Choices Local Haringey - Nov-Dec 2018

Business and lifestyle magazine for Haringey. Helping you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

Business and lifestyle magazine for Haringey. Helping you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur.


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LOCAL<br />


to help you<br />

get your<br />

business off<br />

the ground<br />

Issue 3<br />

<strong>Nov</strong>/<strong>Dec</strong><br />

ways to stay<br />

on track when all<br />

hell breaks loose!<br />


comes to<br />

Wood Green<br />

on a double<br />

decker bus<br />


Mark Spurling shares his secret for great customer service<br />

Helping you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur

Welcome...<br />

Welcome to another edition of <strong>Choices</strong><br />

<strong>Local</strong>, your local business and lifestyle<br />

magazine, helping you make the transition<br />

from employee to entrepreneur a smooth<br />

one and the dream of having a business of<br />

your own a reality.<br />

I’m always going to be positive and<br />

optimistic in my welcome, but I have to<br />

keep it real. We are about building<br />

businesses and sharing real life experiences<br />

with you to help your business to grow.<br />

And for us, nothing can be more real than<br />

our own story.<br />

This issue is super late and we have to<br />

apologise to everyone for this; it’s been a<br />

tough year; we got into a massive fight<br />

with <strong>Haringey</strong> Council that has almost cost<br />

us our home; we learned that cashflow is<br />

king, when I started struggling to sell the<br />

advertising and that put a halt on<br />

production. I really had to face my fears<br />

to make it happen and I’ll tell you all about<br />

it on page 28.<br />

Let me tell you what else is happening in<br />

this issue:<br />

We are back in the Market Hall (The Mall<br />

Wood Green) speaking to more of those<br />

amazing entrepreneurs and letting you<br />

know what you are truly missing if you<br />

come all the way to Wood Green and this<br />

is not part of your shopping experience.<br />

Remember to keep an eye on our website<br />

www.choiceslocal.co.uk, Facebook, Twitter<br />

and our new Instagram page, plus our<br />

business boost radio show so that you<br />

don’t miss any events or special offers.<br />

Our interview with Mark Spurling from<br />

Wood Green Cobbler is an education in<br />

business; he shares his tips on how to<br />

retain happy loyal customers, simply by<br />

knowing the difference between serving a<br />

customer and giving good customer<br />

service.<br />

We also meet Earth Ale and have a chat<br />

with Alex Lewis, one of the businesses<br />

from Blue House Yard; a fantastic retail<br />

space in Station Road, Wood Green.<br />

Each issue will feature an inspirational<br />

quote designed to be pulled out and<br />

displayed however you choose (page 33 in<br />

this issue). Why? Because surrounding<br />

yourself with positive messaging is a great<br />

way to keep you focussed and motivated.<br />

Why not frame them and build up a<br />

beautiful inspirational wall.<br />

I’ve talked enough now; time for you to<br />

start enjoying the features in this edition<br />

of <strong>Choices</strong> <strong>Local</strong>. Read and enjoy and<br />

don’t forget to give us your feedback and<br />

ideas; it’s all very much appreciated.<br />

Along with the amazing people we feature;<br />

you our readers make us what we are and<br />

we especially love it when you interact and<br />

connect with us.<br />

