A Conversation with Heather Williams of Heather’s Harvest
In episode #002 of The Artisan Food & Drink Business Show I welcome Heather Williams, founder and owner of Heather’s Harvest, who tells her brand story and shares some of the secrets of her business success. Based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, Heather’s Harvest is an award-winning artisan food company that specialises in sweet and savoury preserves such as chutneys, pickles, jams, marmalades and mustards.
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How Heather’s Harvest went From a 1,000 Jars a Week to 1,000 Jars a Day
Heather set up her business in 2005, so she’s been operating for 9 years. In the show Heather describes how she started and how she’s grown her business. She talks about making her products at her kitchen table at home, producing up to a 1,000 jars of preserves each week. She explains how, at this point, sales had grown to the extent that she had reached a breaking point in terms of using a domestic kitchen for production. Rather than romanticising the compromises of home production, Heather describes the pressure it was placing on herself, her family and her loved ones. For several reasons, not least being able to meet customer demand, Heather needed to take a big step up, move out of her home and into a commercial food production unit.
This is exactly what she did, which means she is easily able to produce in a day what she produced in a week when she was cooking at home. Her company is now based in a gleaming renovated cow barn, repurposed for food production. In fact, Heather has just taken on the unit next door, which doubles her production space and provides more room for admin.
Heather’s Harvest makes approximately 30 different flavours of sweet and savoury preserves. The company has several sales streams including farmers’ markets and food shows (it attends 400-800 each year throughout the UK), catering company customers, pubs, restaurants and fine food shops like delis and farm shops, as well as web sales. The company has started to explore the possibility of selling to European countries. Another step closer, perhaps, for Heather achieving her goal of ‘being in everyone’s store cupboard’.
Key Points in This Episode
- A typical day in the life of an artisan preserve producer
- Production planning for ‘lean’ production
- ‘Just in time’ production procedure
- Contingency planning to deal with ingredient supply delays
- Critical control points and standard operating procedures for minimising hazards during production
- Catering for the taste spectrum: for people who like it hot and for people who don’t
- How it is possible to agree to individual customer requests for very small batch products
- How to optimise the sales stream ‘mix’
- Being able to ‘let go’ in order to grow the business
- The importance of cash flow
- Using word of mouth to increase sales
- New product development
Very Sound Bites from Heather Williams
Check out the infographic below for some direct quotes from Heather during the show.
Thanks to Heather for generously giving her time to come on the show and talk about her business success. To connect with Heather online and to order her products (I highly recommend her famous Spiced Carrot Chutney!) check out the Links and Resources section next.
Links and Resources from the Show
- Heather’s Harvest Website
- Heather’s Harvest on Twitter
- Heather’s Harvest on Facebook
- Three Pigeons Restaurant
- Raspberry Jam from Heather’s Harvest (“like eating fresh raspberries off a bush”)
- Blackcurrant Jam from Heather’s Harvest
- Apple and Ginger Jam from Heather’s Harvest
- Orange and Whisky Marmalade
- Three Fruit Marmalade
- Orange and Ginger Marmalade
- Beetroot and Ginger Chutney
- Spiced Carrot Chutney (4-time award winner and Heather’s Harvest’s biggest seller)
- Great Taste Awards
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Transcript of the Show
Catherine: Hello. Welcome everyone to episode two of The Artisan Food & Drink Business Show, the show where artisan producers tell their story and share the secrets of their success. I’m your host, Catherine Moran.
My guest on the show today is Heather Williams, founder and owner of Heather’s Harvest. Heather’s Harvest is an award-winning company that specialises in sweet and savory preserves. The company is based in Shrewsbury, which is in Shropshire, England. In this episode, Heather talks about how she started out as a food producer and how she’s scaled up and grown her business. Heather has to be one of the most determined and focused artisan producers I know. Let’s now listen to my conversation with her.
Catherine: Welcome to The Artisan Food & Drink Business Show, Heather.
Heather: Thanks Catherine.
