Introducing Coldharbour Farm Shop

I’m delighted to be working with Coldharbour Farm Shop in Ottery St Mary as they get ready to open their fantastic new Field Kitchen in May.

Most people know of my commitment to supporting smaller, independent, local businesses – these are usually run by people like me, who work hard and want to achieve the best results possible. At Coldharbour, that’s Andrea and Beth.

There’s always a great back story to an indie business; Coldharbour Farm was first farmed by Andrea’s great grandfather, Harry, in the 1930s. The farm has been handed down the generations and during that time has changed and diversified, particularly in recent years. Where once there were dairy cows and chickens (the farm shop was once the dairy parlour), Andrea now keeps sheep and pigs.

Andrea was joined by business partner Beth in 2016 when the farm shop and cafe first opened. In fact, I came across them not long after, when I judged for Taste of the West awarding the cafe a well deserved gold after enjoying a fantastic smashed avocado brekkie. We’ve bumped into each other over the years, but it was their plans for the new Field Kitchen that prompted them to get in touch to see if I could take them on as a client.

The Coldharbour Farm Field Kitchen is a natural progression from a small venture they started during the pandemic, serving food outside from a cabin to keep within government guidelines. No lockdown parties here, PM!

This new cafe is going to be fabulous. It has stunning views across Ottery and beyond. It has a tranquil setting. It’s a wonderful new building that is both quirky and welcoming. Andrea and Beth are devising a new menu – all firmly grounded in local produce including meat from the farm (sorry lambs). Plenty of job opportunities for chefs and front of house staff – hard to fill perhaps, but anyone who joins now is in at the start of something special. I for one, can’t wait.

I’m currently building up their social media presence and quietly getting the word out, because they really want a soft start rather than a big launch bash. Maybe we’ll have that one year on. In the meantime, show your love and like their Facebook and Instagram, and come along from mid-May to enjoy the views and eat some great grub. Just at the top of Slade Road in Ottery. Fabulous farm shop too.

Big thanks for the recommendation to The Recycled Candle Company x

Recycling tealight frenzy

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that create a buzz. Take tealights.

The Recycled Candle Company recycle all types of candles, including tealights. They’ve recently had lots of queries about these – people aren’t sure if they’re recyclable because of the metal parts.

So they added a photo to Instagram showing Richard holding a bag of tealights. Which I added to their Facebook page. And then it all went wild! Immediately the likes and comments started building – it was obviously hitting home with many people.

Richard followed up with a video thank you on and it all kicked off again.

The initial post now has well over 600 likes/loves and 600 shares, plus nearly 170 comments coming from Manchester, Cumbria, Sussex and even Texas! The reach is over 130K now, with engagement at 18.2K post clicks. The original Instagram post has also had fantastic engagement with over 320 likes, and an enquiry from the West Coast of Canada where they’re looking at setting up a similar initiative.

I’m just in the process of distributing a press release on the back of it, and I’m hoping we might get national interest. Tealights, who would have thought?

All this profile raising came from a very simple post, with a very simple photograph. Nothing fancy, nothing particularly clever, just absolutely spot on content that resonated with thousands of people.

It all goes to show that there’s a huge interest in recycling with more and more people seeking ways to keep as much as possible out of landfill.

Find out more by visiting therecycledcandlecompany.co.uk

London PR for Diespeker

London Calling – London PR

I’ve been working with agency Terra Ferma Media for five or so years as an associate. Initially managing social media for a number of their clients including Ellenborough Park, Mantis Travel and (my favourite for kudos alone) Bear Grylls Survival School, they then asked if I could write the copy for their client Diespeker & Co’s new website. Naturally I said yes! This led to an invitation to handle the PR for the London natural stone and terrazzo company, which I leapt at.

Three years’ on and last night, an email landed in my inbox. The client wanted to tell his outsourced marketing team that his turnover had doubled over the last year and that he was extremely excited by this news! As was I, of course.

Impactful

There’s little doubt that the work we’ve all been putting in has had a significant impact on the success of the business. Diespeker’s website, when it launched, was – and still is – way ahead of competitor websites in terms of content and style. We add regular news updates and the stories we tell are not only about projects, but Diespeker’s supported charity (Stem4) and MD John Krause’s exploits as a marathon runner.

I was really pleased in November when Diespeker won Manufacturer of the Year at the South East Manufacturers Awards. Although I wrote the submission, the proof is in the pudding – the work that Diespeker is doing with bespoke terrazzo is unequalled by any other manufacturer in the UK.

The future

We’re about to embark on a company magazine, which I’m delighted to be editing. I know we’re entrenched in digital, digital, digital, so it’s lovely to be working on a print publication for a change. There’s also going to be a launch later this year, of an offshoot business aimed more at the luxury interiors market. Can’t wait!

It’s a privilige to be working with Diespeker & Co, to be part of the company’s journey to greater and greater success.

Yet, although I love my visits to London, the buzz of the Smoke and seeing old haunts (we passed by a flat I once lived in, in Streatham, on my last visit), I also love returning to Devon. It’s always fascinating taking the train, and watching the regular commuters in their daily routine. I have the best of both worlds, I think.

 

 

Pirate ship at Tickety-Boo

Tickety-Boo launches pirate ship

Ahoy there! Pirate ship sets sail at Tickety-Boo

I started working with Tickety-Boo in 2016 – the coffee shop and play kingdom opened in August with a successful launch event. Even then there was talk of a second section in the play kingdom, as there was space at the rear of the building.

Fast forward to 2017 – as a venture, Tickety-Boo has become a great success. This had led to a bronze award win at the Devon Tourism Awards.

The need to extend the play area, add more seating and create rear access to the play area became pressing. So it was all hands on deck (literally) to make a pirate ship, and fit out the area. I peeked in from time to time to watch progress; the boat being built, the walls being painted, the carpet going in. All the time mentioning the need for a launch event.

Stuart and the pirate ship This week I had a phone call from Stuart, the owner of Tickety-Boo. With the onset of the Christmas holidays, he had decided to open the new section as it was reaThe first pirates on the pirate shipdy. In the event, there was no time for a launch. But we had to do something to officially open it. So I drove to Ottery St Mary to take photos, borrowed some children (with the permission of their mum) and persuaded Stuart¬† to pose in the ship. Sadly I didn’t have time to get him a pirate hat!

The photos went straight up on Tickety-Boo’s Facebook page and immediately the likes, shares and comments started mounting up (there are currently over 200 likes on that post). Customers had been aware that the extension was being worked on, and word spread fast. Perfect timing for the Christmas holidays. In the end, a soft launch did the job just fine.

Facebook

Facebook has proved a really successful platform for Tickety-Boo. The Facebook community is edging towards 2,000 with no hard push or adverts, just relevant content including competitions and menu updates. The community is very engaged, making comments, tagging people and sharing posts. Comments are almost always positive, and reviews always good, with a 4.9 rating. Tickety-Boo doesn’t need hard sell, its success is down to a combination of hard work, customer service and a real commitment to the local community.

Go check out the pirate ship if you have little ones. It’s a beautiful thing (and the cakes are amazing!).