Last night we held one of our regular BID Business Meetings (16th October 2019), which was kindly hosted by Stevie, Lotfi and the team at the newly renovated and opened Grove Kitchen in Regent Grove who also supplied some delicious nibbles and drinks!
We are not always sure how many can attend or what cross-section of business owners will be there but regardless of if there are 20 or 50, the conversation is always interesting and inspiring. When our meetings are a little smaller as was the case last night (22 people from 17 different businesses) it offers an opportunity for everyone to introduce their business, share their ideas, successes and challenges and collectively solve problems. It is also very helpful to myself, Alison and Gary (the BID team) as we can get under the skin of the critical issues concerning our members.
Last night was brilliant, so firstly our sincere thanks to everyone who joined us and contributed. I left feeling very warmed and inspired. The topics we discussed were diverse: I introduced recent BID insights and activities (the trading environment including new business openings, Brexit, our Annual Report, the launch of Meaningful Change, upcoming Christmas promotions and our future agenda including the High St Fund (recently awarded to Leamington) and ‘Green Leamington’.
Following this, business owners and managers spent some time introducing themselves and highlighting opportunities to help each other:
- Belvoir (pictured) kicked things off with an overview of the property sector and reminded us of their kind offer to put businesses information in the goodie bags given out to new homeowners and tenants. Just drop it into Sue and John at their office on Regent Grove.
- Neals Yard has been carbon neutral for 11 years and Matt highlighted how much they have learnt on the journey. He has offered to help us collate this learning so it can be shared more widely.
- Our lips were watering as Rosemary introduced us to her amazing handmade chocolate business located at Lantern Corner (Cenu Cacao). We were left wishing for winter to arrive so we can try her hot chocolate!
- Health and wellbeing is part of the town’s DNA and is the focus of Beauty on Demand, now in Oxford Street. It was lovely to hear from Julie and learn about the wide range of services on offer from nails to massage, it is all about being pampered.
- The Party Shop on Regent Street are here to help us shine! Rob and Mike’s business is green accredited and if you pay them a visit they are sure to make you laugh!
- The Art’s Trail has recently moved into the Royal Priors, so it was nice to hear from Gerry who has a wide range of print and copy services on offer. You can find them on the Upper Mall.
- Emma from Monsoon / Accessorise made us smile when she offered everyone a piercing to celebrate this is now on offer there!
- Finally, Sarah Horne is constantly innovating and her Botanical range features her own drawings while her Flower Schools form a part of her experiential offer. She invited businesses to an exhibition this Friday October 18, which she has curated in partnership with Gerry (Arts Trail).
As always, I was struck by the passion and multi-talented nature of these business owners. They are incredible and doing it all: buying, negotiating, making and designing products, displays and windows, marketing, on social media, serving customers, doing accounts, HR and more. It is incredible to see such cross-section of talent in one person … yet we interact with it daily. This calls for huge respect.
Our thanks to the businesses who joined us:
- Arts Trail
- Beauty on Demand
- Cenu Cacao
- CoOp Travel
- Monsoon / Accessorise
- Neals Yard Remedies
- One Stop Party Shop
- Peter Stephan Jewellers
- Royal Priors
- Sarah Horne Flowers
- The Grove Kitchen
- Tom Howley Kitchens