Catherine: We’re actually in your kitchen, which is your commercial food-grade kitchen. We’re surrounded by pots and pans and cookers and it’s an amazing sight.
Heather: A beautiful kitchen. It goes from a cowshed to pristine, glorious white wash-down kitchen. Yes, it’s lovely. We like it here.
Catherine: Yeah, you have lots of space here.
Heather: We have a lot of space here now. We did work from home for seven years and my home became just work. We needed to move, which we’ve done. We’ve taken on a second unit next door, which has made it even better. No one falls over themselves while we’re trying to cook and wrap the jars up. It’s nice. As you can tell today, it’s a bit chilly in here because we haven’t got the cookers on. It is a lovely place to work, very easy to work in now.
Catherine: Yes, and literally in the countryside on the edge of Shropshire… of Shrewsbury.
Heather: Yes, the chickens out in the back, the cows out in the front, yes.
Catherine: Very good. Before we talk about your range of preserves, would you just tell us what you did before setting up Heather’s Harvest?
Heather: I worked for various different companies myself, either in private schools or in hotels or restaurants. I worked for a very long time in the Three Pigeons restaurant in Nesscliffe, which is just outside Shrewsbury, which trained me to cook at very, very fast speeds, which I enjoy doing. It keeps your mind occupied. It makes you think of nice flavours and things to do naturally, as you’re cooking as you’re going. I do like to invent recipes here and there, and give the customer more than they actually ask for. Generally, you get good feedback, which is always nice to get good feedback.
Catherine: I understand you’ve got a formal qualification in catering?
Heather: I have, yes, my 761, 702,711.
Catherine: That has obviously stood you in good stead for what you’re doing now?
Heather: It has. Hats off to anybody; all go to college, all learn what you can learn, but it’s all about the hard work and putting in to be able to take out. If you don’t put it in, you’re not going to get it out. I’ve worked really hard. That’s why I’m getting something out of it now.
Catherine: What was the catalyst for setting up Heather’s Harvest?
Heather: Basically, I just wanted to achieve something that’s made other people happy, and like plants, grow from nothing into something, take your food from the garden, and make it into something for everyone’s kitchen store cupboard. That’s really what I want to do for everyone’s kitchen store cupboard, not just yours and mine but everybody’s.
Catherine: What about the thrill of being your own boss?
Heather: To start off with, it was very exciting. I’m not saying it’s not exciting now, but to start with, it was like yes, this is my company. I can do whatever I want. I can work the hours I want. I can work, and come and go as I please. What people don’t realise is that with it being my business, I actually have to work a lot harder than I ever have for anybody else. You want to achieve something, so you will work it. I’m not about to give up. I’m not going to give up. It’s hard work, but I do like hard work.
Catherine: It is a hard graft, isn’t it?
Heather: It is really a hard graft, yes.
Catherine: What is a typical day in the life of …
Heather: A typical day? Waking up un-refreshed from your head doing head-spins and recipes all through the evening, and then through the night. You always want to please the customers by coming up with something new. Waking up in the morning, having a shower, coming into work very early, and getting on as many pots, and as fast as possible. As you can see, we’ve got the four cookers here, 22 rings. We make everything in small batches, so we’ve got to get it on fast to get it off fast. Everything is delivered daily that we need fresh. We don’t have fridges here because we don’t make anything and store it. We cook everything on the day of arrival. We get it on, we get it off. We wrap it, we pack it. We have labeling in the corner over there. We’re washing jars, we’re sterilising jars. It’s fast and full all day long. Then we go home, and I just collapse.
Catherine: Fast and furious?
Heather: It is fast and furious, yes!
Catherine: Your planning must be amazing to achieve that sort of streamlined production?
Heather: Yeah, we do weekend markets. On a Sunday, while I’m at markets, I’m planning and writing down my shopping list that then goes into the orders in the veg area. We’ve always got plenty of jars and everything, because we know exactly how many we’re going to make each week so they’re always on permanent order. The veggies are ordered, and the recipes and things that we need to make on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday is all planned on the Sunday. It’s all arriving 6:00, 7:00 on the Monday mornings.
