L-R: Jonathan Armitage of NEL Fund Managers with Luke and Rebecca Tonks of Nourish Bud.
Jane Imrie

Tyneside vegan startup secures five-figure investment to take bite of national market

An North Tyneside entrepreneurial duo has secured five-figure funding to expand their vegan food business.

Nourish Bud, founded by husband and wife team Rebecca and Luke Tonks, has secured £25k to grow its plant-based venture.

Established last year after Luke and Rebecca quit their jobs in accountancy to travel round the world in 2018, the idea for Nourish Bud was inspired by the plant-based diet options they saw while travelling in South East Asia and Latin America.

Nourish Bud specialises in a range of daily vegan meals - which can be tailored to customers’ individual tastes and requirements - delivered to addresses in Tyne & Wear, South East Northumberland and the couple’s home area of North Tyneside.

Supported by NEL Fund Managers to secure the investment, the firm hopes to expand its delivery radius as far as York, and eventually plans to become a national brand.

Luke explained: “We’ve always had a passion for healthy eating, well-being and nutrition, and the ways in which plant-based diet options, fresh vegetables and spices are integral to a healthy diet and lifestyle in the countries we visited really captured our imagination.

“We’re the first UK business to focus solely on delivering a full daily menu of prepared vegan meals, which gives us a significant competitive advantage over others who might want to do the same, and we’re learning lessons all the time about the best ways in which to develop what we offer, both in terms of our meals and how everything is set up.

“We’re going to be managing Nourish Bud’s growth carefully, testing and reviewing everything we do to ensure the model remains both scalable and true to everything that the business is built on.”

RTC North is delivering the Scale Up North East programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in conjunction with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Luke continued: “Being part of the Scale Up North East Programme has helped us get a lot of useful information about developing the business, while the NEL investment team were hugely supportive as we refined and finalised how we wanted to make use of their investment.”

Jonathan Armitage, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, commented: “Rebecca and Luke have built on their passion for health, food and fitness to quickly create a really impressive business and they’ve now got every opportunity to realise their growth ambitions.”

Jon Symonds, partner at Scaleup North East, added: “Having worked with Rebecca and Luke to develop the execution to deliver their strategic plans for growth, it was evident that working capital to drive some of the strategic execution was essential. I am delighted that NEL Fund Managers could assist us to achieve this.”

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