early one morning in New York, around about the moment I decided that a thick slice of hot buttered toast was in desperate need of a discerning sweet kickstart. I simply wasn’t prepared to subject my toast to a synthetic jam or chocolate spread hit because deep down I craved something natural and wholesome.
Some nearby maple syrup caught my eye and that’s the exact moment I decided that a butter / maple syrup merger made perfect sense.
And this good idea became a truly great idea when we discovered full-bodied British butter!
How did you decide upon your name?
Our Grade A maple syrup comes from Canada as do most moose. I also dabble in art (planning an exhibition next Summer) and felt a distinguished looking moose sat within my skills set.
What did you do before starting your business?
I’m still doing what I did pre-Moose days, albeit to a lesser extent. I’m an intellectual property lawyer by training and profession, so producing a top-notch, every occasion butter is in many ways a giant leap into the unknown; though I’m fortunate to be able to lean upon a significant support network of ‘wise owl’ food entrepreneurs.
Did you always plan to set up your own business?
I’ve always been something of a ‘free spirit,’ which lends itself nicely to running my own business, but no I never envisaged I’d run my own business and occasionally wonder why I didn’t talk myself out of it?
What has been the biggest challenge in running your business so far?
Without a doubt trail-blazing! Britain is a nation with a strong pedigree in jams, curds, marmalades, marmite and honeys which represents a very cluttered marketplace; especially when you throw in the growing emergence of continental-inspired chocolate spreads and American-leaning peanut butters.
Flavoured butters (brandy, rum….) of course already exist in the UK but are very much seen as an indulgent albeit occasional ‘seasonal treat.’
So on a shoestring budget our priority has been to do whatever we can to tap into the growing enthusiasm for simple, natural, wholesome flavours, whilst convincing consumers that a truly flavoursome butter negates the needs for any sugar-laden preserves or spreads.
Thankfully real butter is enjoying something of a renaissance as more consumers reject the convenience over taste mantra of spreads and margarines. And yet, for all its growing reputation, tree sap (maple syrup) has yet to truly capture the British imagination.
What has been the highlight of your business journey to date?
A Selfridges and Partridges listing must rank pretty highly, as must our Great Taste glory and the gold we won at the International Nantwich show (best flavoured butters).
And yet in reality the real win is seeing the smile on consumer faces at samplings when they recognise that something so simple can taste so good and can be used in 101 different ways.
What role does social media play for your business and do you have a favourite social platform?
Very ‘early doors’ in truth, since our current priority is to upgrade our website, creating the perfect first stepping stone for inquisitive maple syrup enthusiasts to appreciate our thinking. That said, plans are afoot and we love Twitter and Instagram.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Hang on to your vision, even when things get tough because there’s always a positive break around the next corner. We were lucky a little while back when Nigella tweeted that she couldn’t wait for Moose Maple Butter to be available across the UK, which in turn led to a short albeit seismic shift in our social media enquiries.
Where do you hope to take your business in the year ahead?
Our goal is to make Moose Maple Butter a household name, by highlighting the countless opportunities for this versatile spread, be that enhancing any ‘bread-themed’ experience, (toast, crumpets, hot cross buns…) glazing meats and roasted vegetables, home baking or even a bullet coffee shot?
We see plenty more scope for maple/dairy collaborations, which is why we’re currently dabbling with Moose Maple Yogis, Moose Maple milk and even a spooning maple cream.
In essence the opportunities are mouthwatering!
I want to say a massive thank you to Farrah for getting involved with Behind the Biz. I’m so pleased to have her involved with the series and I feel truly inspired after reading her interview. I hope you do too.
I adore the branding of Moose Maple Butter and can’t wait to try it. I really like Farrah’s passion for her business and that she’s also an artist and a property lawyer. I love people who have multiple passions. I’m excited to see what’s next for Moose Maple Butter and I look forward to seeing it grow in the year ahead.
If you have any questions then please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
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