Heather: So that we can just crack on straight away, so there’s no one waiting for anything.
Catherine: Obviously, you’re very dependent on suppliers doing the right thing?
Heather: If they don’t it really messes things up. It has happened. It can happen. They’ll phone me, and say ‘oh, sorry I couldn’t actually get some of this last night’. I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ In which case, we’ll rapidly turn it around. We’ll make something that we have got in stock already, like dried goods, mustards or something like that. There’s no one ever wasting any time. I do work them rather well.
Catherine: You mentioned flopping into bed at night, feeling pretty exhausted from the day. What keeps you awake at night?
Heather: Possibly the making up the recipes, and hoping that we’re pleasing all the customers still. We do tend to always try and make something new. We’re always playing with recipe ideas. I like the idea of making something new. I don’t want to just be like the average… I don’t want to walk around another farmer’s market, and say ‘oh, I like that, I’ll make it’. I want to make something on my own. I know people do tend to copy, and it’s supposed to be a compliment. That’s fine, but I’d rather actually figure out my own skills and my own recipes. That way then, people can fall in love with my product.
Catherine: When I was in food production, I had a product that was in a glass ramekin.
Heather: I remember, beautiful.
Catherine: Even though, you have all the standard operating procedures in place, and the HACCP and the SALSA and everything, there’s still, for me, a residual anxiety about something like a piece of glass getting into a product. That definitely made me fret, although, it thankfully never happened. Do you have anything like that? I suppose most of your products are in glass
Heather: Yes, they are. Obviously, I do worry about things like that. A lot of companies have these glass detectors and things. We haven’t got anything like that. The way we cook our products is on the stove, we have a few tables around as you can see, where they go into one area of the jars, come out of the oven, onto the certain table that’s heated so they don’t crack. Then the jar lids are heated, and there’s one person in one particular area waiting to do that particular job only, so they have to watch specifically for any crackage or any breakages. If anything does get broken, then the whole tray of something generally has to go. We haven’t had that happen.
Occasionally, because we wash our jars as well straight after, you can have one that gets a little excited if it’s just come out of the oven, and it will crack in the actual sink. Then it’s a whole sterilise thing. We’ve got to take the whole sink apart, and get the glass out to make sure there’s absolutely nothing in there. We have different sinks for different things, so it’s not a problem. We have a food sink, and we have a glass sink and a washing-up sink.
Catherine: A whole range of procedures.
Heather: Oh yeah, we watch everything quite well.
Catherine: Yeah, you need to. In terms of your products then, I suppose broadly speaking, you’ve got sweets and savory products. Would you give us a brief overview of your product range?
Heather: We’ve got sweet jams, which are our marmalades. We’ve got the raspberry jam, which is to die for. It’s like eating fresh raspberry off of a bush. It’s just beautiful. I love it.
Catherine: Incredibly fragrant?
Heather: It is. It’s my personal favorite. We’ve got the blackcurrant, apple and ginger for those who like something slightly different. We’ve got the whiskey marmalades, three-fruit marmalades, the ginger marmalades for those who really do. There’s a lot of people, believe it or not, that really love ginger, and it’s so good for you.
Then we’ve got the chutneys, which are our best-sellers, the beetroot chutney, the spice carrot, which has won the four awards, sweet chili, which is just … Oh, it’s delicious! It’s good I like my own products. Where would I be without them? We’ve got a couple of hot ones for those who prefer the spicier side, and we’ve got a couple of milder ones for the grandmas who just like a little bit of sweet with a pork pie or cold meats. There is something there for everybody. We go from sweet, hot, medium, mild, and then just sticky and sweet.
Catherine: Yes, very nice. What determines the products and the flavours to make?
