Magazine article Management Today

Decisions: Jon Simon, Pieminister, Founder of the Pie-Maker

Magazine article Management Today

Decisions: Jon Simon, Pieminister, Founder of the Pie-Maker

Article excerpt

MY BEST ... was choosing the right business partner. Tristan Hogg is my wife's brother. When I first left university, I ran a bar in London. Tristan was a chef, and wanted to move down from Chester, so he came and worked for me.

The great thing about Tristan is his skills are complementary to mine That's one of the reasons I didn't get on particularly well with my last business partner - we had similar skills, so we were treading on each other's toes a lot. But Tristan's a chef. I know a bit about business and design, so I deal with marketing, branding, that kind of thing - and he deals with making pies.

Another good idea was to get a stall in Borough market. I knew the market very well, as I used to live nearby. You go through a fairly rigorous selection process to get in, but we were the first pie producer they had seen that they liked - we had the right free-range credentials It was great for our reputation: not only were a lot of people going down there to source products, but we could tell delis and buyers we were at Borough Market. So it put us on the map.

MY WORST ... was when we tried to franchise our model early on. It was stupid because not only did it take ages to finalise exactly what we were franchising, but the franchisees we chose weren't necessarily right for the brand. …

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