Independent craft sauce brand Sauce Shop is planning a £250k fundraising drive to scale up production and meet “huge” customer demand for its condiments.
It will launch a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube at the end of July in exchange for 5% of its equity, valuing the five-year-old startup at £4.8m.
The cash raised will be used to expand into bigger premises and increase production of its range of sauces including ketchups, mayonnaises, barbecue and hot sauces.
If it raises more than £250k, it will use the extra cash for marketing and to add to its sales team. Sauce Shop said it was open to overfund up to £750k but is “more likely” to stop at £500k.
The business, which started in the kitchen of husband and wife James and Pam Digva, moved into its current premises over three years ago.
However, it had now reached a point where, at the current location, “we cannot expand any further”, James Digva said.
“We need the equipment so that we can produce more sauce. At the moment we produce around three to four tonnes of products per week, and we are looking to at least double that, if not treble,” he added.
Currently, Sauce Shop condiments are stocked by 700 outlets in the UK & Ireland including Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Harrods, Wholefoods, COOK and Dunnes, as well as independent retailers.
Only natural ingredients feature in the recipes, with no added thickeners, stabilisers, artificial flavourings or preservatives.
Internationally the brand, which has listings in around 250 locations in Sweden, Norway, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, is looking to grow exports after securing two new distributors.
“We are mainly testing the water with Europe, but we tend to be looking at the US market as well,” Digva explained.
“The US is a huge market for sauce, but it will be a very difficult one to tap into. If we can get it right, I think it will be huge for us.”
Expansion within the food service sector is also being considered, with over 50 UK pubs and restaurants serving the company’s sauces at the end of 2018.
Digva concluded: “There are no craft sauce brands in mainstream grocery that have managed to break through and successfully co-exist between the specialist food market and supermarket shelves.
“Through innovation, superior quality and an increasingly attractive price point, we are changing this.”
The latest funding campaign follows a successful £150k raise completed in March 2018, with the brand smashing its target within week of launching on the public.