Heather: The customer probably. They’ll come along, they’ll say ‘Heather, would you mind, we love your product, would you make us this, would you make us that?’ We do an extra few flavours here and there for individual customers. We’ve got a guy that we call ‘Mr. Nobits’ because he doesn’t like marmalade bits in. We have to take the bits out. He’s well-known now as ‘Mr. Nobits’. He’ll not approve me of saying this, but there you go. There’s a few people, like tomato, like they don’t want the heat in it, so we’ll do pan without any heat in. Last year at Christmas, we had about eight or nine different customers, who don’t like either chili, or can’t eat chili, or ginger or something else. They really heard a lot about the carrot chutney, and they want me just to take out that bit they can’t eat, so that they can’t eat it when we’ve done that and they keep coming back for more.
It obviously works to look after your customers. You can’t do it for everybody. We’ve got to stick to a certain amount. We’ve got 30 flavours, we’ve got to stick at somewhere. We do try and help out to make the odd pan, especially for them if they want it.
Catherine: That’s the beauty of this smaller artisan producer, so you can generally turn on a sixpence?
Heather: You can, yeah.
Catherine: Unlike the big …
Heather: The bigger guys who have got a vault with 900 jars sitting there waiting to be potted. You can’t really make 900 jars of one flavour for somebody who is not actually going to eat it. Our pots generally have between 10 or 15 jars in each pot, whereas, those 10 or 15 pots will be eaten by that one customer throughout the year. It’s not a big deal.
Catherine: What is your average batch size?
Heather: The pot size. We’ll do a batch of carrot on a Monday. We’ll do 800 to 900 jars in one day.
Heather: That’s depending on whether the catering companies … Because we do a few catering companies. I have them in the 15-kilo tubs. Sometimes, we’ll have to do most of them into the 15 kilos because they have about 120 kilos a week, just of the carrot chutney.
Catherine: That’s your huge award-winner, isn’t it?
Heather: It is the huge award-winner.
Catherine: That’s the shredded carrot?
Heather: It is. It’s beautiful. It goes with everything. We stuff it into chicken, and do a Stilton wrap with it and bake it in the oven. That’s just lovely. We’ve served new potatoes and broccoli for dinner parties. It’s our huge best-seller, so it belongs to a Monday on its own. We only make carrot on a Monday.
Catherine: In a way, it’s hard to believe how something so banal as a carrot could taste so delicious, but it is absolutely phenomenal in terms of its taste.
Heather: Thank you.
Catherine: Did you come up with the recipe?
Heather: I got asked by quite a few customers, but one lady especially, who was absolutely mortified by the fact that every chutney seems to have an onion in it. I said I’ll give it a go, and I’ll see what I can do. I tried the beetroot with no onion in it, but it was a bit wet. I tried a various few other things. Although, some of them did still work, it didn’t change what they were. I wanted something that was different to all the other chutneys. I didn’t just want the chutney with fruit in it that had no onion. I thought I’ll try the carrot one, because my grandmother used to make a carrot chutney. It was nothing like this, but it was just the plain carrot chutney. I thought I’ll give it a go, and I’ll spice it up because I do like spicy. That’s what we did, and that’s where it came from. She loved it, and it just took off from there, and every single customer after that said, ‘Oh my God, I love it’. Hence, that’s where the labeling came from with the ‘I love it’ on the jar.
Catherine: Funnily enough, we happen to have a jar here. Do you mind if I tuck in and have a taste of it?
Heather: No, please try. Have a go.
Catherine: Wow, the smell is wonderful.
Heather: Lovely. It’s like a sweet and sour with a coriander of bite and a little crunchy kick there. You can see how it goes with many things. It is a sweet one, but the kick at the end brings it back out again.
Catherine: There is quite a kick, isn’t there? It’s something that you could spoon out of the jar. It’s called Heather’s Harvest Spice Carrot Chutney … I love it … on the side. It’s absolutely sensational.
Heather: Thank you.
Catherine: Thank you very much for the taste. What do you think is the secret to, if you don’t mind divulging any secrets of success, producing a product like that? Of course, it’s not the only award-winning product you’ve got. Why is this so good?
