IMPORTANT NOTICE on Meat Monsters operations to all our fantastic supporters.
Our hopes of some normality and stability having fought through Covid, have been dashed.
The impact of Brexit on the price of produce and ingredients has been difficult, but manageable, but hot on the heels of Covid we are now faced with a war on the European continent, involving two of the largest agri-food producers in the world.
The impact this is having on businesses and consumers and how quickly this impact is taking effect is clear in every newspaper and TV bulletin.
Our smokehouse space and operation had extra capacity built in from day one, on the basis that we would grow quickly to support a second location and leverage that extra capacity in a very cost-effective manner.
As we neared the end of our first year of trading in February 2020 (nearly two and a half years after starting the project), we had a brief period of genuine optimism as we realised, we were on track.
The emergence of another SARS strain (COVID-19) in China towards the end of 2019 was unfortunate but felt remote from us. We then watched in dread as its impact snowballed and national lockdowns started spreading across the European continent and then hit us too.
"Far from hitting the accelerator as our business plan dictated, we had to hit the brakes. We went from “thrive to survive” in a matter of weeks"
Thankfully we were well placed to adapt quickly to the initial impacts of Covid. With our physical space, our app and large social media presence, along with deliberate support on your part, help from the governments support schemes and some additional investment on our part, we managed to keep going! We even managed to earn Trip Advisors Travellers Choice Award along the way (putting us in the Top 10% of their recommended places to eat worldwide).
That was such a boost, it gave us some renewed energy and the determination to fight on. Unfortunately, however, that was the beginning of another false dawn. Once again, we found ourselves passengers in a car crash, watching the terrible events in the Ukraine unfold.
"When I built the risk register for our Meat Monsters project, I didn’t have a global pandemic or war in modern Europe on the list"
Meat Monsters was always an experiment. To see if we could operate ethically through the use of quality and welfare assured meat from the United Kingdom, Ireland and of course Scotland. Through the use of 100% compostable packaging to minimise the impact of our operation on the planet. This approach always meant we had extra cost built in, but despite that, as we approached February 2020 it looked like we were succeeding.
Fast forward to today, what does that mean for us?
The reality is we still have a viable business with massive growth opportunities here, but Covid has prevented us from realising that and stopped us from building up the funds needed to take the next important step. The failure to reach our crowdfunding target in 2021 was a real blow too and honestly, unexpected.
More importantly the shear physical and mental effort it’s taken for myself and my family to sustain Meat Monsters in these conditions has taken its toll.
"At a time when we need to hit the accelerator again, we’re physically and mentally out of gas".
Given all this, we have decided to put Meat Monsters up for sale and in the absence of a sale, we will work on winding up Meat Monsters responsibly by September 2022.
It's BBQ business as usual, we aren't going anywhere just yet!
We have plenty of events and a full order book for the summer and are determined to enjoy every last minute of our time at Meat Monsters.
We won’t be selling any more gift vouchers from this point, although our customers will have ample opportunity to redeem existing vouchers over the next few months (or more in the event of a sale).
We are not accepting any event catering or party opportunities beyond August of this year, however in the event of a change in ownership we assume that would change too.
"We can’t give Meat Monsters anymore of ourselves or our resources, although there is a massive opportunity for someone who could".
I will always be grateful for the opportunity I've had to combine joy and a job together. To serve folks food you love and see that enjoyment reflected in their faces and feedback is a rare privilege. To share, teach and encourage that passion in others is equally meaningful to me.
I take a little pride that we (that includes you too!) managed to beat Covid and survive lockdown. I am humbled by the support we have had on the way. There have been so many great memories.
"I will forever regret not knowing if we could have made it through, but I will never regret giving it a go".
So in summary, there's gold here but we don't have the energy to dig it out. The business is up for sale, but in the absence of a sale we will start to wind it down and Meat Monsters will close having discharged its financial obligations by September 2022.
If you are interested in buying Meat Monsters as a going concern (including all intellectual property, trademarks as well as the ready-made online sales, social media environment and physical assets) please contact:
Scottish Business Centre
*Please note Stuart will only entertain serious enquiries before releasing particulars and company accounts.