Regular visitors to our blog will know how much we love to champion positive news stories and successes. A story close to our hearts that we have watched and documented has been the regeneration of Middlesbrough’s Bedford Street into the town’s new foodie quarter and monthly Orange Pip Market. They are all now celebrating their first year in business. Where did that year go?
Declan and I were delighted to attend the ‘one year on’ event this past week at another of our favourite local places, Acklam Hall, hosted by Tees Valley Business Club (TVBC) and sponsored by Sanlam Wealth.
It’s been my pleasure to get to know some of the board members at TVBC over the last couple of years and I am seriously impressed by their boundless energy and passion for promoting Teesside’s successes.
The list of businesses who are part of the club are just as impressive and it gives you the opportunity if you are in business to network with some of our region’s movers and shakers. Being in business, especially as a start up can be a lonely place to be and that’s where a network as valuable as this really comes into its own with that ongoing peer to peer help and advice.
This brings me back to the main reason why the event was taking place — to talk about start ups and their first year journeys.
It was one of the warmest evenings of the year so far but that didn’t stop the event from being fully subscribed with over a 100 Tees Valley business people coming together. Dedicated to the cause they could’ve easily gone off home to fire up the BBQ but these guys all know that the events are GOOD and not to be missed!
John Pearson, Senior Investment Manager at Sanlam Wealth’s Teesside office provided an interesting ten point guide on the necessary requirements for setting up a new business:
- Have A Plan
- Branding – Imagery & Name
- Legal Structure
- Bureaucracy – Employ A Professional To Sort Out All Red Tape
- Finance & Cashflow
- Flexibility – In An Uncertain Environment
- Ignore All The Above – Just Get On With It!
He went onto provide a light hearted overview on all ten points but the take away was really something that has never changed when you want to embark on a new business venture — have PASSION and WORK HARD.
John then introduced us to three Bedford Street businesses who are extremely passionate and have been working very hard on their own ten point plan for the last year — their first year in business.
First up,was Peter Walker, owner of The Curing House restaurant on Bedford Street.
Peter explained that he had gone through and indeed was continuing to go through a very steep learning curve and that he had had to become more ‘business like’ and think ‘more about the numbers’ throughout his first year. Peter is thrilled that he and his team have been able to bring a fine dining level experience to Middlesbrough that he feels hadn’t be available since the days of ‘The Purple Onion’ — for those of our readers who are old enough to remember?? He’s so chuffed that people come from far and wide to sample their charcuterie delights and their ‘everything made from scratch’ ethos. The Curing House has rapidly become one of our own family’s favourite eateries especially when we have visitors and want to show off the ‘boro!
Next up was Dave Beattie from Rountons Coffee.
When their coffee shop appeared in town, Declan was one of their first customers. I’ve tasted more varieties of coffee in the past year through his obsession than I ever thought I would! Rountons is such a great educator to have in our town for those of us who love to get to know the back story behind what we eat and drink — much as Peter described, too. I was seriously impressed to hear that they roast 2.5 tonnes of coffee a month. WOW!! What I didn’t know was that their main business was to help other start ups who are as passionate about coffee as them. Dave explained that one of the main reasons they decided to open their own coffee shop was so that they could experience the same highs and lows as the start ups they were educating. How’s that for dedication?
Finally, we met Nicky Peacock from Orange Pip Market.
Nicky, from Middlesbrough Council, is the creative mastermind behind the town’s new artisan market that has quickly become known as a local monthly ‘must do’. I’ve been to five of them since launch so I’ve personally seen it develop through its teething problems and watched it grow from strength to strength. My purse and waistline have been seriously challenged I can tell you! The array of street food and entertainment that Nicky continues to arrange each month have seen visitor numbers increase beyond measure and it has contributed to the town’s economy to the tune of over £1 million pounds. She explained how her vision for the market has had to adapt as the people coming to visit each month determined what they wanted from it. It wasn’t the organic, seasonal veggie stalls that Nicky first envisaged. People wanted to be treated to something they couldn’t normally get in the town — a monthly explosion of food, drink and musical entertainment or as Nicky described it ‘the treat culture’.
Who doesn’t love a treat?
Passion exuded from these three and it was clear that they weren’t afraid of hard work so John’s business tips were working! We truly hope these businesses continue to thrive and provide the town with the culinary delights and treats it deserves.
We’d like to give a shout out to Songbird Bakery who have also created a home for themselves on Middlesbrough’s Bedford Street. They provided everyone with a Sanlam inspired cupcake to take away with them.
If you’d like more information on how to join Tees Valley Business Club you can visit their website at: http://www.teesvalleybusinessclub.co.uk/
Below is a reading list of some of our favourite posts inspired by our own visits to Bedford Street and Orange Pip Market. If you haven’t visited yet ——- GO!!!!!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the businesses featured and if you have any recommendations or feedback for Orange Pip Market we could pass on to Nicky.