We all want to make a difference in the world through our businesses for the better, but are well aware that for this to really happen, there needs to be a movement of like-minded people. Yes, we can all “do our bit” but for change to happen we need to be influencing other people.Read More
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Paul Hargreaves: Endings

4 Dec 2017 09:57:19

It’s been a couple of weeks of endings for several businesses. At Cotswold Fayre, two of our new suppliers for 2017 have stopped trading less than a year after we started with them. Thor Drinks has done it properly and gone into administration but the other, Little Turban, has disappeared off the face of the planet, leaving orders unfulfilled and customers disappointed. They leave behind a still live Twitter account and a consumer web-site, still taking customer’s money – I know because I placed an order as a last resort to see if anything would happen. It didn’t!

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Following on from last week’s thoughts, Paul Hargreaves has been wondering whether digital technology has reduced the need of those within SMEs to be able to sell.  The thought stream sometimes seems to be that if you put yourself out on social media enough then business will flow in.  Is this true or false? 

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As I write this week’s thoughts I am simultaneously preparing for the Cotswold Fayre New Supplier’s Conference tomorrow.  This annual event is when we spend a day with our January launch suppliers and allow them to get to know us, our company and culture. 

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I had to pretend to be a chef for the evening last Friday Night. Last June, rashly I had offered into an Auction of Promises for a fund-raising event for our orphanage in Kenya a “Restaurant Quality Meal for 6 Cooked at your Home”. The bidding had gone up to £150, so the pressure was on to come up with something good, so in an attempt to be hyper-organised I had started preparation on Thursday evening for the event on Friday.

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This week I thought I would explore the area a little further and try and answer the question of whether it is a good idea to invest our hard-earned cash into crowdfunding food and drink start-ups.

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Paul Hargreaves shares his views on how speciality food businesses effect the environment... "Like it or not, reducing carbon will become an increasingly important driver for us over the next few years."

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I had a phone call earlier today from a journalist wanting my comments on Amazon, as apparently FMCG wholesalers across the pond are having sleepless nights about what they are doing in the market.

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Paul Hargreaves: A Reality Check

9 Oct 2017 09:30:13

I was encouraged to see so many start-up food businesses represented at the Bread and Jam Festival last week.  My Last Word article in this month’s Speciality Food Magazine reflects more on the sheer numbers coming into the industry at present.

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When I started our Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition 6 years ago, there were hardly any young people starting businesses. This has all changed now, and there are so many ambitious millennials coming into the food and drink sector. They are ambitious, and have a desire to succeed...

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