For the latest of our lockdown-reflections mini-series, we’ve been in conversation with Nathan Doe, of the popular homewares business, John Doe of Diss. This family firm first began selling carpets in the East Anglian region in 1983, and now has a workforce of some 50 employees.
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There’s no denying that the hospitality industry was devastatingly hard hit by the pandemic. But what happens when you’re a key supplier to that sector? How does a business weather the storm and exist ‘in limbo’?
Based in West Suffolk, the umbrella brand has four core areas of trade – a restaurant, cook school, an eCommerce business selling ingredients and equipment to chefs worldwide, and a dry stores business supplying restaurants and hotels in East Anglia.
Given the beauty industry has been closed for so much of the last 12 months, it’s been a challenging time for this ambitious businesswoman – but something she’s faced head on, with a determination to come out fighting.
The pandemic has forced the company to think on its toes and for certain working practices to be rightfully challenged. Working from home has not been previously considered at Best of Suffolk, but the advantages have been clearly seen.
Despite its impressive record, and with a new generation of the family now involved, it became more evident that a more established and ‘expert’ level of resource might required to support HR issues or dilemmas. The directors met MAD-HR at a networking event, and were immediately keen on the idea of the Toolkit.
John Jackaman, Founder & Managing Director, The Infusions Group
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Based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Infusions Group are food specialists with several arms of the business: premier distribution for professional and hobby chefs worldwide; an online shop proffering ingredients, equipment and more; a cookery school and development kitchen; and a café serving up delicious sourdough pizzas, burgers and the like.
Ipswich Building Society has achieved successful growth during the tenure of Chief Executive Paul Winter. Their heritage as a mutual business naturally drove a family style culture with high employee and member satisfaction rates. However, in 2015 Paul could see that the market was becoming increasingly more competitive and that the Society would need to implement strategic change to ensure future success and counteract the effects of new competition.