Poppy’s Picnic's meteoric rise in the fresh raw pet food market has been recognised once again with a win in the ‘Start-up of the Year’ category at the Business Leader Awards. The win comes hot on the heels of a Wiltshire Business Award and finalist announcements in the upcoming Rural Business Awards and NatWest Great British Entrpreneur Awards.
Since appearing on BBC Dragons’ Den, where founder Dylan Watkins and Director, Louise Mackintosh were offered four investment opportunities, the innovative company has already won ‘Business Start-up of the Year’, while also being nominated in the Outstanding Excellence Award category, at the 2018 Wiltshire Business Awards.
Three of their products also made the finals of the PetQuip Awards in the ‘Pet Product of the Year’ category, beating off competition from hundreds of other entries and receiving Highly Commended recognition from the judges.
Celebrating the achievements of companies and the people who run them across the South West, the Business Leader Awards received over 200 high calibre entries this year and competition to become a finalist was fierce. All the judges, who are major players in the world of business and finance, unanimously voted for Poppy’s Picnic to win the award.
Louise Mackintosh received the award from comedian Russell Kane at a glittering Gala Dinner held at Ashton Court, Bristol.
Since politely declining investment opportunities from the Dragons, including a £60,000 investment from Deborah Meaden, Poppy’s Picnic has successfully overfunded to raise £600,000 through crowd funding, and has been part of the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme – a scheme for fast growth businesses - for the past 18 months. With the help of the bank, the business has grown from an idea founded in Dylan’s kitchen, to a business valued at £4.8milllon.
Poppy’s Picnic meals are handmade by fourth generation Wiltshire butchers, and only include the best human-grade British ingredients. A new manufacturing plant near Melksham, Wiltshire will be operational in Q4 and will support the production of new ranges and online orders, as well as enabling the business to expand its international and retail order capabilities. The company also plans to produce cat food from early 2019.
Founder Dylan Watkins believes that simplicity - or RAWPLICITY as he calls it - is the key to Poppy’s Picnic’s success:
“Our aim from the start has been to make it easier for more people to feed fresh. Much like humans should eat fresh food and avoid a processed diet to ward off obesity and disease, the same applies to our four-legged friends.
"Any fresh food in a dog’s diet is better than none and we make innovative products to help people switch completely to feeding our raw meals, or even just add a little boost to a kibble diet. It’s about being inclusive and helping people make changes for good, and our ever-growing family of Poppy’s Picnic feeders are helping us spread the word.”
Rural Business Awards
There are additional accolades in the pipeline as well. Poppy’s Picnic has reached the regional finals of the Rural Business Awards, sponsored by Amazon, which are the only UK-wide business awards specifically for the rural sector. Poppy’s Picnic is listed as a finalist in the ‘Best Rural Start-Up’ in the South West region. The regional winners, to be announced on 18 October, will go forward to the national finals which take place in February 2019.
NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards
Finally, Dylan Watkins, Founder of Poppy’s Picnic is a finalist in the ‘Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year’ category in the Wales and South West region of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Now in their sixth year, the awards acknowledge the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain. The Awards have previously celebrated some outstanding entrepreneurs, such as the founders of BrewDog and JustEat which have taken the UK by storm. The Wales and South West Gala Finals will take place on 22nd November. A further National Winners event will be held 24 Janaury 2019 in London.