I can hardly believe that my blogs are being shared over a hundred times ! Isn’t that amazing ? What is even more fascinating, is that customers are coming into the farm shop and chatting to me about my blog – so pleased with this Just hope you all enjoy the read ! In addition to this, I’ve had a couple of phone calls from people asking if we can get together to have conversations about future business activities. I didn’t expect this. Let’s see where it all goes, eh ? How amazing ! How did we ever manage without social media ? Facebook posting and website blogging have made such a difference to us at Bryn Celyn. Totally recommend it. If you have any questions about how we are managing the marketing side of the business, just email me your questions at email@example.com and I’m only too happy to share our social media strategy.
Anyway, back to the blog. I know that there are some of you who have been with me since blog 1. If you haven’t, I’m telling the story of Ron (my husband) and myself on our journey from suburbia in the north east of England to a small-holding on Anglesey where we now run a farm shop and artisan food business. Here’s the link to our website http://www.bryncelynfarmshop.co.uk
The first artisan product that we made to sell is the traditional pork pie. This blog will tell you about how this came about.
You will know if you have been reading my blogs that I’m also really interested in entrepreneurship. Am interested in doors opening and closing, in recognising and taking on opportunities when they arise (or not, as the case maybe). Developing my philosophy of life further, my view is that you are (not in the beginning – but definitely – in the end) the product of your own decisions, we decide our own fate to a great extent. I’m not really someone that believes too much in coincidence, luck or chance. However, in this blog I’m going to tell you about how chance or coincidence resulted in Ron and I specialising in pork pies and opening the farm shop.
So, this blog finds us around 2014 15. By this time, Ron and I had been living at Bryn Celyn for over a year. My mother had moved from the north of England to live with us. Mum, who has now sadly passed away was an author and poet who wrote about life in Easington Colliery. I told you about this village in an earlier blog and its links to the film Billy Elliot and the 1970’s miners’ strike. Here is a link which gives some information about her https://listenupnorth.typepad.com/listenupnorth/current-affairs/
Mum loved Bryn Celyn but did miss having someone to talk to ! She would write, sip a glass of sherry and walk her Jack Russell. But she did find it a little too quiet. So .….. she took every opportunity to chat to anyone who was around. One day, she was tidying flower beds just outside Bryn Celyn’s gate. A man walked by. If you’ve visited us, you will know that there aren’t many people walking past our gate. We are located in the heart of the Anglesey country-side. You might find the very occasional person walking by on a summer’s afternoon with their dog, but that’s about it ! Not to miss an opportunity for a chat, mum started chatting to him. This is where the theme of chance or coincidence emerges.
If you are around my age (63), then you were a child of the seventies. You might have listened to Dory Previn’s music. Dory was Andrew Previn’s wife for a while…… Do you remember the song…..”Children of Coincidence”….. ? Why did someone walk by our gate during the half hour that mum was gardening ? If it had been an hour earlier, and hour later, where would we be now ?
Follow the link to hear the song. Hope you enjoy it:
……….. Back to the story……. There aren’t any shops around here, and I’m hungry”, the passerby replied when mum asked him how he was. “We’ve just had our lunch. My son-in-law has made pork pies”……. Mum, being mum went to the kitchen and took the remaining pork pie and gave it to the passerby to eat. The next day, mum was out gardening again. Someone pulled up in a car. “Is this where they sell home-made pork pies ?”……….. Coincidence or fate ?
Within a few months we had a five star food hygiene rating from the local council and Ron was baking pork pies in the kitchen and selling them to the increasing number of passers by…………
Setting up the artisan food business took a little while. There are quite a few hoops to jump through. We’ve now had three five star ratings since we opened….. We’ve had lots to learn about raising animals and all of the permissions related to this ………… social media marketing (ii)……….. running a professional kitchen……… running a smallholding ……….. finding suppliers…….. online shopping…… the list is endless…… Listen……… Yesterday, I jotted down a ten point plan on one side of A4 as a guide to help others start their own artisan food business. If you would like a copy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form below and I’ll send you a copy.
Until the next blog……