If you are not aware already, this Saturday (5th December 2015) is Small Business Saturday. It is a day to celebrate and support small and local businesses.
Are you wondering why small and local businesses matter? Do you know that there are 5 million small businesses in the UK? That's quite a lot considering the whole UK population is only 65 million. Small businesses play a crucial role in the economic eco-system.
This is the third year of this initiative, and we have been lucky enough to be part of this since it started in 2013, as we launched our chocolate business in 2013 also! So we've been growing up together with Small Business Saturday! We were featured as Day 81 of the Small Business 100 back in 2013 (remember the picture of Russell at 10 Downing Street?), and this year we're very honoured to be asked to be one of the 20 businesses across the UK as Small Business Saturday champion.
Running a small business is never easy, and sometimes it can feel a bit isolated. Having been involved in some of the events of Small Business Saturday, we have met a lot of wonderful people from various types of businesses, and we often find that they encounter similar issues/problems and we can share our experience openly. Although we don't get to see them very often, it's great to be able to keep in touch via social media.
As an artisan chocolatier who loves to experiment and pair unusual flavours with single-origin chocolates, we are always on the lookout for new ingredients. This year we have created "Nadiad" which is a lemon chutney chocolate, in collaboration with another small London-based food producer, Dips. It's so rewarding to be able to produce a new flavour that is well-received, and it's fun to be able to work with other producers equally passionate about food! If you are a small food producer and would like to give us a challenge to pair your product with our chocolate, get in touch!
We are not the only chocolatier who likes to work with other small food producers. Take our friend Matthieu de Gottal, a chocolatier based in the Cotswold - he uses chocolates from small bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the UK to create award-winning chocolates.
Recently we met Chintal Kakaya, a talented lady in our local area (Borough of Hillingdon in London) who makes delicious Indian inspired cakes to order. It's so wonderful to meet another food producer who loves experimenting with unusual ingredients and pushing the boundaries in flavour.
Look out for your local businesses and your favourite small businesses (whether they are on the high street or online) and see what they have on offer this Saturday! Remember that although the initiative is only a one-day annual event, small businesses do need your support throughout the year. One of the events we are really looking forward to is our local Christmas fair (Ickenham Festive Community Night) next Friday - always love meeting the local people and seeing them supporting various small local businesses like us!
Make sure you follow Small Businesss Saturday on Twitter (@SmallBizSatUK) and Facebook, as the team will be telling you the offers that various small businesses have throughout the day! Hopefully it won't take long to get the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK trending on Twitter again.
And in case you are wondering what special offers we have on Saturday, have a look here!