Hubbard's Pork Shop – Success a la carte
Business name: Hubbard’s Pork Shop
Industry: Food and Catering
Location: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
According to David Hubbard’s local bank manager, having management experience gained from heading up a team of 30 butchers on top of many years in the industry as a master sausage-maker may not be enough to persuade a bank to offer a start up business loan. Even if you a have a practical business plan at hand.
“I had always wanted to set up my own butchering business. The problem was that the banks just weren’t interested in lending us money. The whole thing was farcical. They couldn’t even tell us why we were being refused funding” – David explains.
Lack of funding was a serious threat to David’s dream, fortunately he was recommended to contact Foundation East, providing loans to businesses who were let down by mainstream lenders.
Peter Davis, Business Loans Manager for Foundation East, says: “At Foundation East the decision to loan money is made by a panel of members many of whom are in business themselves and understand the challenges that retailers like the Hubbards face. If the business plan and the cash flow analysis are realistic then we are able to take into account factors like knowledge of the industry and a unique proposition.
Other lenders are restricted by a computer decision. These intangibles, which can make all the difference to the success of business, can be missed.”
Half the money for Hubbard’s Pork Shop came from Foundation East, with the other half invested by David and Caroline. With this support, the couple have been able to buy refrigeration facilities for a chill room, as well as meat grinders and stainless steel counters.
“Foundation East has been fantastic,” said David. “Nothing was too much trouble.”
Where they are today
The business is going from strength to strength. Their free-range sausages still dominate the menu – there are more than 16 varieties, including the infamous Satan’s Ashes, they won an award for the best local sausage in the area in a competition run by the Oddfellows Institution. However, they developed their offer to include more pork products, including loin joints, dry-cured bacon and hams – all free-range.
Hubbard’s Pork Shop produce is also being sold further afield, as Caroline’s brother Andrew Bishop has begun to create a presence at local markets - Bury St Edmunds market on a Wednesday and a Saturday, and in Felixstowe on Sundays. You can find out more about this endeavour by visiting http://www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/traders/andy-bishop.html
“Without Foundation East, we would not be where we are today,” says David. “They couldn’t have been more helpful.”