Andrew Holmes's dreams of going it alone as a village butcher have come true - only months after he sought free start-up business advice.
Having learned his trade for 15 years working for a bespoke butchery in Ashbourne, Andrew decided 2018 was the year he would branch out and open a shop of his own.
Not wanting to rival his old boss in Ashbourne, he started looking for suitable premises across the Derbyshire Dales and found an existing shop in the beautiful village of Tissington.
And months after transforming what was a part-time business into a six-days-a week operation, A J Holmes is flourishing, specialising in quality locally-sourced meat, homemade sausage rolls, quiche and pork pies all cooked fresh in house.
Andrew has been helped on his journey by Growing Rural Enterprise Ltd (GRE), part of the Sheffield City Region Launchpad Project part funded by Derbyshire Dales District Council.
After attending workshops on marketing, promotion and cash flow forecasting, Andrew was confident enough to open his new business in Tissington just three months after lease negotiations began.
"The support I received from GRE has been fantastic. They have always been available, either at the end of the phone for any questions or on email. Their support and mentorship is great and they always give constructive, supportive answers. It has been brilliant to have their experience to lean on."
"To run your own business successfully you have to work hard behind the scenes, and that can be tough, but if I could turn the clock back six months I would still tell myself to go for it.
"It’s a big step but I’m glad I took the plunge, even with the madness of Christmas six weeks into trading! Thankfully I was able to take it all in my stride thanks to the right advice and support."
GRE's Julie White said:
"Andrew is building sustainable, local supplier relationships so that he can offer his customers Derbyshire produce of the highest standards. His short term goal is to be profitable enough to employ staff as he would love to create extra employment in the area.
"The great thing is he wants to understand and get to know his customers as this means that he is getting repeat business and he can then target his produce towards their requests."
A J Holmes is open 10am-4pm Tuesday to Saturday and 10am-2pm every Sunday at The Old Slaughter House, Chapel Lane, Tissington.
- To find out more about the free Launchpad service contact Julie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07971 666474.
- For more information about the SCR Launchpad service in the Derbyshire Dales email email@example.com or visit: www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk
- The SCR Launchpad is being delivered through a collaboration of the City Region’s local authorities and business support organisations, led by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s business support arm, Enterprising Barnsley
European Structural and Investment Funds
The project is receiving up to £26,700 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund, part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for ERDF funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding