Purithea, a natural food producer, launched less than a year ago, and the business has been growing rapidly ever since. In 2020, the founder, Danila Savchenko, self-funded the projectand watched it grow. Now, you can find Purithea products in hundreds of stores right across the U.S. According to Danila, the company now sells thousands of jars of ONE NUT butter everymonth, and the company has already begun developing excitingnew products.
We caught up with Danila Savchenko to discuss Purithea, the history of the project, what sparked his enthusiasm, the challenges she faced, and her plans for the future.
About the Project
– Tell us about the project. What is its essence, what distinguishes it from competitors?
Purithea is a natural food manufacturer specifically created to champion sustainability and look after our customers’ health. We believe in making healthy products free from harmful ingredients. Unfortunately, numerous companies add low-quality fillers to their products to increase their profit margins and fruits, vegetables and grains are often over-saturated with products filled with sugar, palm oil, chemicals, and GMOs. At Purithea, we believe nature has already given us all the naturalresources we need. Our mission is to deliver them to our customers so they can eat healthily and feel great.
– How is ONE NUT – a line of nut butter you make – different from other nut butter on the market?
ONE NUT is designed for people who enjoy simple peanut and almond butter with great taste and completely natural ingredients. ONE NUT includes pine, apricot seeds, and pistachio butter to flavor. That’s it! The alternative nut butters we use are ideal for different diet plans including Paleo or Ketodiets. Our butter is also an excellent option for vegan diets, diabetics – as we don’t add any sugar, and people with peanut allergies as they can select one of our alternative nutty flavors.
– What inspired your packaging choice – square glass jars?
We decided to use glass because it is an environment-friendly material. Our jars are reusable and recyclable. Many of the jars are even upcycled after use to grow plants and herbs, helping to work towards our goal of sustainable living. Plastic was a ‘no-go’ for us due to the implications that the creation and disposal have on the environment.
We were also very aware that nut butter has an incredibly long shelf life, which is great, but if a product stays too long in a plastic container, it absorbs the properties of the plastic and we wanted to avoid this to maintain the healthy properties of the butter. Glass doesn’t have this same chemical reaction.
We also felt the square shape of the jars would allow us to stand out against the competition. Most jars on the grocery store shelves are round because it’s easier to get the last drops of the product out. However, the smooth, luxurious texture of ONE NUT allows it to be removed from the jars more easily, so corners aren’t a problem.
– How did you get this business idea?
I always had a passion for healthy eating. My parents told me about the long-term effect of the products we consume on the way we feel and look. I took it a little further and studied nutrition so I could make educated decisions about the food I eat.
Based on my studies, I always found it challenging to find healthy snack options that were fulfilling. As a consumer, I wanted to have a variety of high-quality, simple, but tasty products on offer for those times that I was on the go. That was where the idea was born. I started to draft ideas to give what I craved to the like-minded community.
– Was it difficult to attract investments?
We began funding the project ourselves and haven’t found it difficult to find investors. However, the real challenge for us was finding people to share our vision and who believe in the bigger mission rather than being in it for the profit. Of course, like any business, it’s still important to be making money to continue to drive towards the goal, but the most important thing is to find people who will buy-in to what we’re trying to achieve.
– Did you have any food experience before founding Purithea. Was it hard to build a business?
I actually didn’t have any food experience before I started out on this journey. Although I do have degrees in Business Administration and Digital Marketing. I used this knowledge from school and previous works to develop the business model as it is today, but I wish I’d had a mentor to guide us at the beginning.
How difficult was it? Well, starting any idea is difficult in its own way. But I’m a person who loves a challenge and loves to learn. It was exciting for me to build something that I am so passionate about. I’m still learning something new every day. That’s what I love about entrepreneurship.
About the Crisis and Plans
– What happened to your business during COVID-19?
We launched our products in November 2020, in the middle of self-isolation. Due to these circumstances, we were unable to launch in the way we’d planned. However, as a result of the pandemic, people have typically been more concerned about the food they eat. Nut butter is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and macro elements which contribute boost the immune system. This meant that our online sales unexpectedly tripled based onthe forecast. However, due to store closures, we struggled to meet in-store buyers and to create networking. This did have a detrimental effect on our sales plan as we feel it is very important to have in-person communication because alternative nut butter is still a niche market, and we have to make a product presentation in person to really get across the benefits.
– Are you planning on developing other products or will ONE NUT be the only one?
ONE NUT is our flagship product, but we are already developing a few new products. Purithea will be transforming from a mono-product store to a platform that specializes in healthy food products. We’ll be adding TOKA Matcha green tea to our family of products as soon as next week and we’re so excited for our future growth!
About the Difficulties
– Tell us about the biggest challenge Purithea has.
Our biggest challenge is not to bite off more than we can chew. We have so many great ideas and projects that we want to get our teeth into, but unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day. We’ve learned how to prioritize our tasks, so we’ll keep moving logically and accordingly, one step at a time.
– If you look more broadly, what is the most difficult thing in entrepreneurship and your field of business? How did you learn to deal with it?
As an entrepreneur, the most challenging thing is to be in a position where you have to make a difficult decision that couldcrucially impact your business. Holding your future in your hands every day to make these decisions can be nerve-racking, but it’s also what makes it super exciting. Our business success also depends wholly on the success or failure of external players. Working in the U.S. market must be handled competently and expertly to ensure those profits keep building and we keep moving forward. In times of recovery, it’s important not to over-inflate assessments; and in times of failure, it’s important not to over-inflate problems. Rapid growth and rapid decline in capitalization are leveled into stable development, so it’s always important to have a clear head and see the bigger picture.