Iain and Liz Pocklington own a Riverford Home delivery business covering Darlington & the Dales. They talk to us one year on....
"We chose a Riverford franchise because it seemed to match our hopes and dreams of running our own business in an ethical and manageable way.
Guy Watson is the owner of the Riverford family business; and it was his enthusiasm that sparked our imagination. We share his love of good food, cooking and eating together as a family. We were already customers and strongly believed in the product, so to us it was a natural progression to take on a Riverford franchise.
The first year has been hard work but rewarding and mainly positive. We’ve seen our delivery numbers and retail sale figures grow in a manageable way. The best bit has been getting to know our customers and share our knowledge and love of life on the veg. We’ve also enjoyed exploring our territory, which is vast. It may take a few more years before we can say we’ve been everywhere!
Iain has become semi-nocturnal. He loads all of the vegboxes on to the van, in the early hours and is generally on the road by 7am. This way he beats most of the traffic. He’s discovered that he actually likes getting up early!
I prefer a more leisurely start. I spend most of my day dealing with customer calls and emails, local marketing and general admin. I stop for a while in the evening to cook for the family, once Iain is home from his delivery round, we all sit down together for our evening meal. This does mean some afterhours work but as I previously worked in the theatre for many years, working late is not a problem. I am lucky that I am able to fit my working day around our four children.
Working together has been interesting. We haven’t fallen out yet but do have minor disagreements on whose turn it is to do this or that. On the plus side, when we do get to go out for a drink or dinner we have a lot to talk about, we both feel extremely lucky and are excited about the future.
We hope to continue growing the business and maybe get our son involved too. One of our daughters helps out at shows and is a great asset. We’ve still got quite a lot to learn and with any job, find some day’s tough going.
We recently attended the Riverford Winter conference, where we spoke to some of the other Riverford franchise owners, many of whom have been trading for 10 years or more, hearing them say that they still love it after all those years, has filled us with encouragement. We’ve definitely made the right choice."
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