Meet Pippa Murray, The Woman Behind Nut Butter Giant Pip and Nut

It’s fair to say that nut butters are huge right now and none more so than Pip & Nut, a nut-butter based brand focusing on fulfilling flavour without refined sugars and palm oil.

Since starting out on Maltby Street Market stall in 2015, they’ve released a cookbook (which you can win here), expanded to nut milks and squeeze packs and their almond, cashew and peanut nut butters are now stocked in over 4000 stores including Selfridges, Tesco and ASDA across the Europe and the UK. Pretty impressive for a company founded by just one person…

We caught up with the driving force behind the brand, Pippa Murray to talk all things nuts, her advice for start-ups and her perfect day off – when she gets one.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
“My name is Pip and I am the founder of Pip & Nut, a healthy food brand with a range of nut butters and almond milks. The idea for Pip & Nut actually came about through my love of running. I was training for a marathon and eating a lot of peanut butter as I love it as a post-run treat. However, I noticed that most of the brands available in supermarkets were over processed with added sugars and palm oil, and this really didn’t sit very well with me. At the other end of the spectrum, the healthier options were either inaccessible or just plain unexciting (or both!). I wanted to create a natural nut butter brand that stripped the product back to the basics, focused on great quality ingredients and generally appealed to a much wider, younger demographic.

What were you doing before Pip and Nut…
“Nothing to do with nut butter! I was working at The Science Museum as a producer for children’s theatre shows. We used to tour big shows around the UK, which was fun. Before that, I studied Anthropology at university.”

Tell us a little bit about the book?
“Pip & Nut: The Nut Butter Cookbook is basically what it says on the tin; a recipe book packed with 70 recipes that all include nut butter, from breakfast and sweet treats, to snacks and savoury dishes. The brilliant thing about nut butter is that it is so versatile; while lots of people just think of it as a spread for toast, it is also delicious drizzled on porridge, in smoothies, baked into cakes or even in curries. I wrote the cookbook to offer people a bit of inspiration on how to use our nut butters in new and exciting ways.”

What or who inspires you?
“My team, on a daily basis. It’s honestly one of the best things about the business and working on the brand is that I’m surrounded by such a talented bunch of people who I learn from every day.”

What’s your can’t-live-without kitchen essential?
“Nut butter. An obvious thing to say but I genuinely eat our nut butter everyday. The flavour of the moment might change from time to time but it’s my go-to breakfast, snack, crumpet topper!”

What’s your go-to comfort food?
“Probably a really great pizza. London is filled with some of the best pizza joints in the UK. We’re lucky that just round the corner is a great placed called Homeslice who do enormous pizzas with all sorts of incredible toppings.”

The best and hardest things you’ve learned setting up your own business?
“I love knowing how things that you find in supermarkets are made at scale in factories- it’s absolutely fascinating. Then when it comes to our supply chain I’ve enjoyed the constant problem solving that crops up when developing new products. The hardest thing I think to get your head around has to be the numbers. However now that I’m familiar with them it’s an aspect I really enjoy delving into. If you run your own business you have to be familiar with every aspect and being able to read a P&L and balance sheet.”

Your favourite nut butter combination?
“Either Honey Almond Butter or Chocolate Coconut Hazelnut Butter on a crumpet with some raspberries. It seems to be my go-to breakfast at the moment!”

Who in the world would you most like to cook for?
“David Attenborough. What a hero.”

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what/where would you be?
“Whilst I loved working in the creative arts and adore working in the food and drink sector. It’s thriving in London at the moment and I love the mix between creativity and commerciality.”

Where’s home for you?
“I grew up in Wokingham, in Berkshire, but home in now Stockwell, South London.”

Favourite local coffee shop there?
“Shoreditch Grind. Does a great flat white and espresso martini!”

Favourite restaurants?
“Dishoom is probably one of my favourite restaurants in London – the brand is so well curated in their restaurants and the food is totally delicious.”

Favourite place for a bargain?
“If we’re talking food then I think London’s markets harbour some of the best street food talent. In particular any food truck that sits under KERB would be my go to cheap eat.”

Favourite green space?
“Battersea Park – it’s the closest park to my house and it’s my favourite running route particularly at night when the bridges are all lit up.”

What do you khoollect?
“Cookbooks. My shelves are full of them!”

Favourite item in your Khoollection?
“The first Naked Chef cookbooks. Not only is Jamie a real food hero of mine his food really inspired me to cook and to this day I still reach for his books when looking for inspiration.”

Describe your perfect day off?
“I love a lazy Sunday which involves a nice lie in (unheard of for me!), a short run to get me going, brunch with friends, a gallery visit or walk down the Thames, finished up by a glass of red wine.”

What advice do you have for people trying to get into the food industry?
“Don’t be afraid to start just because you don’t know the industry. I knew absolutely nothing about the sector or how to run a business but so long as you are keen to learn, are fiercely determined and have a vision for where you want to take the brand you’ll work out how to do it!”

What’s one piece of advice you have for your younger self?
“I still have so much to learn! Probably not to be so critical and hard on myself when things go wrong. Sometimes you simply can’t anticipate things but what’s most important is that you don’t react and get emotional but take a more rational, level-headed approach to how to solve the issue. Then make sure not to do it again!”

Feeling inspired? If you have any suggestions for interesting people we should profile let us know in the comments below.

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Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photog...

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