Got what it takes to be own boss? Kings Garden in Grantham wants you!
When Kings Garden was first established in 2012, it grew rapidly into a steady business.
With its range of rapeseed oil blended with different herbs and spices, it quickly became a popular kitchen ingredient, sold by many farm shops and delis across the county.
However, since the only active staff sales member left 18 months ago, with the exception of online sales and regular customers, activity has been low. Keen to see the business continue and live up to its full potential, sole owner David Jackson has decided to scour the local area for the right person to take ownership of the business. Then on a gradual basis over the course of a year, which would include one-to-one mentoring from David about all aspects of the business, they would assume responsibility completely. Keen to reach as many people as possible, David has turned to the Journal for help.
How did Kings Garden begin?
Five years ago, a couple of friends of mine decided to go into business together and I joined them. I was working as an accountant, but I liked the idea of having a business that I could continue once I retired. After our original idea fell through, I came up with the idea of making and selling our own blends of very versatile rapeseed oil. We each agreed to be responsible for our own areas of the business, including production and sales, and I managed the accounting. However, within a few months, my two friends decided that it wasn’t for them and so determined to carry it on, I took on a member of staff, who took over the sales side of the business. The more we got our name out there and people found out about the different products, it grew in popularity. But since the last sales person left 18 months ago and due to the amount of work that I need to do as the owner of a local accountancy firm, the business has remained more or less dormant ever since, with the exception of some online sales and local shop orders.
What does Kings Garden do?
We make everything ourselves. We created eight blends of rapeseed oil with herbs and spices, including orange and ginger, raspberry and mint, balsamic, lemon, chilli and caraway. They can be used as a marinade, for roasting, baking, in salads and as dips. We primarily sell to upmarket farm shops and delis. However, it is our pesto that is the real unique selling point. Available in three flavours – original, garlic and chilli – they are all nut, dairy and gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. After opening, they have a very long shelf life, being usable right up to the best before end date. In addition to our existing blends and pesto, we have products still in development that are yet to be launched, but two are good to go right now. We also have an active website and cater for online sales.
Why have you decided to sell the business?
Although I started the business with the intention to run it once I retired, my accountancy business has expanded vastly over the last few years, so I do not have the time and energy to give it the attention that it needs and deserves. For instance, the secret to customer appreciation is in store tasting, which is a fantastic opportunity to get instant feedback, and I just do not have the time for it. However, I truly believe that with the right person running it, devoting time to the sales effort and customer tastings, the business has huge potential. I know it has because we have already done it. Therefore, I am reluctant to just see it go to someone who is not passionate about it, which is why I came up with the idea to mentor someone for a year, giving them the chance to own their own business, with less risk to them.
What kind of person are you hoping it will attract?
It is a great business opportunity for someone who wants to be an entrepreneur, but who doesn’t have the confidence to take on a business from scratch. They need to know how to communicate effectively both face to face and on the phone, but most importantly, they need to be passionate about food, otherwise it wouldn’t work. They do not need to be a culinary expert – just organised and fully committed. It is also a great opportunity to be creative, as there is so much that can be developed, if someone has the drive to do it, including Christmas hampers and gift packs. Ideally it needs to be someone who lives locally, as they don’t want to be travelling too far to the production unit, but as it doesn’t involve any hard physical work, it would suit someone of any age.
What will the new owner get in return?
A ready established business with everything they will need to run it, with the additional bonus of one-to-one mentoring for a year, to give them plenty of time to learn on the job. They would be based at the local work unit and I will help assist with production, looking after the accountancy and bookkeeping and show them how to make the products. As I said before, I am not giving the business away, I expect to be paid as the business moves forward; but primarily I would like to make sure it continues and is a success. The right person will have the ‘can do’ attitude it needs to take it forward. I will be sad to see it go but I am excited about seeing where it can go.
If you are interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward your details to David.