Episode Thirty Four: Perky Blenders

Episode Thirty Four: Perky Blenders

Peaky Blinders may have wrapped up, but the marvellous marital team behind Perky Blenders is showing no signs of slowing.

Adam and Victoria Cozens are the Co-Founding team behind the growing roasters, doing so with an admirable degree of collaboration and care for the community. 

The couple join us in this week’s It Runs In The Family to discuss how they attracted Levi’s & Google, the future of the coffee movement, and the family business story that’ll help them stay on the forefront of it.

This episode covers:

  • The invaluable sense of community that brings Perky Blenders’ true value
  • How a husband and wife team balances business and bringing up their children
  • Pride in each other’s developing skills and roles in the business
  • Advancing their brand-building through collaboration and celebrating local businesses

Episode Highlights

“Within the London area, we could feel there was a movement of speciality coffee becoming much more popular and much more noticed. There were other roasteries starting to make momentum. We realised that there was still room to do that, so it was a good solid route to go down.” – 6:20 – Victoria Cozens

“Some of it I can’t even really clearly remember, but the more you speak to other parents, you realise that so many people do go through the same experience.” – 13:30 – Victoria Cozens

“We took the route of family and community where we work because we enjoy it. The more enjoyment, the more story that’s created naturally from a product, not trying to cultivate something.” – 22:25 – Adam Cozens

“It certainly is true to say it is challenging, and it constricts your emotions, and takes you to places you’ve never been before. But it’s also really wonderful, because you’re sharing it together, and you’re there for each other when it is tough. But when you’ve got things to celebrate, it’s a great feeling to be able to share that with the person that you’re closest to.” – 27:25 – Victoria Cozens

“Bigger companies that everybody’s known and heard of – Levi’s, Google UNIQLO – they approached us to work with them. I’m just thinking, ‘How has that come about?’, and realise it’s probably the huge amount of work we’ve put in.” – 41:00 – Victoria Cozens

“I tend to refer people to Victoria to connect them now, which is something that would have been the other way around to start with. It definitely works that way now, so I’m very proud of her for that.” – 48:45 – Adam Cozens

“I wish I had more time to tap into all the great things that there are in the coffee community. Maybe one day, I will expand that a bit more, but there’s so much available to be part of a great community. I felt really lucky to be part of that.” – 1:02:00 – Victoria Cozens

“I think the key piece of advice to anyone is make sure you have a vision. But don’t be worried that that vision is going to sway and curve. You move a couple of degrees in one direction, you go to a very different destination, but you’re going in the right direction.” – 1:07:00 – Adam Cozens

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Episode Thirty Three: Arighi Bianchi

Episode Thirty Three: Arighi Bianchi

Harking from Lake Como, the Bianchi family behind Arighi Bianchi began their journey way back in 1854. Carrying that heritage forward, this 5th generation business is headed up by a thriving family with strong bonds all round.

Managing Director Sarah, Director Nick and Head of Comms Lucy, all share tales of a business proud of their legacy. The luxury home furniture & decor brand continues to excel on firm foundations, and we hear how those foundations of trust with customers, togetherness in tough times & encouragement without pressure were built.

This episode covers:

  • The extraordinary story behind Arighi Bianchi’s 168 year legacy
  • Sarah taking the reins as Managing Director during the pandemic
  • The pride in their legacy and inherent trust between them and customers
  • How each family member found their own natural route into the business

Episode Highlights

“Family history is so important to what we stand for as a business. It’s a pillar, and we celebrate the history, the heritage.” – 4:00 – Nick Bianchi 

“We all live very close to each other and socialise. So we do try now, if we are out, to leave work behind as much as we can. But then you might bump into a friend or somebody who says, ‘Oh, I’ve got my sofa on order. When’s it arriving? Can you give me a call tomorrow?’ Or ‘My sofa is late? Why is it late?’. I suppose because we’re also local to the business, it’s sort of part and parcel of life.” – 8:00 – Sarah Bianchi

“At the time it was just a bit of a temporary measure through furlough and whatnot. I’m still here two years later! My job has evolved from just helping out to now being head of comms really.” – 22:05 – Lucy Mather

“When I took over, it was literally as the shop reopened, and the world was just mad. Nobody could understand how busy the shop would be. In a way, my first 6-9 months was literally taken up with trying to source products” – 27:35 – Sarah Bianchi

