Episode show notes

What was once only an arable farm is now host to a leisure venue buzzing with events and experiences, which demonstrates the creativity and commitment of Alderford’s incredible team.

With 2nd generation Manager Rob Bebbington at the helm, Alderford is gearing up for a magical Christmas event, and we speak with Rob about how the family business manages feedback, retains their core values, and brings joy to all that visit!

This episode covers:

  • The legacy behind Alderford, and how they’ve incorporated the farm lifestyle with their passion for hospitality
  • Balancing criticism with encouragement when handling family feedback
  • Retaining the business’ core values regardless of their focus
  • How they channel the team’s creativity into exceptional experiences
A graphic with Robin, Judy and Ollie.

Episode highlights

“We did have a lot of trout fishermen, an older clientele who wanted this beautiful private place to spend all day fishing in the quiet. Then I sort of came in and disrupted everything, and soon learned that if we let somebody come and walk around, we could earn more by selling them a coffee or cake, and they were here for the most wonderful hour.” – 6:40 – Rob Bebbington

“I, at 46, find myself being too old to do so many things. It’s not my skill set, never has been, I don’t want it to ever be. But the business is probably taking over 50% of its revenue now online, it’s something I wouldn’t have been able to achieve through social media. The skill set that is needed today is completely different to what it was 10 years ago when I started.” – 11:20 – Rob Bebbington

“I did have to make the point that I’d accept every one negative with a positive. So if you come with a negative, you’ve also got to come with a positive, and then I would listen to criticism. That did stem the flow of negatives, because actually, it had to be addressed with the positive and it maybe dried the whole conversation up. ” – 17:10 – Rob Bebbington

“I suppose it’s those core values that still remain whether you’re farming or whether you’re selling a coffee, it’s how you treat your staff, how you look after everybody and take everybody on the journey. So that fundamentally stays the same. But the tech and all that side of it is just like a new skill set every day.” – 20:00 – Rob Bebbington

“Post-Covid, I think people all of a sudden value what was always there beforehand. They just value it more, be it quality time, be it nature, be it wild swimming, or however they decide to enjoy it.” – 30:25 – Rob Bebbington

“As soon as you travel, you see so many different ideas that then come into the business. If you’ve always got another idea in the pipeline, there’s always something coming through, you’re staying fresh and keeping customers involved and engaged.” – 38:10 – Rob Bebbington

“It’s a very fortunate position to be in a family business. We have people that work here who’ve worked in a corporate environment and never want to set foot in a place like that ever again.” – 43:45 – Rob Bebbington

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