Ian Worton and Peter Neath from Aldridge are confident that Great Barr-based Saucestream is going to prove a big hit with green-minded consumers after it saw an initial spike in online and Amazon orders.
Backed by the advisory expertise of Haines Watts, the duo is also about to close several major deals with leading homeware retailers to stock their product, which is a simple pump device that clips directly onto glass bottles and makes it easy to get the sauce out with a simple squeeze.
The device was inspired after a chance viewing of David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet’ documentary and is designed to encourage people to switch from single-use plastic bottles to the more sustainable glass alternatives.
“A few designs here, a few conversations there, prototyping in a garage and before you knew it Saucestream was born,” explained Peter Neath, a former Black Country automotive engineer by trade.
“Our product, which is now available in five commonly used bottles of sauces, presses all the right buttons. It is a green solution for individuals to replace plastic bottles with glass ones and still be able to get the same ‘squeezing feel’ that gets all the sauce out.”
He continued: “That’s just the beginning. We are only just starting discussions with restaurant chains about switching to our products and if we can get one of these conversations over the line that could be a real gamechanger.
“Sustainability isn’t going away; it’s only going to grow in importance and hopefully our innovation can play a small part in that.”
Peter and Ian, whomet at Barr Beacon School, have been supported by Haines Watts for the past seven years, helping them establish and grow their hugely successful Grillstream business, a business that has transformed the way BBQs operate.
The specialist accountant and business advisers have guided the entrepreneurs in securing Patent Box allowances and helping it establish the brand as the second biggest in the UK and a thriving export venture.
In recent years, the attention has switched to how they fund and get Saucestream off the ground quickly to make the most of the market opportunity.
Ian said: “Haines Watts just got our business straight away and understood our personalities, which are big drivers in Grillstream and Saucestream. As owner-managers your day is full of getting stuff done, from the core design and development work to trying to work out how the hell you are going to sell it.
“The last thing you need to try to do is try to understand the world of finance and all the different tax incentives and funding routes we could embark on. We just needed someone to step forward and take control of that.”
This is exactly what Haines Watts has done, firstly completing the Patent Box application on both products and, more recently, securing more than £20,000 of R&D Tax savings that the entrepreneurs have put towards development and tooling costs to get Saucestream up and running.
It has also ensured that both firms have moved to digital accounting, installing Zero software to help with stock management and to give everyone greater visibility on purchases, sales, investments, and future opportunities.
Haines Watts’ Daniel Montgomery picked up the story: “Peter and Ian are two fantastic innovators and have a track record of bringing new products to market successfully. We’ve started with compliance and making the business more efficient, and we’ve then used the expertise of our pan-regional teams to maximise Patent Box, R&D Tax Credits and, more recently, postponed VAT accounting.
“The latter is important as there is a lot of up-front costs associated with manufacturing products for sale and then a lag in the time it takes to sell the units and recoup the revenue. We can ease some of the pain with this clever approach to VAT.”
History has a habit of repeating itself and the duo lived up to this mantra when they became the first entrepreneurs to return to Dragons’ Den with a different offer in 2022.
This time, they managed to attract three offers from Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and newcomer Steven Bartlett, all keen to maximise the sustainable opportunity Saucestream could deliver.
However, despite this interest, negotiations are still ongoing on how this deal will look, so for now the entrepreneurs are going it alone.