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Q&A with Paddy Bishopp – Paddy & Scott’s

We catch up with Paddy Bishopp co-owner of the prestigious Coffee brand Paddy and Scotts…

Can you give us some background information about yourself?

A ‘good old Suffolk boy’ I am very proud to be from Suffolk. I went to Framlingham College and after a year of partying at Reading University decided Academia was not for me so hit London in 1995 looking for the big bucks! I always said I would move back to Suffolk when I had my first child so when Angus was born in 2001 I dragged my lovely Yorkshire wife kicking and screaming to flat old Suffolk. Three boys later (Angus, Jacobi and Harry) we are going nowhere.

How did you get into business?

My first job I blagged my way into by saying that I was the best sales person I knew (luckily they did not know I was the only sales person I knew). It was running a concession in Harrods for Geo F Trumper, and in the first six months sales improved by 175% and I realised that I really enjoyed sales and marketing.

How did the idea for Paddy and Scotts come about?

I left behind my London sales and marketing background to follow my passion for food and drink. First came the launch of Eat Anglia in 2004, a food and drink home delivery, followed by my award-winning café/deli. The judges highlighted the quality of the coffee, so when my coffee roaster moved abroad I saw an opportunity to launch a young, trendy vibrant coffee company.

What happened in those first few months and how did it feel?

I was really excited, we had found such a great product and our energy was relentless in letting people know. We literally spent days in Scott’s garage blending the beans, roasting them, grinding them, packing them and then put the bags in the back of our cars and drove around the farm shops and deli’s trying to sell them. We eventually sold so much we could not cope with our 2 ½kg roaster we fondly called Old Smokey and also landed our first big contract with Ufford Park Hotel. This was the big decision – did we build a roastery or find a firm who could roast to our specification? We found a great roasting partner who we knew was amazing when they helped us develop a signature blend for Ian Rhodes at le Talbooth.

What is Scott really like?

He is such a great business partner and friend. He has so much energy and passion and could sell ice to the Eskimo’s. He is highly competitive though, which comes out on the football pitch.

What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?

Bringing in our MD Chris Thompson at an early stage. Both Scott and I are great sales people and strategists but one thing we do not do is attention to detail or day-to-day management – we are just too fidgety and always need a new challenge. Chris not only brings in a wealth of experience having spent 10 years in the wine industry selling to the supermarkets and major chains (his last role was the European MD for the third-largest wine company in the world), but he captains the ship and is the man who runs Paddy and Scott’s and reigns us in if we go off course. He loves spread sheets which Scott and I still cannot understand!!

What can we expect from you in 2013?

2013 will be a really exciting year for us at Paddy and Scott’s. We will be expanding the team so are looking for an operations manager and a part-time marketing person. We have just started working with a major bank and in 2013 will be mobilising 37 sites for them to include their Head Office in Canary Wharf. The big news though is that we are currently looking at our retail range and it will be ‘watch this space’ for a new look and style of Paddy and Scott’s on the shelves. We are just putting the finish touches to a fine filter programme for our hotel and restaurants which will bring a real wow  factor to that after-meal coffee. And did I mention pods?

What piece of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?

Have a real passion for what you do, it makes those long hard first few months (and years in some cases) so much easier as you do live and breathe it 24/7. Understand and be really honest about your strengths and weaknesses and then bring in the right team around you.

And Paddy.. lastly what do you think of our new ‘Bounce’ magazine?

Really great concept and love the look and feel of it. Cannot wait to read the first issue, good luck with the launch.

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