“We’ve got colleagues who’ve got relatives who worked during COVID in the NHS, and there’s three big hospitals near us. They were desperate to create these sanctuary rooms for nurses and key staff. We created sanctuary rooms for them, and that was about giving back and that’s something we’re really proud of, because they were the heroes during the lockdown.” – 42:45 – Nick Bianchi

“Sarah and I see ourselves – and John & Rick, our cousins I’m sure – see ourselves as the custodians to the next generation as well. So hopefully, you know, it will be a sixth, seventh, maybe even the rarefied air of 26 generations.” – 56:55 – Nick Bianchi 

“Just because we’ve done things a certain way, doesn’t mean you’ve always got to keep on doing it a certain way. Keep challenging the reasons why you’re doing things.” – 1:05:20 – Sarah Bianchi 

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Episode Thirty Two: The Turmeric Co

Episode Thirty Two: The Turmeric Co

Thomas Robson-Kanu’s professional football career nearly met an insurmountable hurdle through injury, but he and his father, Rechi Kanu, created a product worthy of the world’s top athletes.

What started as a solution to the Welsh international’s injury became The Turmeric Co., a business brimming with passion and commitment as it’s grown immensely.

Thomas & Rechi join us to break down the similarities between the entrepreneurial mindset and that of elite footballers, the commitment to an honest, quality product, and how this family business collaborates so well.

This episode covers:

  • The parallels between Thomas’ professional footballing mindset and their approach to running The Turmeric Co.
  • Rechi’s tireless research in creating the finest quality product, and maintaining that quality at scale
  • How the difference in opinion often helps to filter down to the most well thought out ideas

Episode Highlights

“We began identifying these natural key ingredients, such as watermelon, pomegranate, pineapple, ginger, and subsequently turmeric. It was my father who began pulling all of these natural ingredients together, and putting them into a concoction which I could consume on a regular basis.” – 3:45 – Thomas Robson-Kanu 

“It was very difficult to actually connect what you can use that will work because we’re all used to instant results. You take your painkiller, you wake up the next day, you’re okay. Natural medication or food is a distant runner. You have to maintain it, and it involves a lot of discipline and a change of lifestyle.” – 7:10 – Rechi Kanu

“In terms of delivering and building a business, it was very much taken from my experience of playing elite, professional football within a team environment. So what do you need within that? You need structure, how you deliver on a product or a service, you need consistency, and you need a process driven approach.” – 20:15 – Thomas Robson-Kanu 

“In order to achieve something, there is always an element of sacrifice. Then on top of that, if you are wanting to achieve something, you have to strive for excellence. If you’re just okay with working towards average, then that’s all you’re ever going to be.” – 28:25 – Thomas Robson-Kanu 

“Thomas will quietly get on with it and implement and execute things. So I’ve been very proud of that. I’m very proud of those moments when he’s actually made things happen for the business, just as he’s made it happen in his career as well.” – 39:40 – Rechi Kanu

“One of the big ambitions for us as a business and as an organisation is to establish a legacy. There’s the old saying, with great power comes great responsibility. It’s a massive commitment, we have to continue to sacrifice, we have to continue to deliver, we’re very much at the start of the journey. We get there by giving our best on a consistent basis, so one step at a time.” –  – Thomas Robson-Kanu

“I build things in my head and I visualise it, and I can see how it could work given what we have around us. I’ve always done that. Sometimes when you articulate that initially, other people could say it won’t work, because they haven’t seen it the way I’ve seen it. But once they understand where I’m coming from, the decision is made. As I said earlier, Thomas will go away and just get it done.” – 53:30 – Rechi Kanu

“Money is important, but first of all you do something because it’s what you want to do with conviction, and the rest will follow.” – 56:00 – Rechi Kanu

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Episode Thirty One: Two Drifters Rum

Episode Thirty One: Two Drifters Rum

Chemical reactions form the basis for a few key aspects of Two Drifters Distillery: their carbon negative operations, deliciously crafted rum, and the love shared between its Co-Founders.

Gemma and Russ Wakeham are the husband-wife duo whose belief that the world shouldn’t suffer as a result of their business has been central since before day one.

The pair join us on It Runs In The Family to share their heartwarming story, how they’ve overcome challenges together, and why it’s paramount to set your end goal.