Heather: Because we didn’t bring it out to the customer until we made it perfect. We try a lot of things in this kitchen, and if they don’t taste right they don’t go out. We work on what we think is a personal favorite. When you go out for a restaurant meal, you either go for a Chinese, and Indian, Japanese, fish and chips, various different meals. We are English, and we are very British, and we do tend to like our favorites. If you can make a chutney or a flavour that we know everyone’s going to relate to, then you’re halfway there. Like ketchup, everyone relates to ketchup. If you can make something that people understand, that would want in their cupboard, then you’re probably off to a winner already. We tend not to thicken anything, so that’s why it takes us so long. We do waste a bit while we’re trying to make things. In the long run, the harder you work at it the better it comes out
Catherine: Again, striving for perfection really?
Heather: Yeah, basically. We don’t want to half-standard anything out there.
Catherine: I guess that’s possibly one of the differences between an artisan producer like yourself, and the high-volume manufacturers?
Heather: Yes, definitely. We’re looking for quality, and we don’t thicken anything or add anything. I’m not saying the bigger shops don’t look for quality, but they are looking for a bigger buck, because they sell for cheaper because they’re looking at supermarket price. They have to allow for thickening and things like that. We don’t have to allow for thickening. We’ve got a great product, as well as all of the artisan people that we know. They’re happy to protect the quality rather than their price.
Catherine: Absolutely, yes. Let’s shift gears and talk about your sales, in particular your various sale streams. For example, I know you do farmers’ markets. We’ve done quite a few together …
Heather: Yes, quite a few.
Catherine: … in the past, and had a little bit of a laugh.
Heather: When you let me taste your chocolate puddings? That was wonderful. I enjoyed those moments.
Catherine: Farmers’ markets, and then trade sales too, delis, farm shops, pubs, hotels, restaurants, and you’ve got a website as well. What streams do you have, and which is the most important to your business?
Heather: I think personally, they’re all equally needed, due to the fact you get your cash flow from your markets. You get your sales from your shops, which advertise and get you out there. We’ve got the internet sales for those who we go to do all these batch shows all over the country, so they can still get hold of them once we’ve made them addicted to it.
Catherine: I like your style.
Heather: Basically, I think they all carry each other. The web sales carry the markets, the markets carry the shops. It all works really well together. Without the markets, they wouldn’t try it, and then go to shop and buy it. Then if they’re further away, they wouldn’t buy it online because they wouldn’t have known about it. They’re all very much the same thing to us really. They’re all needed.
Catherine: With your website, are you able to distribute throughout the UK?
Heather: Yes, everywhere. We can go anywhere with it.
Catherine: Which is an amazing thing really, with the way the web it has opened it up…
Heather: It is. Bubble-wrap is amazing, especially for our jars. We’ve learned a few hard tricks from postal companies out there; if they don’t know what’s in the box it doesn’t matter how hard it gets thrown. We’ve learned that bubble-wrap is amazing. The more you use, the better the chance it has of arriving somewhere safely.
Catherine: Not putting ‘fragile’ on the outside of the box?
Heather: Yeah, it wouldn’t make a difference.
Catherine: No, but it might even be a red rag to a bull?
Heather: Yes, it would be. Well, let’s see if we can break it?
Catherine: Yeah, absolutely. All of your different sales streams work really well together. How are you building your business?
Heather: We’ve got a new management now, a team. Karen, my lovely lady over there, she’s basically come in to take over the office because the business is growing so fast now that we need to have a handle on both areas. I prefer the cooking and the sales side, this side. Karen is fantastic the way she does her stuff in the office, and she’s going to basically grow us into more shops, and take us further afield, and get us more outside areas. Also, she keeps finding me shows to go to, bless her. It’s a path that now, the business is growing, we both need our own parts, whereas before, I was doing everything, and it was getting harder and harder, which I’m really glad that that side of the thing is over, and we can move forward, and hopefully grow into all sorts of the country, and help everybody out with the great flavours.
