Sorry it’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog, but this has been at the end of an extremely busy two months and I am glad to start this week as a “normal week” for the first time for a while. Trips to Macedonia, New York, moving warehouse and then office a month later, and finally last weekend, our Charity Ball.
Let’s start with that, and thank everyone who came and supported us. Not as many this time as I hoped for, so I was disappointed initially, but we had generous donations from many that couldn’t come and through these, ticket sales, sponsorship, auction and raffle we will have raised £25,000 for the Children’s Centre in Kenya. You know the projects over there are very close to my heart, and the dream of seeing the micro-businesses there make enough profit to pay for the running costs become a little closer to reality now. It is interesting with the two types of suppliers that we engage with every other year for the ball, we have amazing generosity from some, and some rather lame excuses from others. The line “we have our own charity to support” would wash if we were trying to get them to sponsor a marathon, but we were inviting them to a party, thoroughly enjoyed by those that came, and the cost was less than half the cost of the Grocer Award’s Dinner I noticed last week! Anyway a huge thank you for those that supported this very worthy cause – I am forever grateful and so are the orphans in Kenya.
To be honest, many I met at that event, before and after, were still a little down-in-the-dumps about the Brexit vote. To date I still haven’t met anyone within the speciality food sector or business in general that has admitted to voting “out”. Maybe they are too embarrassed but almost all actually seem to have voted “remain”. To have a new government going “gung ho” towards Brexit, when the vast majority of the business community seems to want the opposite “beggars belief” to me, and I fear for the economic growth of this nation for the next 5 years at least – and I am not alone!
Tomorrow we hand back the keys to our old warehouse and offices, having decorated throughout, and dutiful fulfilled our dilapidations list, so it is a landmark day. Only one last minute hitch of our yard being invaded by 30 travellers and needing 25 police to remove them on Saturday night. It would have been a little embarrassing to hand back the keys to the landlord having to advise him that there were some new residents on site! What has amazed me with the move with how much junk a company can accumulate when it has a warehouse attached to the office. The line “that will go in the warehouse” seems to have been used all too often and we had to get rid of a huge amount of “stuff” simply not needed. It is human nature to keep stuff even when not required. I recommend giving it away, and indeed, that’s what we will have to do now the main warehouse is 20 minutes from the office. To bring this full circle, I was actually quite sick at the amount of possessions we had a as company that weren’t being used. Compare this with those children in Kenya, who own absolutely nothing apart from a few clothes with holes in and their school exercise books.