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook,<br />

follow us on Twitter and Instagram and<br />

keep on being incredible.<br />

Speak soon,<br />

Anthony Charles.<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 3

Inside this issue<br />

6<br />

Double decker taproom with<br />

unique beers to match<br />

We speak to Alex from Earth Ale<br />

about his craft beers served up on a<br />

bus in Wood Green.<br />

6<br />

11<br />

COVER STORY: Mark Spurling<br />

Wood Green Cobbler owner shares his secret<br />

to retaining happy loyal customers.<br />

11<br />

18<br />

Independent bakery injects<br />

some style<br />

Charlie Findik shares his start<br />

up story.<br />

18<br />

4 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

23<br />

28<br />

33<br />

34<br />

Resources on your doorstep<br />

List of the many great local resources available to<br />

help you get your business off the ground.<br />

5 Ways to stay on track when all hell<br />

breaks loose!<br />

<strong>Choices</strong> <strong>Local</strong> CEO shares his personal<br />

struggle and how it nearly lost him everything.<br />

<strong>Choices</strong> Inspiration<br />

Quotes to get you inspired and motivated.<br />

Perfect for framing and putting up on your<br />

wall...<br />

Last word<br />

Anthony Charles<br />

sums up this issue.<br />

23<br />

28<br />

33<br />

Editors<br />

Anthony Charles<br />

Lisa Charles<br />

Publishers<br />

Team Titanium<br />

Advertising & Distribution<br />

Anthony Charles<br />

020 8889 5363<br />

ads@choicesmagazine.co.uk<br />

Cover Photography<br />

Umberto Rozzo Photography<br />

www.umbertorozzo.com<br />

www.choiceslocal.co.uk<br />

www.twitter.com/choiceslocal<br />

www.facebook.com/choiceslocal<br />

www.instagram.com/choiceslocal<br />

While every care is taken to<br />

ensure accuracy, <strong>Choices</strong> <strong>Local</strong>,<br />

the publishers, authors and<br />

printers cannot accept liability for<br />

errors or omissions. No part of<br />

this publication may be<br />

reproduced in any form.<br />

Opinions expressed in this<br />

magazine are not necessarily<br />

those of <strong>Choices</strong> <strong>Local</strong> or the<br />

publisher. All material in this<br />

magazine is intended to be used<br />

for information purposes only.<br />

You agree to perform your own<br />

due diligence and that <strong>Choices</strong><br />

<strong>Local</strong> or Team Titanium will not<br />

be held in anyway liable for any<br />

consequences without limitation,<br />

resulting from any action you or<br />

any other person takes or fails to<br />

take, whether or not based on<br />

information provided in this<br />

magazine or on any related<br />

websites.<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 5

So a bar on a bus, how did that idea<br />

develop?<br />

It actually just sparked into my mind<br />

when we started the box shop as a joint<br />

venture with a few other guys. The bus<br />

was empty, basically, it was just sitting<br />

here, they were trying to get someone to<br />

come in to do a cafe set up here, but<br />

unfortunately it just wasn't set up<br />

correctly for the company to just come<br />

straight in. They obviously had to spend a<br />

lot of money just to hook up electricity<br />

and things like that. And so we held a<br />

couple of events here just for the launch<br />

of the box shop where we just had four<br />

taps of all our beers on and they were<br />

really successful and a lot of people came<br />

down. It was the night there were<br />

fireworks at Ally Pally that we managed to<br />

