I have been lucky enough to have spent 25 years working alongside the most inspirational and passionate people in this wonderful business now tagged The Speciality Food Sector. In more recent years by working within food sales, retail, distribution and production I became very aware that I had gained many of the necessary skills needed to launch and run a successful retail outlet or food production business.
For three years I traipsed around the South of England like some caped food crusader assisting very small food producers and new/existing deli owners on their respective roads to profitability. In the beginning my time was split equally between the food producers and retailers but over time I got more enjoyment and more positive results working with deli owners. This I tagged as The Deli Doctor service.
The Deli Doctor’s work meant that I would predominantly be spending my time in deli’s and farm shops who had regrettably fallen on hard times. Thankfully, I was able to positively assist a large number of my clients, but without a Mary Portas budget some were way past saving. Quite a number of these troubled owners should never have started up in the first place and were heavily in debt. I remember saying to my wife Sally, “one day I’d like to be in the position to offer potential new deli owners a realtime taste of what it’s actually like to run a living breathing deli”.
Let’s cut to the chase, clients kept challenging me to put my money where my mouth and we are now in our 5th year of retailing. We closed our initial smaller shop to open a much larger operation Thyme & Tides in Stockbridge, Hampshire. Thyme & Tides houses a 50 seat bistro, fresh fish counter, a wonderful range of cheeses and a retail delicatessen. In our first year we exceeded our sales targets with a very healthy net margin. Thus far Sally and my food experience have put us in a very positive position whilst enduring troubled economic times.
Two years ago we welcomed our first academy delegate. Our delegates have a good mix of experience, most are in the first early stages of thinking about opening a deli, others have already signed a lease and have opening dates set. Many intend to or have already attended the very worthwhile courses run by The Guild Of Fine Food Retailers, but none have physically experienced what it is actually like to work in a living breathing delicatessen & bistro.
It’s a great way to gain experience and money saving insights into:
- Your Future Store’s Location, Is The Market There?
- How To Plan Your Store Layout
- Local, National & International Product Sourcing
- Merchandising Products To Maximise Sales
- Setting Your Cheese Counter
- Manufacturing Your Own Branded Products
- Designing Your Cafes/Bistros Menu
- Cooking Products For Re-sale In The Delicatessen
- Planning A Successful Sales Promotion
- Which Producer/Distributors To Use & Who To Avoid!
- Shadowing Our Team From Opening To Closing The Deli
- Strategic & Daily Tactical Sales Planning
- Getting The Best Out Of Your Team & Keeping Them
- Getting The Most Out Of Your Local Public Relations
I recommend a term of between 2-3 days, starting at 8.00am. During your time at Thyme & Tides you will be treated as part of the team. No other delegates will join the academy during your stay and each days content will be tailored so you get the maximum benefit from this experience. We have a very professional, well trained, committed and friendly mix of people working here, all who understand what you are aiming to achieve during your time with us.
Beyond your visit we can still help you on your way to opening. I would also be happy to assist you in person at your sites future opening to ensure a smooth opening day, with additional staff training available on site.
Single Delegate Daily Rate: £350 + VAT
Two Delegate daily Rate (from same company): £250 + VAT each
Stockbridge is situated in the beautiful Test valley in Hampshire. We’re 10 minutes from the A303 and have 2 main line train stations nearby at Winchester and Andover both within an hour of London. For more information, please see the Contact page.
I need no convincing that financing training time at Thyme & Tides will do one of two things:-
A - Confirm that opening a deli really is the dream that you want to achieve.
B - Scare the living daylights out of you and you will think I will stay where I am thanks.
Please feel free to contact myself (Iain Hemming, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sally with any other questions you might have. If you would like references from other clients I have previously worked with please ask.
A. The Grosvenor Hotel, Stockbridge Tel: 01264 810606
B. Yew Tree Barn B&B Tel: 01794 388258
C. The Peat Spade Tel: 01264 810612
D. Three Cups Inn Tel: 01264 810527
E. The White Hart Tel: 01264 810663