This Blog is a little bit about us the people behind The Pellet Guys and the trials and tribulations of setting up a new venture from the ground up, Every couple of days I will try to add a little something.
Feel free to comment, and all ideas are welcomed.
Boilies to be straight isn't something I wanted to get into so early, but when our good friend from old Kevin found himself at a loose end we had a chat devised a plan and got ourselves set up, to say Kevin has been about is an understatement. Firstly with his own company All Seasons Bait then a long spell with Dynamite and after that Mistral, Kevin has made bait for many a star angler and was involved in the development of the neutral buoyancy boilie which we all now know as the wafter.
For those of you that know Kevin and more so for those that don't there isn't a lot Kevin doesn't know about Bait, flavours and the ingredients that's used to make a good solid product, our plan is simple 3 flavours, all flavour profiles Kevin has made for years and are tried and tested in fact one flavour Kevin has been getting call after call about to re launch, so it was a no brainer.
So off to work we go,
S,A,S The Urge & The Original MB1 were the chosen 3 we will add to this at a later date but for now we don't want to complicate things.
Our first lorry of ingredients arrived in the morning, why did we order so much gear?, well by the afternoon it was mostly gone and around a ton of base mix had been produced, now off to bagging, we have a nice bagging machine we used for pellets and dry mix, I wonder if it will work, so we made a load of bags and filled the hopper within an hour we was bagged up, you gotta love Chinese tech :) it worked like a charm, all we need now is to get some bags made so back to China we go.
Within 3 days we had 5 huge chest freezers full of boilies and within hours getting a steady stream of customers purchasing, all I need to do now is get some match sized variants proper fishing :)
Kevin and Martyn then got on with the pop ups and Wafters made up some matching glugs and Stick mixes the range for now is complete and available.
If you was one of Kevins original testers we need to hear from you please drop me a message if you wish to get back on the Team.
Its been a tough couple of weeks, running around like headless chickens often with our heads up our backsides but things get done its organised honest :).
So its time to turn on the milling machines and get a few blends on the bench.
As you can probably see from the video we are using a high fish meal based base mix, typically a pellet base as they are pre designed with feeding fish in mind.
One of the first mixes we wanted was a chocolate orange crush one that has orange in it and has a good scent and slightly on the sweet side, the results from the blending were quite good, these mixes not only have to work feel and smell right you have to be able to mix them, after a little tweaking we came up with the right consistency and mix,
We wanted a fast breakdown ground bait mainly for the method and hybrid,
In the summer on some of the commercials you need to be fishing fast this mix breaks down super fast if mixed on the dry side, no sticking to the mould what so ever and exposing your hook bait in seconds, what we wasn't banking on was the way in which it will totally hide the feeder in seconds, you can see this in the testing of a tightly squeezed ball, the activity dies down after about 3 or 4 minutes, by which time hopefully you are reloading.
Keep tuned for more updates of what we are up to.
So the bags are now complete and we just have to get them here, "Boat is the cheapest " she said "how long will that take?" about a month, well I'm not having none of that, on the plane it is then, about a week and we should have a nice new bag in our possession NO MORE LABELS.
I'm really liking the finished product from the photo's just need to get my hands on them, they certainly stand out.
This week has been quite productive, We are in a couple more fisheries and have been stockpiling heavily,
We had some issues with the website which I have been pulling my hair out over and its not quite going how I want it to go however we are just a day or two from going live.
Many of the guys product testing have been getting good responses with the paste and ground baits, The paste has had an especially good response mainly due to the core ingredient being a product only we have so its never been seen in a water before in this format.
Still haven't started on the main ground bait manufacturing, although we have 4 good base mixes we keep testing and tweaking and once we are happy we will go into full production.
More updates later
The shelves are starting to fill up and the orders are coming in, we finally have a good system in place The planned initial stock levels seem to be right for now and easily adaptable, things are falling into place quite nicely, Skretting are almost ready at the new plant in Europe however we have enough stock for a good few months.
The Website is close to completion with just a little more artwork to do and a few products to add, once loaded we can add the stock, we have manufactured a good few thousand bags to date and continue to fill the shelves before we start working on 3 or 4 ground bait mixes, its tough as we are excited and keep getting side tracked making new mixes to try :).
We have decided after a couple delays June the 16th is going to be the day we go live on our website and social media, much testing has been done on the website and thanks to all those that have participated and been crash test dummies.
Ground bait next this is where it gets interesting.
There is only three of us and so much to do before we can go live so it's time to delegate.
My job is the website and social media, Rick on sourcing customers, weighing and bagging and Martyn got all the donkey work weighing milling bagging boxing and labelling, we often swapped roles and just really got on with it, We won't go live until we have a good amount of products to start with but I won't buy any rubbish it needs to be good quality products so it was imperative we got plenty of stock in place and mastered our technique of flavouring pellets.
We have had the best part of a month breaking down sacks weighing bagging labelling and boxing during this time we have had a flood of word of mouth customers approach us for supply a few shops and fisheries all struggling to get skrettings even a couple of bait suppliers whose supply just dried up. this put more pressure on me as we needed some kind of stock control and back office and quick, well there is only so many hours in the day but we managed with plenty of glue and sticky tape to get something up and running we could now invoice professionally.
On to the products we realised quite quickly stickers on bags no matter how good the skickers was a poor way to do things it's another process and another cost so I looked for a pre printed bag, A high gloss waterproof sticker plus the labour was a large percentage of the final cost of the product I needed to eliminate that cost, back to my Chinese friends for some prices.
I reached out to a couple of my previous suppliers and was soon put in touch with a bag supplier, and I started doing a few designs on photoshop, the Chinese are incredibly good at this kind of project and are extremely helpful half a dozen redesigns and the bag was done.
Finally I have a bag Below is close to the final design, I just have to wait 3 weeks now
I knew this was going to be an investment probably more than I really wanted to throw in the pot and from a time standpoint too, but I have never been scared of work so its time to get it on.
First port of call was to get my son Martyn involved he comes from a Carp angling background he knows his beans and he has excellent building knowledge so it made sense, we added a further Partner in Rick Baxter, Market research Guru and fellow match angler the Team was born.
With Skrettings UK shutting down we needed to get in quick there was a cut off for last orders before they closed, so I placed an order, 2 artic loads arrived and I soon realised we needed a bigger boat luckily enough a 2nd warehouse become available so I snapped that up, more expense I didn't plan for.
I got in touch with my Chinese contacts and ordered a weighing bagging machine a large sealer a couple of semi industrial milling machines thousands of bags and labels lots more expense I really should do business plans :) and we got to work.
The idea was as well as selling 25kg sacks we wanted to break the sacks down into smaller bags and flavour some up along the way, sure many are doing this but I want to do it better, stack it high sell it at a reasonable price no nonsense and our tag line was born NO NONSENSE BAIT and our logo was now created.
1st of April 2019 we got the keys to our new unit a couple of days graft, painting the floors, adjusting electrics installing comms and pallet racking and we was ready for our first delivery.
Many said why invest in an industry that's on its backside, Well that comment was like a red rag to a bull to me and made me even more determined.
The planning has started.
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