The Meat Merchants: Join the snack revolution

Hi guys, so what’s The Meat Merchants’ story?

We are Sean and Danny, founders of Meat Merchants, and school friends of old. After pursuing our own foodie dreams we’ve reunited to explore a shared love for quality meat and tasty beer. Tired of crying into our pints over the state of traditional pub snacks, we are moved to change things for the better. An idea was born and the pub snack revolution begins.

I (Dan Searle), run two pubs in my hometown of Norwich and Sean Cannon runs a busy charcuterie wholesale business, a delicatessen and a London restaurant. It’s a match made in pub snack Heaven!  

Why have you decided to crowdfund? 

It's really the only way to raise money for a start up business other a Smarta Start Up Loan which we have been lucky enough to receive already. It is also a way to reach out to people and tell them all about your idea. We love the interactive nature of the campaign and the inclusive and inspiring nature of funding projects via the 'the crowd'.

What made you launch another business?

It just hit us that someone needed to make this happen. We were amazed it didn't exist. We decided we would make a good team in doing that and saving the discerning beer drinker from a snacking future of pork scratchings and nasty nuts. That and a tad of lunacy, probably, on our parts!   

What are the advantages of using this business model? 

It's accessable for publicans and beer drinkers. It's simple to run and yet offers something the world needs (in our humble opinions!)

Did you always want to run your own business?

We both held that aspiration since school. It's always surprised us that businesses exist that don't seem to be loved from top to bottom by their owners and workforce. Businesses need a lot of love. Crazy, out of control and unconditional love. Dan and I have both recently become dads so we think we know a bit about that!

How would you describe your experience as a business owner?

Extraordinary, challenging, mind blowing, tiring, euphoric. And that is pretty much every day! It's an incredible ride. If you can grip on then it is the ride of a lifetime.  

Was it a case of seeing a gap in the market?

Absolutely. We saw how the beer scene was changing with the growth of quality 'craft' beer and we thought it was about time that beer drinkers had something good and interesting to snack on and accompany their pint.  

What are The Meat Merchant’s plans for the future?

We want to make sure we provide a consistent and enjoyable snack to the beer drinkers of Britain. That is our aim. We would defintely like to work on some new products next year so if any of your readers have good ideas for new meaty snacks, they would be most welcome. 

What entrepreneurial skills do you regard as most important?

For me it's about being able to communicate your idea and your dream to people in a way that they understand and that excites them to be involved. You need a team. You should be able to communicate your idea in two sentences and catch people's interest. That's a lot harder than it sounds. I'd also say that being good to people and being respectful of people is important.

It's surprising how help and support comes from the most unlikely places at times. Threats come from places you'd least expect, too. Keep your ear to the ground as if you have success their will be people who will want to knock you down. 

Best advice you've been given?

Strap in. Prepare to be tested on every level. Read 'The E Myth'.

Sean's also launching Meat School next month (just in in time for that special Xmas present you've been looking for); a new programme of courses and events celebrating the British cured meat industry including workshops and butchery classes. For info visit www.meatschool.co.uk

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