Paul Hargreaves talks about:
- Cotswold Fayre’s Young Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year award, and its mission to bring more young talent into the industry
- The challenges and rewards of working with small suppliers and customers, and how Cotswold Fayre acts as a central hub for high-quality food products
- His ongoing involvement with a charity in Kenya, and how Cotswold Fayre’s support goes to creating capital projects with the eventual goal of self-sufficiency
- How mass production hurts local business, and why Paul brings ‘community’ into everything that he does
- Why the right work-life balance is not a balance at all, but an integrated whole; Paul’s thoughts on how jobs can and should be opportunities for creativity and enjoyment
Paul is the Founder and Chief Exec of Cotswold Fayre Ltd, a speciality & fine food wholesaler supplying nearly 2,000 retailers throughout the UK.
The business grew from the cellar of his house in London to become the leading wholesaler to farm shops and delicatessens in the UK.
The company’s ethos of working in partnership with its suppliers makes it the most sought after wholesaler for the many new brands launching in the sector at present.
Four years ago, realising that there weren’t enough young people coming into the food and drink world, Cotswold Fayre started an annual competition to find the “Young Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year” – the winning prize of which is a year’s mentoring by Paul.
Cotswold Fayre was, in 2015, certified as a B Corporation. B Corps are companies that meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, and will become the “listened to” voice of business in the future as many realise that capitalism as we knew it is dead and the best objective of a business is to help change the world for better.
“People want to go to a place where they trust what they’re buying. Obviously they don’t trust the supermarkets on the whole as much as they trust a local, independent retailer. “Paul Hargreaves