To mark International Women’s Day 2017, we’re celebrating the work of women everywhere with a series of inspirational interviews with female entrepreneurs, foodies, rising stars and more. We caught up with Pip Murray, founder of one of the hottest nut butter brands around, Pip & Nut. From starting life as a one man band to now overseeing a full team, Pip Murray is one hell of a driving force. We chat to Pip about starting a brand, future plans and peanut butter:

Tell me a little bit about the business. How did it come about?

Pip & Nut’s an all natural nut butter brand that I started over two years ago. I was and still am a peanut butter addict, and thanks to my love of running it meant it’d be my regular post work out treat. The idea popped into my head when I started to notice most brands in store were filled with palm oil and sugars and I felt what should be a really simple product was being overcomplicated. So I stripped back the ingredients and started looking at other nuts like almonds that would make a good alternative to peanut butter.

How has the Pip & Nut journey been?

Nuts! (couldn’t resist-sorry!) But in all seriousness starting your own business is quite the journey. With many highs and many lows. Probably one of my favourite things about running my own company is the fact that I learn something new everyday, so it’s always pushing and challenging me professionally which makes it incredibly rewarding.

How do you keep up with food trends?

London is a melting pot of amazing food trends so it’s not hard to find yourself inspired by the different food on offer all over the city. Street food is a great way to check out what’s bubbling away under the surface, as well as markets like Maltby Street in Bermondsey. Then there’s digital media of which my favourite is Instagram where I find you can start to pick up on common themes and trends like the avocado – I’m not sure that will ever die down!

What was the turning point of your business?

There were a few significant tipping points in Pip & Nut’s journey but I think the moment I completed the Crowdcube fundraise (I raised £120k in just 9 days on the site) was the moment when the whole business unlocked, and I finally had the money to press go on production.

How has your experience of being a female entrepreneur been?

If I’m honest it’s very difficult to know how men and women experience being entrepreneurs, but what I would say is that being a young female entrepreneur has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand as a female, I think you’re more open to asking for help and getting people on side to help guide you in the right direction – useful when you don’t know the industry –  but on the other I think sometimes you can get taken advantage of and you have to make sure that you back yourself and dig your heels in when you get a sense someones taking you for a ride.

What does good food mean to you?

For me it’s all about flavour. Food has to deliver on that front otherwise what’s the point!

What’s your first memory of food?

Being a greedy little toddler and eating (too many) mince pies from the biscuit tin!

What’s special about your business? 

The people. The team behind the business make it all happen and they are an incredibly smart and energetic bunch to work with. Couldn’t do it without them!

What inspires you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My vision for Pip & Nut is to become the nations favourite health food brand and I’m incredibly impatient about getting there. So what motivates me is the fact that every day we move closer to achieving that vision.

What’s next for Pip & Nut?

We have a lot on at the moment. What gets me most excited are our new products that we’ve got in the pipeline to launch this summer. All I can say is they are all pretty tasty!

Favourite brunch in London:

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Got to be Caravan in Kings Cross. Their baked eggs are just the best.

Favourite wine bar in London:

Vagabonds on Northcote Road serves up a load of interesting wines by the sample.

Favourite coffee spot in London:

Got to be Timberyard in Covent Garden. Coffee is excellent and the accompanying array of delicious cakes always goes down a treat there.