get the whole yard packed. So that was a<br />

really great feeling and I sort of pitched<br />

6 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

to the guys for us to take over the bus and<br />

set up our own thing and then turn that<br />

into a bar. They were unfortunately tied<br />

into responsibilities elsewhere, but I just<br />

saw it as too good an opportunity to miss<br />

really and I just thought Earth Ale needed<br />

a tap; it needed something to make it a lot<br />

stronger and avoid just being only<br />

wholesale trade to everyone. We wanted<br />

that direct connection with the public; it's<br />

a lot more rewarding that way.<br />

So yeah I just decided let's turn that into<br />

our own taproom and something really<br />

funky and perky and different and just<br />

thought why not. And it was at a price<br />

point that was attractive for it to actually<br />

work as well and we were prepared to take<br />

the risk because we could see the<br />

potential of making the space really cool.<br />

Fortunately Cakes and Ladders<br />

approached me around February or<br />

March time this year [<strong>2018</strong>] and wanted to<br />

find out if there was a possibility of<br />

sharing the space. I was already planning<br />

Thursdays to Sundays and I thought, yeah<br />

fantastic, it meant that the bus will be<br />

constantly open which I thought would<br />

be a positive because it means that people<br />

can trust coming here any time and not be<br />

disappointed that it's closed. So it's really<br />

fantastic that they're here and it boosts<br />

the bar even more.<br />

Cakes and Ladders do coffee, cakes<br />

and they do games as well right?<br />

Yeah. Essentially they're a board game<br />

cafe concept, they attract a lot of people<br />

that are fanatics and really keen on playing<br />

those games. There's a huge following and<br />

obsession for that as well which is great.<br />

There are a lot of people that will travel<br />

to places like Southampton, or Croydon,<br />

places that are quite far away and they're<br />

just blown away that it's now on their<br />

doorstep, so it's really cool for them to<br />

offer that as well and people come in and<br />

get a lot of choice.<br />

I've heard of cafes whereby they've<br />

got draughts or chess. But this is every<br />

board game you could dream of...<br />

Yeah, I don't know even know what half<br />

the board games even are, I've never even<br />

played them, but I look forward to it. I<br />

think what we're going to try and do is an<br />

Earth Ale and Cakes and Ladders board<br />

game night which will be really nice and<br />

we'll serve our beers to people playing<br />

their board games and we’ll certainly want<br />

to push the food concept of it as well.<br />

You’ve mentioned the term ‘taproom’<br />

some people may not know that term,<br />

what does it mean?<br />

It's just a very old school traditional word<br />

for pub essentially, it's become very<br />

common to use in America. And I think<br />

the word has naturally travelled over to<br />

the UK now. I believe it's more associated<br />

with craft beer which is great as it’s a huge<br />

focus on what we're delivering and what<br />

we're offering.<br />

Of course I'm going to ask the<br />

question I always ask, what have you<br />

found difficult in getting this moving?<br />

<strong>Haringey</strong> Council, definitely for sure, it<br />

took a long time, a long time to get things<br />

confirmed up with those guys. They'll give<br />

you essentially like four weeks heads up<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 7

on how long things take and then it takes<br />

anything between two and three months<br />

maybe four months just to give you an<br />

answer.<br />

And I think the frustrating thing is we're<br />

obviously trying to boost this yard, we're<br />

trying to energize it into something more<br />

and give a lot of choice to the public and<br />

just spread the positivity. You get the<br />

council freaking out about things like the<br />

pizza oven, so it's about trying to get<br />

them to understand what you're trying to<br />

create in a positive way. Unfortunately it<br />

does take a very long time, so things like<br />

that do really affect your business because<br />

you're not making money, you have to<br />

wait for these things to happen, but we<br />

got there in the end. So the positive is at<br />

least we have our premise license now and<br />

things like that, I would say it's the<br />

planning department that is probably the<br />

hardest one to actually get an answer<br />

from.<br />

Sounds like a really challenging time.<br />

There are just so many people that you<br />

have to talk to, to just deal with one<br />

solution and it can be very costly and time<br />

consuming. But the great thing is that<br />

Meanwhile Space is very much on board<br />

with what we're doing here and they do<br />

really support us in great way, so they<br />

certainly offered a lot of assistance and<br />

help on making sure that we were going<br />

the right way. So hats off to Meanwhile<br />

Space as well really.<br />

There was one lady from the council that<br />

I don't think understood what we were<br />

trying to do. We had a crowd funding<br />

campaign. There was everything there to<br />

see and we were all confirmed up with<br />

Meanwhile Space, we had the funding, we<br />

started building on it and then pretty<br />

much when I received my alcohol<br />

premises licence, one of the other<br />

departments were now contesting that<br />

because it's alcohol related, we shouldn't<br />

be allowed to operate the bus and it's not<br />

on the cafe terms that they agreed. They<br />

had since January to understand that and I<br />

was finding out six months after that, so<br />

it's things like that and poor<br />

communication that makes the whole<br />

system very dysfunctional. I think you<br />

learn a lot, you really do learn about the<br />

system and you understand how to tackle<br />

it. So the great thing is we are trading now<br />

and we're just pushing hard trying to<br />

make this place a success.<br />

And for those reading this, who are<br />

getting ready to launch their business<br />

and have to approach and deal with<br />

the council, what advice would you<br />

give them?<br />

I say just stay positive first of all and stick<br />

to that vision that you're trying to achieve<br />

and patience probably. Patience is<br />

definitely one of the most important<br />

things because it can be highly frustrating.<br />

And I think the best way is just not to<br />

react to them and just understand that<br />

things unfortunately do take a long time<br />

and as long as you stay positive then you<br />

will succeed and don't give up. There's<br />

certainly a few situations where we were<br />

questioning whether we were going to be<br />

able to do this, so I think surround<br />

yourself with some positive people that<br />

can keep you, that can supportive you at<br />

8 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

the same time. That's really important so<br />

the morale stays high.<br />

You're set up and trading now. What's<br />

the game plan now as you move<br />

forward?<br />

We really want to turn this into a<br />

destination, into a space where people are<br />

hearing about this, even internationally<br />

and we would love to attract<br />

tourists that come here and<br />

experience something quite<br />

unique. That certainly is the<br />

avenue we're trying to go to,<br />

promote the quality aspects<br />

and building something here<br />

in Wood Green. Definitely<br />

connecting with the<br />

community as well, showing<br />

them some support in other<br />

ways, especially employment.<br />

We'd like to take someone on<br />

in terms of a social enterprise, build them<br />

and educate them in the whole brewery<br />

scene and get them involved in making<br />

the beer with us and then knocking that<br />

on to working with the tap so they can<br />

understand how to talk to people, build<br />

social skills and also understand the whole<br />

concept of how it works and what we're<br />

trying to achieve. Especially with the fact<br />

that we use wild ingredients for foraging<br />

and things like that, it's a great education<br />

that we can pass onto others.<br />

So you're going to take some people<br />

through your whole process step by<br />

step?<br />

Yes exactly. Work with raw ingredients<br />

and understand flavors, smell, taste and<br />

see the patience of the fermentation<br />

process and see the final product. And<br />

then hand that to the consumer.<br />

Brilliant! So for someone coming here<br />

for the first time, what are they going<br />

to get. What should they expect?<br />

Essentially a great experience, where they<br />

