Thoughts on… where we are going

08Aug11


Thoughts on… where we are going

I’ve decided to totally embrace “Small Is Beautiful”, a philosophy and way of life brought to us by the British economist E. F. Schumacher.

The phrase “Small Is Beautiful” came from his teacher Leopold Kohr, and is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better”.

I think there is an underlying mistrust of the corporate world which is growing more visible and vocal.

Let’s look at example of corporate failure caused by greed.Thornton’s chocolates were once a prized gift. They were something you took as a present to someone’s house if you were going for a special dinner, or a Christmas present for someone you wanted to impress. They were handmade, hard to get and therefore very expensive. But when they started being mass produced in a factory and sold in every high street and supermarket they became less of a prized gift and more of a token one.

That greed has bought about the fall of the high street too and, like an alcoholic, landlords and town councils are so addicted to high rents and business taxes that they will not own up to the fact that it’s not in their best interests until they hit rock bottom.

My radar is picking up the feeling that people want to trust. They want to be stress-free consumers. They want to believe what it says on the can. They need to know the producer, they need to see the product being produced, and it’s only then do they know it’s real.

Do that and you have a long-term relationship built on value, belief and trust, rather than a soulless transaction based on price alone.

When we open inPlymouthin October, and Poundbury in June 2012, these restaurants will be species of the mothership in Lyme and not clones. They and any future bakery will get their names from their geographic position – i.e. The Royal William Bakery and the Butter Market Bakery.

As with Lyme we will make everything on site in view of our customers, and each product will be branded with the name of the place of manufacture. Items will come in as ingredients and will be turned into a product that can be consumed on the premises or taken away as groceries to be eaten at home.

This isn’t necessarily the easiest way of doing it for us, but it’s the most authentic, and it’s the way I believe our consumers want to see things done.

Because as my father used to say “if it was easy, everyone would do it”.

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5 Responses to “Thoughts on… where we are going”

  1. Beautifully written. I was at Lyme last week (BEST ever scones I have to say – could have eaten them all but some other people with excellent taste had the same idea), and my sisters & I remembered how good Thorntons used to be and how rubbish they are now. Love your company, staff are brilliant and produce is excellent. Thank you, keep it up and Clive, you are not scary at all!! x

  2. 2 Cleo

    My dad says that too.

  3. 3 claire

    Every post I read, the more I love your ethos. Probably helps that we share the same views on this matter! I personally, whilst not a believer in Communism, cannot quite understand the whole concept of the ever-increasing profit figures and exponential growth of a business -once one has enough to be ok, why do you need more, more, more? It seems to be misplaced thinking to me. So I can only cheer at businesses like yourselves -the new offshoots sound heartwarmingly genuine -producers of the stuff of life, not profit chasers.

  4. Love your ethos and your bakery in Lyme – we visited in the summer and I’m forever recommending you. The reason? Because that ethos (even though I have only just read it in print) shone through in the experience we had. Very refreshing to experience that!

  5. I visited your bakery in Lyme earlier this week. Thank you!Thank you! Thank you!, it was wonderful bread, service, atmosphere, I loved it.
    I wll happily drive for an hour to see you again.
    Lots of smiles, Angela.


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