talking shop “An exciting, challenging and fun year”

Jo and Tim Asquith, partners of Frankie & Johnny’s Cookshop in York, reflect on their first 12 months in business

Some people did question our decision to buy a shop in the current retail climate, especially as so many shops are closing. But we were confident of our ideas and plans. The shop was already successful and in a


great location - the famous ‘Bishy’ [Bishopthorpe] Road in York - and we felt that we could add value to the business and take it forward. We also wanted to work together as a family and the shop provided the perfect opportunity. So we grasped it with both hands. It has been an exciting, challenging and fun

year. After a handover week, we were on our own. It was certainly a very challenging time as we stock over 4,000 products and, with only a supplier list and no order history, we had to very quickly work out what came from where, the quantities needed, and ensure that we had accounts set up with all the suppliers. Being October, it was also crucial to think ahead to Christmas and work out what else we needed to stock. Over the past 12 months we have attended

trade shows, researched lots of products, visited other shops and worked with our suppliers to bring together an eclectic range of products which is proving very popular with our customers. The core of what we do is for the kitchen:

we are a cookshop and we wanted to remain faithful to that concept. We have introduced new lines and brands which have been well received and, more importantly, are selling through. We have expanded our gift and card ranges - and now have probably the best card selection in the area. It’s so much fun buying the cards

October/November 2019

and gifts, and it adds a great dimension to the shop. It’s very satisfying when customers comment on how much they like the shop and what we sell - it makes it all worthwhile. We have certainly increased footfall into the shop and at the end of our first year, we have increased sales over and above our forecasts and expectations. Going forward, we will continue to look out for new and interesting products. We want to extend our range of sustainable products which are helping to reduce plastic use and are very popular. In this range are

Eddingtons’ Bee’s Wrap reusable food wraps, Kuhn Rikon’s KOCHBUME Stretch-ii covers, Stasher bags from PHA KitchEssentials and EuroScrubby multi-purpose Kilo scrubbers from CKS. We are also working with

our card suppliers to ‘go naked’ and not have cards supplied in plastic outers. Over the next 12 months, we hope to go completely naked! Our next big task is to take the business into the 21st century by introducing an

EPOS [Electronic Point-of-Sale] system. We are well on with this and hope to go live in the New Year. It is a tremendous task to get all the information onto the system, but we are confident that it will help us going forward. Owning and working in a shop with a great team in a fabulous community is such a privilege. Buying Frankie & Johnny’s and taking that gamble was the best decision. We are very proud of what we have achieved over the past 12 months and we are excited for the future.

n October 1 we celebrated our first anniversary of owning Frankie & Johnny’s Cookshop in York.

PHOTOS: Benjamin Price Photography • | 39

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