Thursday, 17 March 2016

Livelihood Forum

This year sees the Livelihood forum return to the programme after a break for a few years. This is always a fascinating night with a panel of guest business people to talk about their working lives and how they got to where they are. Three very different businesses talked to us, each with equally interesting stories. Firstly we had Joe, from Penpont brewery. He started by saying how he had an idea with his friend about how they could brew their own beer, and his friend had a spare shed. After a while, the businedd grew and eventually founded the Firebrand restaurant to sell his products. He explained how he has set up a crowd funding project online to raise money to expand the brewery. Our second speaker for the evening was Andy Berry. Andy and his wife have founded Berry's Agriculture, a specialisty suppliuer of grass seeds, chemicals and calf rearing to local farms. To keep the costs to the farmer as low as possible, theyve chosen not to have a shop, but to do the business at the farms by travelling around with a van. He told us about his past jobs woking for the Ministry of Agriculture before studying at Seale-Hayne. Lastly, we had Lesley from Anytime Anywhere caterers. She was from a farming background and went to college to study food. After working for a catering company for a few years, she chose to return to home and set up her own business. The business quickly grew despite barely ever advertising! After sevral years of top quality catering, she told us how they are scaling back now, as they have recently expanded their farm which they want to concentrate on, and also the arrival of children meant they did not have the time.

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