What did you do before starting this business
For 20 years I was a Business Planning Manager and then a Business Improvement Manager for the UK's largest chilled food manufacturer, making ready meals for M&S, Waitrose, JS and Tesco. Before that, I was also in the food industry, from fresh chilled soups to a brief foray into frozen.
When I was made redundant I decided to follow what I loved and started roasting coffee beans.
What were the main motivations for starting your business
The love of coffee and being able to control exactly how it tastes by bringing out the best in the bean.
All the flavour in coffee is brought out through the roasting process and I decided to turn my passion into a business by offering a bespoke service which is difficult to get from the current offerings in the market.
What is your inspiration for what you do
Seeing others turn what they love into a business and controlling their own destiny. If you follow what you love to do, making a success of the business is more likely. With my business improvement background I can ensure that my operation is efficient and the numbers are realistic which helps in the early stages of a start up.
What do you love most about what you do
Seeing a green bean turn into something delicious. Being in control of my future and backing my own ideas and decisions. Seeing something that was an idea turn into reality.
What advice would you give to a new trader starting out
Go for it. Get as much advice as you can and don't be afraid to ask for help. There are many organisations out there that are designed to help start ups. Identify your weakness and get help in those areas first. Get the basics right with a good business plan - even if numbers may not be a strong point, an accurate cash flow is a must. This will be obvious if you run out of money.
If possible, depends on your idea, start lean as the risk is less, although some plans do need major investment.
Do you have any links to Ealing
I live in Ealing and go to the Ealing Business Forum monthly.