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Tooting's Young Entrepreneurs: Zoe Roberts

Tooting's Young Entrepreneurs: Zoe Roberts

2017-09-03 
| by Editor | Posted in News, Food & Drink, Business & Finance

Continuing our series featuring some of Tooting’s great young entrepreneurs, today we introduce Zoe Roberts, owner of an award-winning handmade nut butter business.

Butter Nut Of London handmakes and sells luxurious, nutritious & ethical nut butters which are available in four different flavours: Almond & Coconut, Cashew Maple Turmeric, ABC (Almonds, Brazil Nuts & Cashew Nuts) and Hazelnut & Cacao. All of the nut butters are vegan, free from palm oil, refined sugar and gluten, whilst all ingredients used are 100% natural.

So how did Zoe end up making nut butter in Tooting for a living?! She tells us her story.....

“I’m from North London originally and went to University in Leeds, where I studied Spanish with Film & Photography. I also did lots of breakdancing whilst there which led to my first business - a digital magazine about breakdancing! This venture was supported by the Prince’s Trust and didn’t make much money but was a great experience and gave me a real passion for enterprise. I then worked in the film industry for 4 ½ years as a camera trainee and then a clapper loader which I really enjoyed as there was lots of travel involved, but after a while I really wanted something of my own where I could be in creative control and get the work-life balance right.

“As a self-confessed lover of peanut butter, I spotted a gap in the market as I didn’t feel that anyone was doing anything particularly innovative with it and that there should be more on offer than the likes of Sunpat! I’m also very much into my sport and fitness and nut butters are great as part of a healthy, balanced diet. So in January 2016, when the film industry was quiet, I started making nut butters at home as a kitchen table business, so had no massive overheads as I was getting going. I then experimented selling them at a few local farmers markets to test the waters and enjoyed some success.

Two of Zoe’s nut butters (Almond & Coconut and Cashew Maple Turmeric) have recently won ‘Great Taste’ awards!

“Living in Tooting and with an ambition to take my business to the next level, I literally wandered in off the street to Business Launchpad’s offices last July to see if they could help and they’ve been a great support. My mentor has helped me to secure a kitchen in the Trident Business Centre and provided me with advice on scaling my venture as well as on building a business plan, finance and budgeting – all those things that I really didn’t know too much about. They’ve been instrumental in helping me to take my business forward.

“I’m currently trading at my usual locations in Primrose Hill Market, Herne Hill Farmers Market and Greenwich Market and will very soon start selling at Borough Market too. I’m also now talking to cafes and small independent retailers who might want to stock my products and the goal is to get my nut butters into the likes of Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Masons. It’s an exciting time!

Zoe, along with her colleague Josie, setting up their stall at the Marylebone Summer Fayre last year.

“One of the key things that’s core to my business is the personal touch. I see cooking both as a science and an art and if I’m not happy with it, I simply won’t sell it – I’ll start again! I’ve had cases where I’ve thrown whole batches away when the quality wasn’t up to scratch. I’m on a journey for perfection and for something that tastes amazing.”

And Zoe’s quest for perfection has recently been rewarded as two of her nut butters (Almond & Coconut and Cashew Maple Turmeric) have just won ‘Great Taste’ awards!

We wish Zoe good luck as she continues to take her business forward. You can follow Zoe’s story on the Butter Nut Of London website (where you can also purchase her nut butters online) and via FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

Based in the Trident Business Centre on Bickersteth Road, Business Launchpad offers free business support & counselling to young entrepreneurs aged 16-30 in Wandsworth. To find out more about Business Launchpad, click here.

If you’re a young Tooting entrepreneur who’d like to be featured in future articles, then drop us some details via email – we’d love to hear from you!

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