Turning small food & drink businesses into winning brands
On 1 October 2014, top foodie movers and shakers gathered at Puxton Park, North Somerset to receive a professional master class on turning small businesses into winning brands.
The event was co-hosted by Gregg Latchams and ActionCOACH. Around 50 people came to hear the line up of speakers – all of whom had lots of relevant information to share and inspiration to give.
Chris Head of the West of England Rural Network talked about the issues in setting up a food business in rural areas, junction 21 and the reasons why the Local Enterprise Partnership is investing there.
Rob Carter of ActionCOACH focused on how food businesses can grow their turnover, sales and profits.
Martino Burgess and Megan Davies from Gregg Latchams talked about the importance of developing and protecting a brand from a legal perspective. Many of the food producers in the room, for example, had not asked their employees to sign a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement and so were leaving themselves and their businesses open to the risk of their intellectual property being copied.
The keynote speaker was archaeologist-turned-cheesemaker,Todd Trethowan of Trethowans dairy. Todd has channelled his passion for cheese into an award-winning business whose products are sold in Waitrose and exported to artisan cheese shops throughout the world.
He began his talk by offering everyone a piece of his cheese. Trethowans Caerphilly known as Gorwydd has been described by chef Nigel Slater as one of the great cheeses of the world. It is made from unpasteurised cows milk and animal rennet, using original hand-turned presses and matured for two months. Each cheese is carefully turned every day. The result is a fresh, nutty and lemony flavour.
Todd and his brother recently moved the dairy from Wales to North Somerset to use the best possible milk. Interestingly, its just 10 miles from the spot where he learnt the original, hand-made recipe, 25 years ago. When he started he made four 4kg cheese wheels a day. At Puxton they will make between 90 and 100 of the rounds each day.
Todd was very complimentary about Gregg Latchams and said it was great to have someone who understood their business on their side during the negotiation of their lease and the milk contract.
Todd also talked about the importance of doing one thing and doing it really well.
This South West success story really flies the flag for small producers and is a great example of a small family-run business that has turned into a nationally recognised brand when supported by the right professionals.