can see something different and enjoy<br />

delicious products available that certainly<br />

for the beer side are unique and then in<br />

the daytime the option to enjoy the Cakes<br />

and Ladders setup. I think the great thing<br />

is there is a good energy here; the energy<br />

is young and positive and it's a great place<br />

to hang out, that's the idea that we're<br />

creating.<br />

Thanks Alex. We’ll speak again to see<br />

how you’re progressing and hopefully<br />

it's going to be a roaring success.<br />

Yes that's the plan. Keep spreading the<br />

word!<br />

www.earthale.com<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 9

Mark<br />

Spurling<br />

Wood Green<br />

Cobbler owner<br />

shares his<br />

secret for great<br />

customer<br />

service<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 11

Ok, so what do you do here at Wood<br />

Green Cobbler?<br />

We repair shoes, cut keys, do watch<br />

repairs; mainly changing batteries and<br />

engraving. We also do engraving on<br />

Zippos.<br />

How long have you<br />

been doing it now?<br />

I started when I was 17,<br />

doing it on Saturdays<br />

and then I moved away<br />

from Monday to Friday<br />

doing a warehouse job.<br />

Then I realised I wanted<br />

to do it full time, so I<br />

moved into the city<br />

doing it full time and<br />

then I took over the<br />

shop about 3 and a half<br />

years ago.<br />

Talk to me around the<br />

circumstances of<br />

taking over the shop,<br />

how did that come<br />

about?<br />

Well the guy I was working with, the guy<br />

who had it before me, I used to work with<br />

him on Saturdays and we used to meet at<br />

Springfield cafe in Bounds Green and<br />

then one Saturday morning I went in and<br />

he literally said "I'm selling it, do you want<br />

to buy it?"<br />

And when you said years ago you were<br />

doing it part time, what was it about<br />

"I want to see people<br />

happy, customers happy,<br />

there are not many people<br />

around now that want to<br />

see their customers happy;<br />

they just want to take<br />

their money and go! But<br />

with me, I want<br />

satisfaction, I want you to<br />

come back and I want to<br />

give you 100% of my<br />

skill."<br />

the business itself that attracted you<br />

to make you want to go full time?<br />

It was mainly doing the shoe repairing<br />

because I wanted to do stuff accurately, I<br />

don't want to give anything that is bodged<br />

up rubbish or nothing like that. I want to<br />

see people happy,<br />

customers happy,<br />

there are not many<br />

people around now<br />

that want to see their<br />

customers happy;<br />

they just want to<br />

take their money and<br />

go! But with me, I<br />

want satisfaction, I<br />

want you to come<br />

back and I want to<br />

give you 100% of<br />

my skill.<br />

You seem to be<br />

really well known<br />

in the area and I'm<br />

sure it's because<br />

of good customer<br />

service, is that<br />

something you have really worked<br />

hard at doing?<br />

Yes definitely. I go in to another shop, get<br />

served by them, see how they serve me<br />

and build on it. Nine times out of ten<br />

you will get bad customer service, so you<br />

build on it. Here you always get a "Hello",<br />

you always get a "Goodbye" and "How<br />

are you doing?", "Have a nice weekend"<br />

or "Have a great evening" because that's<br />

12 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

what makes people feel good, makes them<br />

feel better and they will hopefully come<br />

back.<br />

Fantastic. On average, how many of<br />

your customers are return customers<br />

compared to new customers, if you<br />

had to break it down?<br />

The majority are new customers that say<br />

"Oh my friend said you were good".<br />

Friends and family recommend but I still<br />

what's happening round here in the next 5<br />

years to see if I want another shop round<br />

here before branching out.<br />

When you say another shop, would<br />

you move or open up another branch?<br />

Another branch, hopefully. You don't<br />

know, the guy who had this before me just<br />

had this, I most probably will just have<br />

this but if something did come along then<br />

you've got to look at it.<br />

have regular customers that come back<br />

and they sometimes come back with gifts.<br />

So if they have been on holiday, they will<br />

bring me back a bottle of something, or a<br />

key ring (which are on my machines).<br />

Many of them are happy to return with 2<br />

or 3 pairs of shoes.<br />

Where do you see yourself in let's say,<br />

the next 5, 10 years or so?<br />

Still here. There is a chance of moving on<br />

to different shops but I would want to see<br />

And what sells the most? Because you<br />

do the shoes, you do the keys and then<br />

the engraving, what turns over the<br />

most for you?<br />

Both keys and shoes because that's what a<br />

cobbler is known as, a shoe repairer and a<br />

key cutter. So both of them, both of<br />

them stand side by side of each other.<br />

You've been in the Market Hall for<br />

some time now, I've been in and out<br />

of the market and I've seen people<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 13

