Scrubbys pair sell crisp brand to allow snack to prosper

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 20 Jun 2016

THE husband and wife team behind vegetable crisp brand Scrubbys have sold the brand.

John and Claire Brumby established it four years ago, basing the business in Grimsby.

After launching at the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards and at farmers' markets in the immediate area, the Elsham couple went on to secure listings with major retailers Ocado and Waitrose, winning awards for taste and branding.

However, an appearance on Dragons' Den in July 2014 laid finances bare, revealing a £145,000 investment that had yet to make a profit for the pair with backgrounds in agriculture and marketing.

Within a month of the screening, West Yorkshire-based Granary Investment Partners came on board with a six figure finance deal. More was required to lift it again though, and having recently ceased trading after the business was put into administration, a deal has been reached with AIB Foods for the brand.

Mr Brumby said: "We were not in a position to move the brand on, and the only option was to sell it. It needed to go to someone who could take it to the next level, and AIB has all the assets needed to take it forward. We believe it has gone to someone who can make it.

"This year the run rate is heading to 500,000, which is not bad from a market stall! It is an extremely competitive market and needed more to take it to where it needed to be, and that was the only position left."

CRISP EVANS?: The Scrubbys duo with Chris Evans at CarFest. 

Manufactured by a third party, the couple had hoped to bring that to Grimsby when they first set out.

Mr Brumby, who said the pair will continue to be brand ambassadors, added: "I am now looking forward to a new chapter. The last four years have delivered a fantastic journey; bringing an embryo of an idea for healthier snacking to reality.

"It has been nothing less than challenging and has seen everything possible thrown into the pot; however the experience has been life-changing, educational and inspiring. Certain phrases such as 'you can't', 'it won't work', 'it's not done like that', and 'you'll never achieve that' have all come and gone, suitably discarded.

"There have been many highs and lows along the way; however the fact is there are no short cuts for hard work and this will always win through, regardless of qualifications, business plans, forecasts and the like. It goes without saying all have their importance and place, but a clear directive and can-do attitude will always win the day."

Mrs Brumby, who recently launched her own consultancy, added: "The brand was born out of our frustration at the lack of truly wholesome snacks that appealed to both adults and kids. We wanted to revolutionise people's snacking options by providing a healthy alternative. We are confident AIB Foods will contribute to this mission both nationally and with international growth."

Based in Wolverhampton, AIB manufactures Shalimar products, a range of snacks, nuts and dried fruit, from a 40,000 sq ft facility.

Chief executive Khalid Parvez, said: "We are delighted to be involved with the Scrubbys brand, and look forward to developing and promoting this innovative product range, nationally and internationally."

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