Minted mates worth £10m after ‘nuts’ business idea in pub becomes global firm

Best mates Stefan White and Tom Renshaw have now made £10million after starting out by selling nuts to pubs.

After graduating from Queen Mary University of London the pair spent their days trudging around the capital, knocking independent boozers and flogging their product, or calling up pub groups to do the same.

At the time, Stefan, 27 and from Stockport, was earning £1,300 a month from bar work, with his rent at £1,250.

The breakthrough came when the Stonegate Group put their snacks in 300 pubs, with other chains soon following suit.

However, they were forced to rethink their strategy in early 2020 as Covid closed pubs and wiped out 95% of their revenue, reports Manchester Evening News.

Drowning their sorrows with supermarket beers, Tom had a lightbulb moment and suggested expanding into craft beers online, creating care packages for customers to help them through the pandemic.

Initially this was a 12-week project while pubs were closed, but two years later Bier Company – an online shop stocking craft beers from breweries across the UK, paired with their signature own-brand Bier Nuts and Bier Crisps – has generated a whopping £10m in revenue.

The idea for the business came about after a pub hopping trip in Bulgaria, where the pair tasted some "amazing" nuts.

Stefan said: "They were just so good, especially with beer, they were like nothing we had ever tasted before, and at that moment we knew we had to show the UK what they were missing out on."

In the summer 2019 they successfully raised £7,000 from a Kickstarter campaign, £5,000 of which was from friends and family. They also secured a £24,000 Government start-up loan.

They ploughed 95% of the money into product, and as a result were left with 100,000 units of nuts in a storage hold in London.

“That’s when the door to door selling started," Stefan explained.

“After about six months we had visited about 4,000 pubs, with 500 on board – a 1 in 8 success rate. My shoes were talking to me, my jeans were ripped, and I lost 20kg in weight.”

To set themselves apart they created unusual flavours such as Jalapeno and Masala Curry and packaged them in sustainable cans, resembling a beer can, instead of plastic.

As a child, Stefan said he was always finding ways to make extra pocket money, selling his Easter eggs a month later for £1 cheaper than supermarkets and charging his younger brother and sister 2p to jump off of his top bunk bed.

He also resold cans of pop and sweets on the playground for a profit, at a time when chef Jamie Oliver had campaigned for a major shake-up of school snacks, banning crisps and chocolate.

There are two others from Stockport working in the head office in London, including Stefan’s brother Liam heading up subscription service Bier Club, and his cousin Cameron who went from a McDonald’s up north to becoming their head of customer service.

Tom and Stefan also employ eight staff in their 45,000sq ft warehouse in Enfield, and the business partners now have their sights set on further expansion into Europe and the US.

"This business will be the first name that pops into your mouth when you talk about craft beer," Stefan said.

"It’ll be the brewery once we launch that, the snacks, in pubs, online presence, draft beer dispensers in your homes.

"This business will be everything. Currently, that's Brewdog – but it won’t be in five years’ time."

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