come and go. In your opinion, what<br />

makes a business successful? What's<br />

the key? What do you see some<br />

people doing wrong?<br />

Not doing deals. We<br />

round it off, so they<br />

are saving a pound or<br />

£1.50, that goes a<br />

long way. Deals,<br />

offers and again,<br />

smile. Be happy.<br />

I see that your<br />

answers always<br />

come back round to<br />

customer service.<br />

Yeah definitely<br />

customer service. As<br />

I say, people who are<br />

reading this interview,<br />

just go in to shops<br />

and listen to the<br />

customer service you<br />

get, watch what you<br />

get, judge it by that.<br />

That's all I can say.<br />

A lot of people who<br />

are going to read<br />

this interview are<br />

thinking of going<br />

in to business for<br />

themselves. What<br />

would be your<br />

advice to people<br />

setting up, starting<br />

out? What should they look out for?<br />

What should they really pay attention<br />

to?<br />

I’ll be honest, I didn't set up, I came in to<br />

a business which was already running, but<br />

I looked closely at our offering; I took on<br />

"...people who are reading this<br />

interview, just go in to shops<br />

and listen to the customer<br />

service you get, watch what<br />

you get, judge it by that.<br />

That's all I can say."<br />

more things, doing door entry fobs, doing<br />

a wider range of keys because the guy<br />

who was here before me just got stuck in<br />

his shop. I wanted to do more because I<br />

had worked in<br />

other shops so I<br />

could offer more<br />

and got it in here.<br />

Like now, shoe<br />

laces, pet discs, key<br />

rings, I just went<br />

for more stuff.<br />

Padlocks at the<br />

back wall, you may<br />

have a padlock<br />

sitting there for a<br />

year that's £100<br />

but it will sell one<br />

day, someone will<br />

come along and<br />

have it. Get your<br />

range of stuff in,<br />

it will sell.<br />

And when you<br />

came in and you<br />

started to look at<br />

the other ranges<br />

of things you<br />

were going to<br />

do, was it<br />

people's ideas or<br />

was it you<br />

thinking<br />

strategically and<br />

thinking well I<br />

can add this to it?<br />

It was more of what I had when I worked<br />

in other shops. So what I would do is if I<br />

choose something or if I see something I<br />

write it down, then the next week I act on<br />

it and get it if it's reasonable.<br />

14 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

Even if I am down on holiday in Bath<br />

and I see a shoe repairer down there, I say<br />

hello to him and we will have a chat, if he<br />

has something I like, I bring it back here,<br />

I look at it, if I can afford it, I stock it.<br />

You've just got to keep looking, you will<br />

learn something every day.<br />

Is it difficult keeping that repetition<br />

and keeping customers happy?<br />

It can be because when you give a bad<br />

service, a customer will tell 8 people, but<br />

when you give a good service, you very<br />

rarely get mentioned. So yes, you have to<br />

keep pushing with good deals.<br />

So you are always on the ball, you are<br />

not going to sit back and say "Well<br />

look, this is working for me now" You<br />

are always looking for a new<br />

opportunity?<br />

Yeah definitely. There was going to be<br />

something happening in Market Hall this<br />

year, but it's not going to happen and we<br />

are all staying. So we are changing the key<br />

boards in here to a new style of key<br />

boards, like a little refit. I want to do a<br />

little mini refit on the shop to make it<br />

look nicer because people do need to<br />

change, you can't keep looking at the<br />

same stuff.<br />

So Mark, what has been your biggest<br />

business challenge since you have<br />

been running the business?<br />

Trying to keep our customers focussed<br />

with good deals. Changing the deals every<br />

six months and basically being here,<br />

keeping the shop open 9am until 6pm<br />

every working day and always giving good<br />

service.<br />

So it's just about being consistent all<br />

the time?<br />

Yeah, just change one deal and then<br />

maybe a year and a half later go back to<br />

another deal and just swapping them<br />

around and whatever deal works, try and<br />

keep that deal going.<br />

Wood Green Cobbler, The Mall Wood Green,<br />

Unit 21 Market Hall, High Rd, Wood Green,<br />

London N22 6YE. Opening hours: Mon to Fri<br />

9am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm.<br />

16 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

Tell me how it all started off, where did<br />

the inspiration come from?<br />

To be honest we were looking for a<br />

