Training & Workshops

Branding - Workshop Facilitation


Lawson's Delicatessen in Aldeburgh, is a much-loved specialist food retailer on the Suffolk Coast. When the founders retired and sold the business in January 2017, the new owners asked me to facilitate an away-day workshop for them and the staff. The objective of the day was to give the staff the opportunity to share their thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of the business and explore ideas and new opportunities drawing on their years of experience in the shop.

The challenge was to create a welcoming and open environment for all the team to share their thoughts and listen to each other. It was important to make sure the team felt valued by Lawson's new owners and give them all a chance to get to know each other better.

I developed a number of exercises and games to make the day fun and engaging. We had cheese jokes, lots of post-it notes and quizzes.  I worked hard to make sure that everyone was involved and listened to and to make sure the discussion kept moving.

We wrapped up the day with a tutored cheese tasting and delicious lunch. It was an unusual opportunity for the whole team to get together away from the busy shop and have the chance to chat together.

As a result of the workshop, we developed a long list of actions for the team to put into place immediately as well as identifying some interesting ideas for development or improvements that will be implemented.

Brand development - New Bean to Bar Chocolate

Bean to bar chocolate

What I love most about my work is meeting people who are passionate about making food or drink, who have had a personal experience that has led them on a journey to explore and learn to do something new; and who plan to take the brave step of turning their hobby into a business.

So was excited to help someone who was so driven by the real benefits of bean-to-bar chocolate, beyond just the taste, that she embarked on a journey to learn how to make it, source sustainable and ethical cocoa beans and invest in quality equipment to roast, winnow and temper.

Tosier is a new chocolate maker needed support to develop her brand story and work out how to position her new business in the growing UK bean to bar chocolate market. Through an informal workshop with lots of chat in all directions, all fuelled by some delicious chocolate, I helped her to hone her story and USP (unique selling proposition).

We also discussed business fundamentals such as getting her Food Hygiene Rating certificate to packaging solutions that would be manageable and affordable - using stickers and stamps on generic packaging rather than investing in bespoke packaging at this early stage of the business. After the workshop I provided her with a practical marketing strategy and a detailed plan and list of requirements and considerations that she would need to put in place before launch.

Through research (including eating lots of chocolate) I recommended how she positions her product in the market, considering pack sizes, pricing and distribution channels. I refined the brand values and story and honed the key marketing messages to work across different channels from the packaging to website and social media. I created a simple web page ( to launch the business and I guided her through getting set up on Instagram and Twitter and how to build an audience through relevant content.

Tosier will launch at a series of food shows at the end of October. I hope that my advice and guidance has given her the additional support and confidence needed to get the business off the ground.