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vital business advice, accessing a trustworthy sounding board or, crucially, increasing our sales opportunities through events and festivals, not to mention these two new shops, has been simply amazing and, having reflected on the last five years, we really don’t think we would have survived without the kind of unique support we’ve received, if we’d gone anywhere else.” Similarly, spice-blend producer Sera Harmon


of Bite Me Spices in Northampton says Made In Northamptonshire has been vital to her company’s growth: “When I fi rst joined MIN, I found myself alongside many other food producers just starting out and we leaned on each other within the group for support, knowledge and, especially for those of us running sole trader businesses, sanity, not to mention a much-needed social aspect to our working weeks,” she said. “T e meetings, which have included meet-the-


buyer events or talks from experts in fi elds such as food technology, food safety or social media, have been invaluable and, even when profi cient in a subject, these provide refreshers and allow a focus on a specifi c area of the business. “After a break from the business through ill


health, I’ve recently re-joined the network and am thrilled to be back with the chance to create even more positive working relationships and build on sales again over the coming years.” MIN was set up to bring like-minded businesses


together to help promote quality on the doorstep and to forge new working partnerships. Over the last decade, its quarterly meetings – held online over the last year - have been regularly


attended by around 50 members, gaining expertise from guest speakers, accessing sector news, grant and event information and, perhaps most importantly, the chance to share best practice. Membership is £75 per year. It also produces a directory which promotes over 100 tasty treats


to the county’s foodies. T e Rushden Lakes store is a collaboration with generous support


from T e Crown Estate, owners of the shopping and leisure complex, and the Recovery Through Enterprise Hub, situated beneath the multiplex cinema in the West Terrace.


For details of opening times, and for the latest news of plans for further stores across the county, visit the Facebook page at @MINFoodandDrink while, for more information about MIN, including becoming a member, call 01933 664437 or email hello@madeinnorthamptonshire.org


For further information about MIN at Jeyes of Earls Barton, visit its Facebook page at @JeyesEarlsBarton


ALL THINGS BUSINESS


21


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