Chamber member Ai Change Management (a local people and business development organisation) has updated us on two news announcements as they continue their strong start.
Ai Change management have confirmed that their premises at 8 Water Street in Liverpool City Centre are now fully refurbished and open, with a launch event at the Fashion Hub planned for later in the year. You can catch a glimpse here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGd_ip7mIo8
The second item of good news is that the team have been joined by Ed Gibson, a mentoring practitioner with particular expertise in the food industry.
AS WE CAN’T GO OUT AND MEET ED JUST YET, KNOWSLEY CHAMBER ASKED ED TO TELL US A BIT ABOUT HIMSELF….
Having completed a Law Degree at Birmingham University I joined my brother as he began his business in 1977. Over the next 12 years we developed, from one bakery shop, a chain of 28 retail bakeries throughout North Wales and the North West of England.
During the 80’s we witnessed at first hand the growth of the Food to Go offer, and saw an opportunity to develop the sales of our sandwich products outside of our retail shops. Starting with a small unit In Ellesmere Port we grew rapidly during the 1990’s and in time, with a number of factory moves, this developed into a £20m pa business in its own right. We were by the early 2000’s operating two production facilities, in Ellesmere Port and also Devizes in Wiltshire. During this period I was also Chair the British Sandwich Association, for some six years. The BSA was the main industry body for sandwiches, setting standards and representing the industry at government level.
We managed the growth of the business without the assistance of outside capital. The industry was also in its infancy on the 90’s so we were learning and adapting as we developed, always needing to keep ahead of the latest developments. This was particularly so when we came to supply the major retailers, in time trading with Morrisons, ASDA and Tesco. We also developed and took to market the Weight Watcher sandwich range.
I believe looking back it would have been of great help to me to be able to discuss the issues as they arose in the growing business, with someone with similar experiences in their past. The ability to also have someone who was able to view these issues from a detached and objective viewpoint would have been very worthwhile. This is what I believe I could offer to a business going through similar changes today.
Ed joins Peter and Paul at Ai Change Management and we wish them all every success.