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ONE THIRD THROUGH THE YEAR!!😅

Hey! Time for a quick recap as we transition from April into May. Can you believe we've already zoomed through one-third of the year? In another 4 months, I will...

Hey! Time for a quick recap as we transition from April into May. Can you believe we've already zoomed through one-third of the year? In another 4 months, I will start talking about the Christmas build-up! What! I can’t decide if each week's been a drag or a blur, it’s gone so quickly – that's the curious dance of running a business, and the unknown times I suppose. Although the end of the week usually ends with me saying “we need another 10 working hours”

 

Last week a friend asked, “What do you actually do all day?”. Well, let me tell you, I don’t actually know, because I can’t pinpoint two days that are ever the same.

From brainstorming new products while whipping up dinner with Jamie, to seeking sales advice from my Dad during a morning jog, or diving into the daily grind at the choco cabin, no two days are alike. My hours blend into one big sticky puddle of caramel, and by Friday, I'm often scratching my head wondering, "What did I even accomplish this week?" Despite it being a lot. 

My friend then said, “It’s pretty cool, you’re like an entrepreneur.” Now, let’s talk about the word "Entrepreneur." It's a funny one. One I don’t actually like. I never really saw myself as an entrepreneur, preferring to simply say, "I work at a chocolate factory" when someone asks what I do. But hey, life has its surprises, and despite me not liking the words that are seriously overused in podcasts and on inspirational trends on Instagram, here I am, knee-deep in the entrepreneurial game.

 

I've always placed incredibly high pressure and expectations on myself. Perhaps it stems from growing up in a household with two competitive brothers and parents (although my mum would like to say otherwise). However, the reality is that competition runs deep within me.

Competitiveness for me can be both negative and positive. For anyone teetering on the edge of diving headfirst into their entrepreneurial dreams, I have a piece of advice: go for it. I firmly believe in the mantra of "if you don't try, you'll never know," but you’re going to have to truly fight for it.

In my opinion, one needs that competitive edge. Call it fire, call it passion, call it whatever you like, but it's an essential trait for any entrepreneur, especially in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.

 

Imagine Thorpe Park on a scorching summer day or your local pub on a bustling bank holiday weekend. Now, multiply that chaos by a million, and you'll get a glimpse of what it's like to start a food business in today's market. Everywhere you turn, a new entrepreneur is vying for shelf space, each offering the "next big thing" in innovation.

 

But here's the reality check: the shelves at the shops are finite. There's only so much physical space available, and it's already dominated by iconic British brands that have stood the test of time. These brands aren't just tenants on the shelf; they're property owners, cash buyers securing their spot for generations to come.

 So, in the world of business, competitiveness isn't just a desirable trait—it's a necessity. Yet, for someone like me, it also brings forth its own set of challenges, because of the pressure alongside it. Managing that personal pressure is not yet something I have figured out.

April had its share of ups and downs. I had a panic. It was probably the second biggest panic I have had throughout the whole of the 3 years running the show. Sales were not where I wanted them, I felt I was being ignored on email threads and feeling emotionally exhausted from home life, for two weeks my "oomph" had gone. There were moments when I felt like I was drowning in Jamie’s spreadsheets, but then there were triumphs like launching a new drool-worthy product – our Wonky Buttons, which now looking back has been a huge success. Why Cadbury’s haven’t made something of the sort baffles me, when watching them fly off our shelves in record time. Our Instagram community grew considerably (by 9.4% in just one month!). We got some love from across the pond, as we are now shipping internationally and did I mention our shiny new coffee machine? Big up to Facebook Marketplace and Edge Coffee for hooking us up with those unreal beans! These are the things I find really hard to recognise on the day-to-day.

 

Jamie, Will, Scott, Joe, Joe, and Frankie –held down the fort while I battled the April blues. Oh, and a massive shoutout to our superhero landlord who swooped in with a forklift to save the day when thousands of cardboard chocolate boxes needed unloading from a lorry, as we had no means of doing this. Talk about a lifesaver!

 

As we march into May, I'm feeling pumped. Wonky Buttons are now a year-round staple, my mindset's back on track, and working with the crew is an absolute blast. Oh, and we're still on the lookout for a social media whiz to join our team, so if you know someone, send 'em our way!

Thanks a million for all the love and support. Here's to another month of chasing dreams and spreading vegan chocolatey joy! Catch you on the flip side,

Catherine🍫✨

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