City Funds has invested £250K in equity into Yumello, a migrant-led food business selling nut butters made from Moroccan, all-natural ingredients.
Nut butter is the fastest-growing within the UK sweet spreads category – it’s now bigger than jam! Consumers are better educated on health and the sustainability credentials of the products they buy. Yumello believe that the category isn’t responding fast enough as established companies focus on traditional products, made with palm oil and refined sugar.
Yumello nut butters are vegan, free from palm oil, gluten, dairy and refined sugar, with no artificial ingredients, and made in CO2 neutral facilities in the UK. And Yumello haven’t stopped at just natural ingredients, they’re all about big, bold flavours worth talking about!
We spoke to Yumello Co-Founder, Omar Elhajji to find out more.
What social or environmental problem is your business trying to solve?
At Yumello we are on a mission to take nut butter to places it’s never been before, using big, bold flavours and awesome quality ingredients. We want to make sure we are doing this in a way that is good for people and planet.
We’ve linked our plan to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make sure we are aligned with global sustainability priorities and working towards the same common goals as businesses around the world. Find more on the UN’s website
How is your commercial value proposition connected to the impact you want to make?
At Yumello this means focusing on sustainably sourcing our ingredients, supporting our community, taking action to fight climate change and its impacts by reducing our CO2 emissions, reduce our use of plastic and virgin materials as much as possible, and our team by focusing on wellbeing, learning, and diversity and inclusion.
Tell me about the major milestones you’ve hit and why you needed investment.
We are a small business undergoing explosive growth with an existing customer list that includes the likes of Ocado, Holland and Barrett, Booths, Amazon and a huge list of independents across the UK. Since we launched 3 years ago, we’ve been growing at an average of 180% year-on-year and in 2021, we delivered over 16,000 direct-to-consumer orders and managed to achieve carbon neutral production.
This investment will allow us to invest in growth initiatives and realise our mission, by growing our team, growing further our distribution and brand presence, moving to glass jars and launching some exciting new products.
Why did you seek out impact investors, rather than pursue typical sources of investment?
Impact investors align with our values and belief that it is possible to do good while doing well. In a growing business there is always room for improvement, which can make measuring success in these areas quite tricky. However, having an impact investor on board holds us accountable to using business as a force for good.
How are you going to use the funds, and how is that going to benefit Bristol?
We’ll support our community by creating new quality jobs, paying a living wage is part of our effort to reduce social inequality and ensure that our roles allow people to have a good standard of living in Bristol; and equally ensuring foodbanks across Bristol have a source of nut butter for people living in poverty. Without donations, foodbanks often have to use jam as a cheaper spread alternative. Peanut butter has 85% more protein and five times less sugar than jam.
We donate jars of Yumello to the foodboxes that get distributed to disadvantaged young people in Bristol. We also donate nut butters to cooking classes hosted by The Mazi Project.
Congratulations on a successful funding round! What do you know now that you wish you knew when you set out?
This may seem like a very obvious piece of advice, but plan ahead. If you know you’ll be fundraising in the next 6 to 12 months, start planning ahead of time. Fundraising takes time.
What’s next for the business?
A lot of exciting things going on, but perhaps the one we’re most excited about is growing our team!
Business Name: Yumello
Mission: Yumello are on a mission to take nut butter to places it’s never been before, using big, bold flavours and awesome quality ingredients.
Value proposition: Most nut butters
Sector: Food and Drink
Legal form: Private Limited Company
Amount and type of investment: £250,000 equity investment