Tag: independent business

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Magic of Independence

Filed in Blog by on 7th January 2013 0 Comments • views: 1613

I was very surprised to see that Tesco’s are partners in an “artisan” coffee shop chain (details here)

I have to be honest I was very annoyed and surprised to see this. Tesco’s is generally not a good name to bandy about in the independent world of business. There is much resentment amongst independent businesses about the way large supermarkets have worked hard to wipe out independents. As soon as an announcement is made that they have applied for planning permission communities do go up in arms to save their local economy. The debate goes on forever. Tesco’s do seem to have the least favoured name in the game!

I will hold my hand up. I do shop in large supermarkets – I have a Tesco’s near me which I regularly visit as it is very convenient. I wish I didn’t have to and try and avoid this, but I have a lack of choices when it comes to buying some goods. This choice will be further diminished if more independent business loose the battle for survival.

When I do support local businesses, I feel fabulous. Whether it is a local florist, a local farm shop or a small independent dress shop, I feel that I have done something (however small) to support my local economy. I value the customer service, the skill, time and effort that has been put into the business to provide me with the service that I am paying for. I make the choice with my eyes wide open as to which business I am supporting.

I guess that is what I am so annoyed about. Every independent business I know has hours and hours of toil behind it. It takes years to build good strong relationships with customers and we all endeavour to go that extra mile for our customers.

How annoying then that a large multinational company should try and emulate this … but by not being open about the fact that they are a chain with vast resources. They are trying to jump on the bandwagon of the fight for survival for the small businesses – by trying to take their customers! I wonder if someone in the boardroom flippantly said “if you can’t beat them, join them” when their profits were down last year.

This has made me more determined to avoid them and to ensure that I spend my money with local businesses. Businesses where I know people care and have worked endless hours to give me the product and services that I wish for.

There is a magic in visiting a local business. The owners take pride in what they do and what they have achieved so far. The hard work is evident in their product. There is a special atmosphere and I truly wish good luck to every real artisan and independent business out there!

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#indieweek and #SmallBizSatUK

Filed in Blog, Hello by on 26th November 2018 0 Comments • views: 314

Last week we took part in an instagram challenge for #justacard. This was a campaign which highlighted the fact that every tiny purchase makes a difference to small businesses.

The title of the campaign was inspired by a quote from an independent gallery owner after the closure of their gallery.

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery  had bought just a card we’d still be open”

We are also involved with the Small Business Saturday campaign which urges all to support local independent businesses and every year chooses 100 small businesses to highlight in the run up to the day itself and is a huge celebration of all that small businesses do.

We’re looking forward to Saturday 1st December when we will be at the Winter Arts Market at Liverpool Cathedral … celebrating and showcasing with over 200 fellow businesses.

Each one has a story to tell and share, so please, over the next few weeks we’d encourage you to support local. By this, we don’t just mean spending money (that would be great though!) … we also mean taking time to listen to the business story, understanding a brand, sharing their story … either through social media or just word of mouth…. share their journey!

Your support, in any way, makes a massive difference.

 

Thank you

 

The spirit of a small business

Filed in Blog by on 3rd December 2018 0 Comments • views: 294

What an amazing weekend we’ve had!

 

Thank you for coming out and supporting the community of local small businesses. It was so fabulous to see so many gorgeous lovely friendly people at the Open Culture Winter Arts Market and then Baltic Market on Sunday.

 

And really – it’s not just about the sales…

–  it’s about the young lady whose birthday we helped celebrate years ago. She came along on Sunday as an adult and said how great and memorable it had been;

– it’s about the elderly couple who take the bus to come in and see how we are doing every year as they’ve supported the business since we began;

– it’s about the children’s gorgeous happy little faces as they discover good chocolate for the first time;

– it’s about the couple whose wedding shot glasses we did who come and reminisce about it at our stall! – it’s about the fellow stall holders who become good friends and we all look out for each other;

– it’s about the organisers who put so much hard work in to make each event extra special!

I could really go on for hours but I think you get it … your lovely loyalty and your beautiful stories really touch our hearts. Thank you every one of you… we truly appreciate your love and support for our business.

The spirit of Small Business Saturday was truly captured this weekend!

Lets keep it going throughout the year!

My trip to Downing Street

Filed in Blog, News, Our Gallery by on 30th December 2018 0 Comments • views: 355

 

 

On 28th November I was delighted to be heading to Downing Street.

I had been invited as a Small Business Champion by the Small Business Saturday Campaign to celebrate 5 years of the campaign.

I had been 2 years ago as part of the small business 100 for 2016.

Firstly I wasn’t sure I should go at such a busy time of year for the business… and then I thought “What an honour! I must go!”. So, after sorting out arrangements for work and childcare, I headed down to London, head buzzing with all the bits I needed to do when I got back. I texted my nephew about meeting him for a drink after he finished work and generally filled my time.

It wasn’t until I got to the gates of Downing Street and saw tourists taking pictures that I realised what a special occasion this was and how privileged I was to be invited.

We had the security checks and the staff at the gates were extremely polite and helpful… they even let me take my giant box of chocolates through.

The invitation this time was for 11 Downing St… it had been no. 10 two years ago!

I met other fellow business champions and we decided to have a few pictures in front of the famous door of no. 10 – alas, the police wouldn’t let me hold up my box of chocolates as it would have been seen as advertising!

We were then invited in to number 11 for a drinks and canapés reception. We had to leave our phones behind in little cubby holes and weren’t allowed to take any pictures whilst inside.

The building itself is beautiful and grand but not overwhelming. The staircase leading up to the reception room at no. 10 has beautiful portraits of previous prime ministers and I did wonder if it would be previous chancellors here.

It isn’t… it is covered with political cartoons, caricatures and engravings of past Chancellors of the Exchequer. It is a tradition that each Chancellor gets to choose the cartoon he wants to represent him.

The afternoon was spent enjoying the setting and chatting with other great small business owners and also meeting the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond and the Secretary of state for health and social care,  Matt Hancock as well as representatives from supporting organisations such as Royal Mail, American Express, the Duke of Edinburgh’s iDEA program and many more.

We had speeches and photos and then the afternoon drew to a close.

It was a very special afternoon and it was delightful. Regardless of politics, everyone was respectful, polite and happy.

I was very glad that I had accepted the invitation and was truly honoured and grateful for being on this interesting small business journey.

As always, I am always thankful for all who support our little business.

 

World Chocolate Day?! views: 152

We can’t quite believe that World Chocolate Day passed us by. We had a rather hectic weekend with corporate orders, a hen party and a stall at the Mowgli Trust Dog Show! We were over the moon to see so many of our regular followers at the Dog Show. Thank you for being such loyal […]

Children’s Parties views: 147

We had our first children’s birthday party at the new unit today. Frantic preparations took place as we waited the arrival of the birthday girl and 11 of her young friends and their parents. We were delighted to work with the fabulous deli across the road from us, Boysenberry.  They put together a  fabulous children’s […]

Back to work! views: 134

So those of you who follow us on facebook and instagram will have seen that we’ve been off on our holidays and spent time with family as well as seeing delightful patisseries and chocolateries in sunny Paris as well as having a lovely afternoon at the House of Lords with fellow Small Biz heroes and […]

Chocolate Week is here! views: 335

National Chocolate Week is upon us again and we’re so happy to have a full week dedicated to the celebration of chocolate! During one of our tastings this week we were asked what it’s all about – why chocolate week? For us its always been about celebrating chocolate in its beautiful wondrous form and the […]