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3 New Additions to our Food Show armoury

by Claire Martinsen on Tue 17th Jan 2012 03:36

Following on from my Blog piece about Top Tips for Food Shows I wanted to introduce you to three of the new ‘additions’ to the Breckland Orchard armoury over the past few months.  They’ve made our life easier at Food Shows for sure!


Yeap, it’s offical we now have a Breckland Orchard van, and Chloe and myself are ‘silver van gals’.  Now you might have thought that it was quite late 2 1/2 years down the line to finally get around to investing in a van for the business. My trusty estate car has been a good workhorse and I can pack the boot with lots of Breckland Orchard drinks – and on the odd occasion I’ve needed something bigger I’ve rented vans for a few days at a time.  But with the business growing, more shows to go to and space in the car being limited, it was time to go bigger!

It follows one of my big beliefs that its easy to spend money at the outset on things that you don’t really need.  Buying one before would have been vanity, now it’s required.


I’d been meaning to order a chalk board for ages, but have never seemed to get around to it.  This one is from Chalkboards UK who sorted out all the artwork and made things so easy that in hindsight I have no idea why I didn’t order one sooner.  It’s got panels that are reversible, so there are 4 surfaces to write on and I can rotate the boards depending on where we are [a message of Ice Cold drinks is never best in winter!]


This was one case where procrastination probably paid dividends.  I needed a printed PVC panel to go at the back of my stand/gazebo – but the problem with PVC is that its quite delicate and you need to roll and store it carefully to make sure it says in peak condition [my last one ended up cracked and sad looking].   I’d been debating with myself for ages about what to do………if I’d have been more decisive, bought it six months earlier I would have ended up with another PVC one not the gorgeous one that we now have.

Solution – printing onto fabric [aka a flag] which the rather wonderful and Norfolk based Flag Wizard [aka Steve] sorted out.  The poles are inserted and help it to hang properly.  Our flag has been a revelation and its incredibly low-maintenance and up for quite a lot of rough handling – we wouldn’t be without it for the world! [the photo above was taken at the height of summer so probably doesn’t do it justice…..]

So that’s some of the useful things we’ve invested in over the past 6 months – any other useful investments out there?

xx Claire

Posted in: Food Festivals and Shows Tips for running a food business


Sarah Pettegree
Tue 17th Jan 2012 19:30
Brilliant and practical blog - very much agree about not buying things until they really earn their living - or you just can't function without it. I'd add a laminator - great for price labels, dispaying press articles and all sorts. I got mine years ago from Viking but they're much cheaper these days.

Kate Herren
Wed 18th Jan 2012 01:55
Good points Claire. I'd probably add investing in a good logo/brand and some decent product pics and PR images at the start is really invaluable, and means you can create a lot of your own marketing materials at a low cost but still keep the message and identity consistent. Of course you know this already as you have a lovely brand and some super smart pics!

Claire Martinsen
Wed 18th Jan 2012 03:26
You are right Sarah - what a brilliant thought! Thanks for the suggestion x

Claire Martinsen
Wed 18th Jan 2012 03:50
Agree - a good logo/brand pays dividends and its worth investing in this upfront. Professional pictures pay for themselves - all my great product shots were done professionally. I also have my own camera and constantly photograph the product in situ - its amazing how many photos you actually need. I was lucky enough to get on a really great Landskills East course in 2011, which was about food photography - it gave me some good hints and tips to make my own pictures better. xx Claire

Sarah Daniels
Wed 18th Jan 2012 04:52
Great Blog- it is so easy to but the 'things' that you think you need For us in a consultancy the answer is simple we need to invest in our own competency- this sounds simple; but keeping ourselves up to date is a huge time & financial commitment & when you need to earn money, it can seem a luxury to take time & resources to go on training courses, take part in debates etc Also giving that bit extra- means the customer returns... But Claire our logo'd cars have kept us in local businesses view- we often here 'oh i saw your car at.. & its a perfect 'in' to explain what you were doing - the reply oh i didn't know you did that- we need help with that.

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