2011 - This was the year that was
Nearing the end of 2011 and and opportunity to breathe and look back on our year here at Breckland Orchard. We’ve been busy -busy-busy this year – here’s the Top 10 of what we’ve been up to!
- Launch of screwcaps……..we finally made the move to screw-caps in January this year [yipeee]. It wasn’t an entirely smooth transition, and meant plenty of work – but we are there! The move to screw-caps also allowed us to move to branded bottle tops – with our tree surrounded by the Posh Pop [TM] logo!
- Launch of Sloe Lemonade……the inspiration for our new flavour for Spring 2011 came from Sloe Gin. We knew it was amazing as a long drink when mixed with our Breckland Orchard Cloudy Lemonade, but could we take the alcohol out and just leaving an amazing non-alcoholic drink? We could, we did and we are so glad we did!
- Launch of Dandelion and Burdock……I was asked for this flavour so many times, and in June we got around to making our first batch. It was only meant to be a short run for Summer 2011, but customer feedback was just amazing and we came out top in a taste test amongst peers. We listened, and its now a permanent fixture in the Breckland Orchard range.
- Launch of 750ml Bottles…….again in response to customer feedback we launched a range of 750ml Sharing Bottles at Speciality Fine Food Fair in September. We make them in 3 flavours: Sloe Lemonade, Ginger Beer with Chilli and Pear & Elderflower.
- New Label design……….we did a label refresh in early Spring. With the start of a new year it was time to make some changes to the original label design and add some details [like our Twitter and Facebook details!]. Only the very eagle eyed will have noticed a change, but there was a lot of pedalling behind the scenes believe me!
- New Website……our new website went live in November. It’s uptodate with our range, and has our Blog feed inbuilt into it. It also features our video – made by the lovely guys at Lambda films.
- Opening of Export markets…..from a standing start, we are now exporting to Germany, Austria, Sweden and the Middle East! Very exciting
- East of England Businesswomen Start up of the Year………founder Claire Martinsen accepted the award for East of England start up in May. Needless to say we were immensely proud!
- EDP Future 50…..Breckland Orchard was also one of the EDP Future 50 list for 2011, and Claire was asked to be one of the judges this year. This is the 3rd year we have been included and it remains a complete pleasure to be part of such a sparkling and energetic group ofentrepreneurs.
- UK Female Entrepreneur Ambassador…….Claire was appointed a UK Female Entrepreneur Ambassador in July. She is part of a network of ambassadors encouraging other women to start their own businesses. In her UKFEA role she was invited to the European Parliament in October to input into a European Entrepreneurship Summit.
Apart from the above [phew!] we’ve been out and about at lots of trade shows, consumer shows and food festivals, spoken at conferences and networking events, been involved in mentoring, had lots of features in the press, continued to rack up lots of awards and feedback on our products, and last but not least been growing our sales. Chloe joined the team at the mid year and has been working really hard both behind the scenes and also at the shows – we’ve been out and about much more in 2011!
2011 has been a great year, but we’re not resting on our laurels and are really looking forward to 2012 and all that it brings. We have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline – so continue to watch our journey!