They continued to run Wild Game Salamis, using it to prop up the new venture, but gradually Beard Brothers grew, and was stocked in more and more supermarkets.
It was around this time that Rob had a chance meeting with business consultant Bill Ritchie, who instantly saw the couple were under a lot of pressure, as they tried to juggle the increasing needs of both businesses, and he agreed to come on as a business mentor.
“Very quickly it emerged that they needed a lot more help than they probably thought,” Bill says.
“When your business grows really quickly, and you don’t have good resources around you and it’s your first foray into your own business, you can reach a point where taking that next step becomes something you have to do, rather than what you want to do.”
Then, in early 2020, Covid-19 came along. The team were already flat out producing goods for their bulk orders when demand ramped up further, with more and more consumers demanding Beard Brothers products.
Bill estimates sales of sausages almost doubled during that period, and even after the first lockdown ended, the demand did not.
At that stage, they were still producing bulk orders to be packaged in-store by the butchery department for a fee, so Rob invested in a label machine to do the packing himself.
Rob admits he’s not the best businessman in the world, and perhaps not the best with technology either – his passion is making sausages – and one day, it just got to be too much.
He went home, closed the curtains, and went to bed - totally and utterly burned out, and experiencing a deep depression.
“If you’re sleeping two hours a night for ten nights, which was what I was getting, something’s got to give,” Rob says.