Here at Sauce & Brown we like to make business decisions with the thought: "Can we do this locally?". Of course with some things this is just impossible, but if you look hard enough you can normally satisfy your needs locally, then it's the small matter of cost.
Our knitwear is manufactured within 10 miles of HQ, our socks are produced even closer still, something which we are hugely proud of. With both of these local businesses we deal directly with the 'big cheese' and this helps our growth tremendously, as you are treated as a person and not just a business. So many companies that deal B2B lose the personal touch.
When you place an order with Sauce & Brown they all get picked and packed the same but then we split them into local and non local orders. The non local orders go off to Royal Mail, but even this is via our local village Post Office.
The local orders however get posted by hand, you may know this already. We have a daily collection from Stuart at EcoNG15, in some instances you may take delivery of your order the same day as your order! Stuart is our very own superhero who has helped grow our local business hugely, so much so that we have affectionately renamed him ECOMAN (queue the next Marvel blockbuster!).
We wanted to ask Stuart more about his business...
Why? After decades of a career telling computers what to do I took a number of jobs and was into a third period of unemployment (each 1 year+). By then I was at an age where I decided the only way I was going to get a job (that I enjoyed) would be to work for myself. Working on a casual basis at a local school I was tasked with sticking stamps onto envelopes. After more than 50 letters all for the same road around the corner from the previous 50 I had a good idea.... I like walking & cycling.....
Ethos: The business is based on "if it is ok to charge 56p to send a letter to Aberdeen, is it fair to charge same for a 2 mile journey". We used to write "local" in corner of the envelope!
Why Eco: 1: If the bike is 'off the road' the last resort is to burn fossil fuels to collect. I may get a lift to the start of a delivery route and walk home afterwards or I may use public transport. Regardless, bicycle always stays at the top of the best options list. 2: Economical for the customer. 50% off RM prices is ball-park. So that's penny distribution along the lines "one for me, one for you . . . . . . "
"I wish I had started this years ago. By now I would have signed up others (franchise?) to operate EcoNG16, 17 etc. The operators would meet daily at postcode borders to exchange mail giving a much wider coverage and an even bigger Community Orientated Business."