Catherine: You’re not doing just local markets then?
Heather: We go to Cheltenham, London, Eastbourne, Brighton.
Catherine: Wow, the south coast?
Heather: My family live there, and I went to college there, so it makes sense to go up there and to all the markets. We go to Cardiff. There’s a lot of places we go to now.
Catherine: It sounds like a lot of potential out there for you still?
Heather: There is a lot of potential out there still. We want to go abroad at some point, so we’ve been looking at Paris, so we can watch this space there as well.
Catherine: Yeah, I was going to ask about exporting.
Heather: Yes, we’d like to do that. We’re certainly looking into it. We’ve had a German company last week phone us up and asking about exporting. It’s something to look at. It’s not something we’re ready to do straight away. They seem to want the product for nothing, which we can’t make it for nothing. We’re not a shop-price product. We’re, as you know artisans, so you’ve got to pay for what you’re getting in a jar, whereas, these big companies, they’ve seen our website, and they think it looks fantastic, but they don’t actually know what we’re doing flavour-wise unless we send them some, which we have done, they won’t know exactly what they’re paying for, so hence sell they’ll offer a lower price. Once we’ve figured it out, they’ll be having our stuff hopefully.
Catherine: Yes, that would be wonderful. You’ll be throughout Europe before you know it potentially. In terms of marketing, what is your approach to marketing your products?
Heather: Well, it’s really quite basic. It’s markets. We do roughly 400 to 800 markets a year, depending on how many staff we can get to help us cover them. A lot of them double up at weekends.
Catherine: Did you say 400 to 800?
Heather: Depending on where they go. Some of them are four-day shows. Some of them are week shows. Some of them are day shows. Christmas, we’re overloaded with shows. All of those generally take on a shop or somewhere in the town. They’ve spotted our stuff. They love it. They come back, and said, ‘Oh my goodness, we had it last year. We need it again. Could we stock it in our nearest shop?’ That’s pretty much where we get all our sales from, word of mouth, and the taste of the product, at all of the markets.
Catherine: What about social media, things like Twitter or Facebook?
Heather: We do Twitter. I’m not the greatest on the computers. I do a lot of talking as you can well imagine. I could stand all day at markets, just talking about the product and selling it. It’s the idea of standing on a phone tweeting about it, it’s not the best thing I’ve ever done. I will do a tweet here and there, and I do pass on tweets that mention my product and things like that. It’s somebody else’s job, that one I’m afraid. Computers, in general is just somebody else’s job.
Catherine: You’re obviously more of a one-to-one, face-to-face sort of person?
Heather: Yeah. I love to talk. I love to feed people. I love to make people laugh and smile.
Catherine: There’s nothing like really talking to the producer I think.
Heather: Yeah, I think so too, definitely.
Catherine: You’ve been in business now for about 9 years.
Heather: Yeah, 9 years this December the 6th.
Catherine: When you were starting out, if you knew then what you know now about being an artisan food producer, what, if anything would you do differently?
Heather: I would more than likely say don’t work from home!
Catherine: Don’t start out from home?
Heather: Don’t start out from home. It’s okay if you’re not making or cooking. If you’re doing material, fabrics and stuff like that — sure. I’ve pretty much wrecked my house. I was making 1,000 jars a week in my own kitchen, and it got out of hand. My plaster as falling off the wall. My clothes, my curtains, my furniture. My poor little girl was smelling of chutney. It’s not fair on the family. It’s not fair on me. It’s not fair on anybody really, the neighbours included. I think the best thing was to move into the unit, which we’ve done. My house now is gorgeous. I had it all redone. I think that’s probably the only thing I would change, try to have some money behind you before you start, and open up some kind of a small unit. It doesn’t have to be expensive. This wasn’t expensive when we first started. It’s just a case of getting it clean, and tidy and everything for its own purpose in the same place.
