The Ludlow Nut Company
The Ludlow Nut Company is an artisan producer of award-winning ranges of granola, muesli & porridge mixes, nut butters and snacks. Using local ingredients wherever possible our products are made in small batches by our dedicated team, including gluten free options.
Tel: 01584 876512
Behind the Scenes with Helen Graham from The Ludlow Nut Company
This year has brought some big changes on us all, how did that impact on your business?
Yes, the main things was how it changed everything dramatically overnight. Our immediate reaction was a concern for our staff. We didn’t want to furlough them so we just reduced their hours very slightly, to have as minimal impact as possible on the team and to enable us to continue working. Within a week, however, this had all changed. Online sales just went sky high! We gained lots of new customers through this and it turned out to be incredibly busy; after initially reducing the hours we ended up increasing them.
Another thing that happened was that the section of our business that supplies food service outlets just disappeared overnight. We were very fortunate that we have various strands to our business as we undertake the manufacturing of our product, both in our own brand as well as co-manufacturing for other companies. However, it still took us in a totally different direction.
What would you say were the positive things to come out of this?
One positive of it is that it makes you reassess and change things. At first the changes were temporary but then we realised the changes we’d made were a big improvement on how we were doing things before. These situations make you go back to basics, as you realise that you do things in a certain way simply because you have always done them that way, then you have to look and analyse and understand a different improved way of doing it – and then change it.
We did have to be very versatile but as a small business we’re always adapting. Sometimes it’s good to have a bit of a jolt though.
You must spend quite a bit of time planning and trying to forecast the future?
Yes, but the problem with business plans is they don’t account for sudden changes like Covid-19. Doing the manufacturing ourselves gives us so much flexibility, so we can easily increase or decrease our stock to meet demand. With the fluctuations in the food service industry we’ve found that some of that business hasn’t come back at all and we don’t expect it to until at least the Summer. Even when they reopen they’ll probably be using existing stock.
How do you see things in the coming months?
At the moment we are incredibly busy, with staff even doing some overtime to keep up with demand. We’ve also been doing quite a bit of work behind the scenes – we’ve just launched our new recyclable packaging and a new website. In addition, we have had a video made which will show you behind the scenes of our business. It’s really important to us to consider all aspects of our business – from people to methods of production to how our products are packed and distributed. For us the Slow Food movement reflects all of this.