Our blog about the Women in Farming evening visit to Shepherds Purse near Thirsk in May 2018
Wow! Didn’t we have a fantastic time with Judy and Caroline Bell on our visit? They were so generous with their time, knowledge and expertise and gave us a really wonderful opportunity to find out more about running a family business, the dynamics thereof and the vision for the future.
The scaling up of a small business takes time and bravery and Judy Bell shared the story of her kitchen table operation growing into the amazing production unit they operate from today in the heart of the North Yorkshire countryside.
The overriding impression we got from the evening was that the most vital ingredient for any family business is passion. The hard work, resilience, market awareness and storytelling over a long period of time have rewarded the family with a very successful brand but the work never really ends and Judy is obviously delighted that her daughters, Caroline and Kate are now essentially running the business whilst she devotes time to being a food ambassador and a supporter and mentor for other family businesses.
The Mother/daughter team were very open about the family dynamic and how recognising and utilising skills were key to achieving the quality needed to succeed. Effective communication is essential and staff deserve recognition for their contribution and appreciate being included in decisions where appropriate.