Innovator story: Nutcessity – nut your average nut butter
Our wonderful Better Foodie and innovator extraordinaire Mike Duckworth brought Nutcessity on to the market in 2017, launching exclusively at Better Food before spreading around Bristol like wildfire. Here, Mike explains what life is like for a new producer in Bristol and how, together with many other innovators, is shaking up the food system.
How did Nutcessity come about?
Since tasting Almond butter in Australia for the first time a few years back, I’ve been living and breathing nut butter; all but peanut butter – I’m allergic. While making nut butter in my kitchen I came to the realisation that it was completely different from any on the market. Peanut-free, no added oil, low sugar, completely vegan, organic, tasty and innovative. I mean, where else can you buy nut butter laced with ground spices or Fairtrade coffee, roasted in Bristol?
Working at Better Food has developed my understanding of the organic movement and what it takes to feel good – heart, mind, all-over. As a vegan, it can be tricky to get the diversity of foods I need to be healthy (I’m working on it), but things like hummus, tofu & nut butter give me my protein… and my mojo.
What’s it been like to get your name out there in Bristol?
Setting up in Bristol has been a pleasure – I’ve met so many independent minds, so many open doors and have been given lots of advice, of which I’m still seeking. Learning on the job is fraught with pitfalls but it’s the best and only way to go.
Do you feel part of a movement towards a better food system?
Definitely. I’m part of the Soil Association, Bristol Pound, Better Food obviously, the Real Economy & Bristol’s Food Assemblies in Easton & Fishponds – all making changes for a better food system. Through better technology and education, these platforms can only get stronger and I’m proud to be part of the movement.
There is still work to be done in improving understanding of the importance of organic, plant-based food for the environment and for feeling good. The Soil Association symbol and all of the work it does on outreach and engagement has made the concept of Organic mainstream but yes, paychecks can only stretch so far, and there is more we need to do to scale up our efforts so everyone can afford and access it.
And your plans for the future?
I can see Nutcessity being one of a number of brands who help people achieve feeling good through good quality, plant-based organic food. I want to reach as many people as possible, but I’m not thinking too far ahead – I like to take it as it comes. I will be in London next month however at a Soil Association Ocado meet the buyer event, so watch this space!
Before you go, tell us, what’s the best part of all of this…
All the amazing people I’ve met and the advice they’ve given me – Bristol has so many enthusiastic, open-minded souls; plus I get to eat my nut butter literally every day – licking out a container of nut butter 7 days a week is a great reward for all of this legwork!