Catherine: That’s a big step, apart from say actually hiring staff, which is another step up. Taking on a commercial unit is a commitment, isn’t it?
Heather: It really is, yeah.
Catherine: You have to know that ‘look, I am in this for the long-term, that’s my plan anyway’.
Heather: You’ve got to know it’s going to work, exactly.
Catherine: That takes a while, doesn’t it?
Heather: It does take a while. For example, when I was at home making the odd pot of chutney for Christmas, and this, that and the other, you think this stinks and I won’t do it for a while. Because I got so good at it, and I really wanted to do it, I had to just get on with it. I was a single parent. I just had to get on with it. Yes, friends and families, and my boyfriend used to come out, and think I’d rather not be here because the smell was so bad. It’s an end to a goal. You start somewhere to get somewhere, and that’s how I started. I don’t knock it. It’s not something I’d go back to do again, but you do have to start somewhere and that’s where it was.
Catherine: You have to start somewhere, absolutely. Where do you think you’ll be in five years’ time?
Heather: With any luck, retired, millionaire. In a lot of the shops, and in other countries, hopefully, taking more of a back seat and letting somebody else do most of the cooking, although I do enjoy cooking. Considerably bigger than we are now. I just want to be in everyone’s store cupboard really.
Catherine: You would like to continue growing?
Heather: Oh, yes absolutely. I don’t want to stop. I’ll never stop, I don’t think, although the retirement thing in five years would be nice.
Catherine: That’s quite ambitious. You never know, it might be achievable. What advice would you have for people considering taking the plunge and setting up as an artisan food producer?
Heather: Do it. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s nerve-racking. It’s challenging. It’s worth it. It is hard work. Anybody who thinks that standing there and making a pot of jam isn’t hard work, well, they want to make 66 pots a day. It really is very hard work, and you do tend sometimes to think ‘oh my God, why am I doing this?’. At the end of the day, you can see my products, you can see my customers’ feedback, that’s why you do it. The bank balance, at some point pays off. That’s a real good incentive. I worked in private schools cooking. I’ve won bottles of wine for making the best soups, the best dishes for kids at school. That’s a real incentive. When people enjoy it, that’s the best reason I can think of doing something for somebody.
Catherine: Of continuing, yeah.
Heather: Yeah, definitely. I just hope that people will continue to support us. We always strive to help the customer, and our friends and family to get a better product out there for you. We’re never going to jeopardise putting out any rubbish. If there’s anybody out there that wants to start a business, I’m more than happy to give them ideas or help them understand how hard it is so they don’t fall down before they’ve started. It’s a challenge, and great, fantastic job I’ve got here. I’m glad it’s mine. I wouldn’t give it up for the world. That’s really pretty much it.
Catherine: It’s something wonderful because it’s something you have created. This has literally come out of your own head. You have created the whole thing.
Heather: I have.
Catherine: I think that’s a hell of an achievement really, isn’t it?
Heather: I am very proud of myself. I’m not going to knock that. I have achieve this on my own. I’ve worked. I’ve lost quite a lot. I went through a divorce and everything because of it, and various different things. I’ve become a single parent. I’m actually really grateful for where I am now. I love my life. I love the fact that I’ve got this great business, a beautiful daughter and a really great life. It’s everything I’ve always wanted.
Catherine: That’s pretty much it Heather. I’ve asked you everything I wanted to ask you.
Heather: Thanks Catherine.
Catherine: I appreciate your time so much. Thank you very much indeed.
Heather: No problem. I hope to see you soon.
Catherine: Absolutely. Thank you so much Heather. It was great to have you on the show. To find out how to connect with Heather online, and to check out the resources she mentioned, just go to the show notes for this episode. They’re available at www.myartisanbusiness.com. You can also connect with me online. I’m on Twitter as @fooddrinkshow, so why not give me a follow? That’s it for this episode folks. I’m Catherine Moran from the Artisan Food and Drink Business Show. Until next time, happy cooking, happy fermenting, happy brewing, and thank you for listening.