One entrepreneur spotted a gap in the market when it came to dog food delivery and his business has gone from strength to strength
For David Nolan, co-founder of subscription dog food business Butternut Box, it took a rescue dog with food allergies to inspire him to leave his job on an investment bank trading floor and set up something new.
‘‘We got Rudy from Battersea Dogs Home, and from the beginning had to keep taking her to the vet,” he says. “She had sores on her ears and a sore stomach and was not well.
‘‘After countless visits and lots of medication the vet suggested it might be her diet. He suggested a medicated diet, but we had been there before and it hadn’t worked. So we cooked for her and she got better.”
Working long hours before going home and cooking for Rudy and getting takeaways for himself, Mr Nolan saw a gap in the market. “I searched for handmade dog food delivery and it didn’t exist. I thought there must be others in the same situation.”
We’re being asked for new products by customers every day, but we’re keen to ensure we develop at a sensible pace
Mr Nolan set up Butternut Box in April 2016 with his bond trader Kevin Glynn, whose overweight labrador also benefited from the handmade food.
The business is now delivering 100,000 meals a day and employs 44 people, including vets and nutritionists.
The American Express Small Business Gold Card has allowed the business to control its cash flow as it has grown, Mr Nolan says. “We use it for our digital marketing spend, a huge part of our business.
‘‘It means that we can see how our marketing model is working as well as monitoring our cash flow in one place. And we get rewarded on our spending too.”
Butternut Box delivers in the UK only but has global ambitions. The Membership Rewards Mr Nolan is earning with the Card will help pay for business travel. He says: “We’re being asked for new products by customers every day, but we’re keen to ensure we develop at a sensible pace.
‘‘American Express has been very helpful with this and the account manager has played a key role in enabling us to understand how to leverage the Card for cash flow and prompting us when our account requires action.”
The American Express Gold Business Card fee is £125 a year (£0 in the first year). Spend £3,000 on purchases on the card and receive 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards (MR) points. All introductory offers are subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time, and those who have held an MR card in the last six months are not eligible. The card also offers deferred payment on purchases for up to 54 days – simply pay your balance in full every month. For a card with no annual fee, rewards or others features, The Basic Business Card is available. Terms and conditions apply. See website for terms. American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.