This episode covers:

  • Russ & Gemma’s passion for sustainability, demonstrated by their carbon-negative B Corp business
  • Moments of pride between married business partners
  • How Two Drifters has found its path through Covid
  • The importance of defining your end goal above all

Episode Highlights

“On our first date, we met in a bar in Bristol, and it just happened to be rum tasting that night, which I didn’t know about. I wasn’t overly enamoured by the idea of doing repeated rum tasting, but it totally changed my mind on the rum world. It’s such an amazing space to be in, I can’t imagine doing anything else.” – 4:30 – Gemma Wakeham

“In organic chemistry, you spend all your time distilling, but obviously with lethal liquids! But I’d say it lends itself to each other, so there’s a lot of understanding that comes from the chemistry side of it. If you understand those bits of the process, you can influence it in those ways.” – 7:35 – Russ Wakeham

“Coronavirus has massively changed us – not the vision for Two Drifters, but the path. For instance, we had to do homeschooling at a rum distillery, and our eight year old girl was helping bottle hand sanitizer that we were making. She liked putting the stickers on. I, never in my wildest dreams, thought we’d be doing that two years into our journey.” – 15:50 – Gemma Wakeham

“Being together makes us clear up arguments very quickly. We haven’t got time at the business, to then take it home to then have our eight year old daughter aware of the atmosphere. We are very much a storm in a teacup, we argue loudly and quickly. Within five minutes, we’ve got things resolved.” – 19:00 – Gemma Wakeham

“It’s really hard to reconcile with yourself if you know that something’s doing damage when you know there’s a way to stop it. Still doing it really does make you a very bad person, and being ignorant to it or not thinking about something is almost more forgivable.” – 27:30 – Russ Wakeham

“Gemma has an amazing ability to sell anything to anyone, but I think having a great product like our rum makes her job a little bit easier, I hope!” – 34:00 – Russ Wakeham

“Have a goal. How you get there can vary and you can appreciate that you may take a different route to me and it might have its benefits, but make sure you know the end goal exactly. Have clear visions for that and then I think it’ll be fine.” – 46:35 – Gemma Wakeham

 

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Episode Thirty: Hippychick

Episode Thirty: Hippychick

There’s nothing more quintessentially ‘family business’ than married Managing Directors providing products to fellow families. Such a brief is marvellously fulfilled by baby & toddler brand Hippychick.

Jeremy Minchin’s jump from the police to becoming Joint MD of the brand with his wife & Founder, Julia, signals the duo’s commitment to helping families, working with local businesses, and providing an award-winning service.

Hear more from them on balancing business with parenthood, creating the family feel with staff and customers alike, and the joys of seeing your partner in their element.

This episode covers:

  • Taking the opportunity to see your partner flourish
  • How Jeremy’s paragliding accident put the Hippychick team to the test
  • Changing sectors and undergoing a cultural shift to join the family business
  • How Julia and Jeremy pushed through uncertainty and built their brand in the early days
  • Juggling parenthood with the business, and how it can feel like an extra child of your own

Episode Highlights

“I always wanted to sell a tangible product. It just naturally fitted to look at products that really made life easier for parents because I could immediately relate to that, and it really grew from there. ” – 4:20 – Julia Minchin

“A lot of the product lines, brands, ranges & things that came to us have come as a result of word of mouth, or because people could see what we’re doing with others. A lot of our products have been designed by parents seeing a genuine need, which is really lovely. You can see how much the need and the gaps in the market have changed in the years that we’ve been running the business.” – 11:00 – Julia Minchin

“We had to give a briefing of a particular operation we’d been involved in with the Home Secretary and various others – highly sensitive and high-pressure stuff – we were quite keyed up for it all. That all went fine, then four hours later I found myself with the Berkshire Natural Nappy Alliance, giving a presentation on the benefit of essential oils for newborns or something like that. I thought it was so bizarre!” – 20:00 – Jeremy Minchin

“It’s as important to know when not to talk about business, as it is to know when you can. We’ve tried for a few years to take maybe a day and a night or two days and a night occasionally to go away to somewhere that’s not anybody’s home turf. Then we can be a bit structured.” – 26:45 – Jeremy Minchin

