The founders of a package-free, zero-waste supermarket from Cumbria have been chosen to champion successful UK start ups by the government-backed Start Up Loans Company.
Husband and wife team, Paul and Cat Moffatt, 36, the founders of Cut the Wrap!, will be honoured at a dedicated launch reception today, November 26, at the Houses of Parliament in London to celebrate some of the UK’s most successful small businesses. The Shadow Economic Minister to the Treasury, Jonathan Reynolds MP, will attend the event, along with Lord Smith of Kelvin, the Chairman of the British Business Bank.
Paul and Cat were inspired to take action and address the amount of plastic polluting our oceans after watching the BBC’s Blue Planet 2. Having previously worked in a supermarket, Paul was aware of the excess packaging in large stores and wanted to do something about it.
With the help of £11,500 loan from the Start up Loans Company, the couple opened Cut the Wrap! in Ulverston, which has eliminated single-use plastic packaging from their products and sell everything by weight. The shop also stocks a range of zero waste sundries to help cut down single use plastic in everyday living such as reusable bottles, coffee cups, bamboo straws, bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo bars and palm oil and plastic free toiletries.
The launch event in Westminster will kick-start the year-long Ambassador Programme which will see Paul and Cat, and the other Ambassadors take part in a series of local and national events, where they will offer advice to other aspiring business owners about becoming their own boss.
Paul and Cat, founders of Cut the Wrap!, said: “Around a year ago, as a family, we decided to cut down on our plastic packaging and food waste. We’d all seen images of sea creatures entangled in plastic and the Blue Planet documentary, so we wanted to do our bit and reduce our own single use plastic waste. Pasta, rice, grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruits and all manner of other store cupboard staples come in non-recyclable, single use packets.
“We knew we weren’t the only ones that wanted to make a positive change in their plastic usage and used our loan from the Start Up Loans Company to kick-start Cut the Wrap!. Hopefully this will inspire other businesses to work towards a healthier and more sustainable planet – there is certainly interest!”.
Kelly Tolhurst, the Minister for Small Business, said: “With more than 1,000 starting up every day, the UK’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. Congratulations to the newly-appointed Ambassadors for the Government-backed Start Up Loans Programme, which helps aspiring business owners across the UK turn their dreams into a reality with finance and mentoring support.”
Patrick Magee, the Chief Commercial Officer of the British Business Bank, said: “From healthy snacks for children to gourmet baking kits and waste-free supermarkets, our 2018 Ambassadors showcase the wonderful range of small businesses that we have in the UK.
“All of our Ambassadors’ stories show the grit and ambition it takes to set up a successful business, and we’re incredibly proud of everything they have achieved. We hope that, with the right guidance and support, we can help even more aspiring business owners realise their dreams of becoming their own boss.”
The Start Up Loans Company was formed in June 2012 and provides low-interest personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000. It also offers free dedicated mentoring and support to each business.