Back in my home town this Saturday for Gorseinon Food Festival. This was the town where my grandfather, John Lewington Sweetman first started baking back in 1954. Almost 60 years later, I hope to do the spirit of "Sweetmans Bakery" proud.
Back in 1997 I worked for Dixons Group (owner of PC World, Currys, The Link and Dixons), a massive £5bn turnover, multi-national FTSE-100 mega-corp. I wanted the full-fat corporate experience and that's exactly what I got.
My job was to improve the business through identifying opportunites (easy and fun) and making them happen (bloody hard and very frustrating). Dixons started out as a true entrepreneurial business, with instinctive decision making and a bucanneering style of "JFDI". Sir Stanley Kalms makes Alan Sugar look like an intern.
As the 1990s ended, it had gone stale, and growth had stagnated. Most of the 2500 people working in head office (that is not a typo) were manager-mentality. Don't rock the boat, don't risk new things. Avoid failure at all costs.
I used to hear the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", an awful lot.
Why wait until something's broken to make it better?
Our Walnut sourdough is a great loaf (it won a True Taste award last year) but a few tweaks later, it's now it's even better. Tweak Tweak.
These passed the Usk Farmer's Market test and sold out in about an hour... We've had loads of great feedback from our shops too, with a few suggestions how to make them better. So I made a few tweaks, made another batch, tweaked again and made another batch... I made batch 8 on Friday and now they sing with fruity, spicy sweetness.