“Whilst not everybody wants to work for a family business for all the obvious reasons, there is a real sense of belonging to a family business. Especially with the market we’re in, we’re dealing with families; we’re dealing with mums & dads, grannies, grandpas, uncles, brothers, sisters, whatever it is – it’s very much a family feel across the board.” – 35:10 – Julia Minchin

“Jeremy’s accident made us realise that everyone was very capable here. Obviously we drive the business forward, but absolutely everyone stepped up and showed what they really can do.” – 39:25 – Julia Minchin

“Something else which feels really good is that we’ve worked with a lot of local businesses. So we haven’t generally used some amorphous national company to provide us with something. Whether it be our IT support – a very local company that started at a similar time to us and have been absolutely fantastic from start to finish – the couriers that we use, or the haulage company, they’re very much local companies. They’re fantastic.” – 54:55 – Jeremy Minchin

“I’m constantly amazed and impressed by just how good Julia is at reading a situation, being calm and dealing with it in the right way, rather than tearing your hair out over something or getting stroppy. Just understanding that just being calm and gentle will more often than not get you what you need, want, or where you need to be.” – 1:01:55 – Jeremy Minchin

 

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Episode Twenty Nine: Timothy Everest MBE and Daughters

Episode Twenty Nine: Timothy Everest MBE and Daughters

Since 1989, Timothy Everest has been fusing traditional bespoke tailoring with a contemporary eye for creative design, dressing some of the biggest names on the planet.

The creative minds within this family cover a breadth of skills together, with Carina’s PR expertise and Alyssia’s extensive background in graphic design.

Timothy and the daughters leading the next generation of the business join us on It Runs In The Family, sharing the ‘shorthand’ dynamic unique to family businesses, how they combatted the negative perception of British tailoring, and a more-than-healthy handful of remarkable namedrops – from Tom Holland to Tom Cruise, J-Lo to Tilda Swinton, and so many more… 

This episode covers:

  • The design ethos behind Timothy Everest’s tailoring for some of the world’s biggest names
  • Timothy Everest’s push against the negative, elitist perception of British tailoring at the time
  • Combining the qualities of creativity with business acumen
  • A look into the genderless future of fashion collections
  • The respect and lack of hierarchy that comes from working with family

Episode Highlights

“While I was thinking about starting a business, I left to be a freelance stylist, doing the wardrobe for MTV, for Ridley Scott’s associates, all those big franchise films. Once I was doing that I thought now I was looking at British tailoring in a cool way, and trying to appeal to a new generation that was buying into designer brands. That’s how the business was established.” – 3:35 – Timothy Everest MBE

“The big one we kicked off our film work with was Mission Impossible. We were definitely called in as the fall guy. We were getting some press about being pretty good at what we were doing. It was quite a fraught set, the first one that Tom Cruise had put money into. It was either Prada or DKNY who made the clothes that weren’t fitting. We went on to do quite a few movies with him, including Eyes Wide Shut with Stanley Kubrick.” – 11:20 – Timothy Everest MBE

“As long as you don’t keep failing, then failing is a pretty good thing because you can learn from it.” – 16:45 – Timothy Everest MBE

“What’s been really interesting working in a predominantly menswear business,is that I’ve been popping on a few bits and pieces, then when women come into the shop with their husband and just say ‘Oh that’s really lovely, where did you get that from?’ and I can say that it’s literally just there. I think there’s a real desire to have a beautifully constructed suit, but not make it look overly feminine.” – 27:50 – Alyssia Everest

“There’s always been that creativity in the household. It’s just been a natural thing that’s happened as well, us working together. As Carina said, we’ve gone off, done our own things, and naturally come back.” – 32:45 – Alyssia Everest 

“There’s a real shorthand between all of us, and we have very different strengths. I think there’s no hierarchy at all, with a lot of respect for each other.” – 39:34 – Alyssia Everest

“I think having a bit more of an understanding of what other areas of the world are doing is quite nice to be around. Living in Paris has definitely made me smarten up my act because I felt like when I was back in London, I was becoming a bit lazy with my fashion. I had lost that bit of relationship I had with that because clothing is so personal. It’s very much putting on your persona.” – 55:22 – Carina Everest 

“It’s common when you speak to people that they’re doing too much. There’s lots we want to do, but we can’t do them all at once, so it’s about doing the right amount.” – 1:08:52  – Timothy Everest MBE

 

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