Time to launch and put OUR money where OUR mouth is…

We have always worked with family food businesses, but then most of the country can claim some connection with family food business from being part of its supply chain to being a consumer of their great products.

Our journey starts some time ago when we joined Jacqui’s family business (4th generation), there for twenty years we saw exponential growth in sales, profits and people – we were most proud of the fact that we were acknowledged as one of the best retail outlets in the country…it was recognition not profit that drove us.

We sold the business (a family decision rather than a business one) and have spent ten years honing our skills in supporting family business – everything from Retail Vice Chair of the £3.2bn National Guild of SPAR, Head of Family Business Engagement at Lancaster Uni, Vice Chair of Carlisle Food City, Advisory Board Member for Revive and Thrive, Chair of the Industry Advisory board for the FSA, Judge for the Guild of Fine Food Awards and experts in Family Business and Food Supply Chain.

Then a few years ago our son started his business journey as a coffee shop owner and coffee roaster. Supporting him on his journey we realised there was no “go to” group that could support the unique situation that is created when family and food business is combined. We aim to change this. In 2016, working with Carlisle Food City we created a food map based on Google Maps…basic but it got the message out that there were many food business in the area. This interest gained support from the University of Cumbria and working with Ivention and Carlisle City Council we launched the Local Food Show in 2017.

We have now, with a great deal of help from Sparrow Digital, upgraded our map and are launching a website that we hope will act as a catalyst to focus support for Family food business. We are working on literally ‘putting OUR money where OUR mouth is’ and are acquiring a BUILDING to house a Local Food Producer, those wonderful desk based businesses who can add so much value to the food sector,  as well as a Centre for Family Food Business – a HUB in the making!  As Thomas Jardine & Co we will offer practical support to Family food businesses from Mentoring to Peer Groups to 360 degree views of their business and bespoke consultancy.

Family food businesses have a significant impact on the place in which they are based, from pure economic impact to creating a unique taste of that place. Family businesses account for a quarter of UK GDP and 20% of UK Government Revenue.  We reckon on the latest figures there were 3,975 [1] people employed in Cumbria’s small and medium family food and drink manufacturing businesses, or 2.3% of the total work force and this doesn’t include those employed in larger food businesses (640 [2] employees at United Biscuits in Carlisle which is of course a family owned business).

We don’t really want to bore you with too many facts and stats, but suffice to say YOU (Family food businesses) are BIG and CLEVER.  If you want to join us on our journey contact us at hello@thomasjardineandco.co.uk and checkout our new website, let us know what you think.  Let’s start some noise @thomasjardineco #familyfoodbiz. 



[1] 72% of all SME are family owned (BEIS, 2016 Longitudinal Business Survey year 2) 97.5% off all employment in Cumbria was in SMEs (UK Business counts) 5,500 people employed in manufacturing of food and drink in Cumbria (Business Register & Employment Survey) so 72% * 97.5%* 5,500 = 3,975.

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-35696027

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