restaurant and this space popped up and we<br />

thought the area needed some good coffee<br />

and fresh food, so that's how it started.<br />

What kind of restaurant were you<br />

looking at first?<br />

Well, Mediterranean, Turkish, but there's a<br />

lot of it in the area, so we thought maybe<br />

not and kind of stayed away from that.<br />

Made it more fresh pastries, cakes and good<br />

coffee. All made in house, besides our vegan<br />

stuff.<br />

And as far as the bakery is concerned,<br />

did you have a background in this field?<br />

Never done this before. I ran a sales and<br />

marketing company for 12 years. This was<br />

totally random.<br />

And what made you feel that you could<br />

take on something completely different?<br />

Obviously it's challenging but to me it's all<br />

about people. If you can deal with people<br />

they will come back and I have been in sales<br />

for 12 years, so for me that was my<br />

strongest point which I didn't think I would<br />

have a problem with. When I go into Costa<br />

or Pret, sometimes they are rude in there<br />

and I don't want to go back and I know<br />

that's not me, so I knew I could lure people<br />

in just from that alone.<br />

So basically your strategy was, get the<br />

people in, give them good service, treat<br />

them properly and they come again?<br />

That's it, exactly that!<br />

Brilliant. And the area, what made you<br />

choose Wood Green?<br />

I didn't choose Wood Green, Wood Green<br />

chose me [chuckles]. I think it's a busy high<br />

street and then the location popped up so<br />

we thought we'd give it a go, but Wood<br />

Green was not my first choice to be honest.<br />

How long did it take you to get it all<br />

started from when you saw the building<br />

and made the decision, to opening the<br />

doors?<br />

We put the offer in September 2016, we<br />

opened the doors 1st of July 2017. So<br />

about 7-8 months.<br />

What was the most difficult thing you<br />

found in getting the shop set up?<br />

Paperwork with the solicitors and the<br />

shopping mall, that took a couple of<br />

months and then the really hard bit was<br />

probably the builders delaying things and<br />

18 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

fridges not arriving, so mainly the interior<br />

part of it, the building part of it. That was<br />

probably the hardest, most challenging part.<br />

Who came up with the design for the<br />

shop? It looks excellent!<br />

We designed it ourselves. I was working<br />

with an architect, however, we gave her all<br />

the ideas and she kind of implemented it.<br />

But she didn't design any of it, she just put<br />

it together.<br />

Basically, she interpreted what<br />

you thought?<br />

Yeah, exactly that! We<br />

went for more of a<br />

modern cosy look, for<br />

me it's definitely<br />

missing in this area,<br />

and I think we got it.<br />

And the customers<br />

like it?<br />

Yeah definitely! A lot<br />

of customers think it's<br />

out of place for the area<br />

but yeah, they like it.<br />

That's one of the things that I have<br />

heard myself, people have said that they<br />

have looked at it and they think it's a<br />

chain. So is that a good thing?<br />

I guess it's a good thing, we are not a chain,<br />

there's only one branch but yeah, I think it's<br />

a good thing, yeah definitely.<br />

What's your long term plans? You've<br />

just started; you are in your first couple<br />

of years, where do you see this going to?<br />

To be honest, I don't know. It's a lot harder<br />

than what I thought that's for sure, I'm here<br />

7 days a week, I don't even get a day off, the<br />

odd week I get a day off. At the moment<br />

potentially we open a second one, not for<br />

another year I'd say, but potentially, yes.<br />

What would you say is one of the<br />

biggest challenges, the hardest thing<br />

you have to deal with when starting a<br />

business?<br />

There's loads [chuckle]. Dealing with the<br />

public isn't easy, but I guess, you got to do<br />

your homework, especially with food.<br />

Sometimes you have ideas but then it<br />

doesn't work so you've got to kind of<br />

swallow your pride and do what<br />

customers want; it's not about<br />

what you like; it's about<br />

what your customers<br />

like. I think that's the<br />

hardest part.<br />

Getting people to<br />

adapt to your style<br />

doesn't always<br />

work so you've got<br />

to compromise.<br />

But you've<br />

definitely got to do<br />

your homework;<br />

you've got to be patient.<br />

For this kind of stuff, people<br />

are used to the norm, they always<br />

go to the same places, so for them to come<br />

to your shop, you’ve got to do things<br />

differently, you’ve got to treat people<br />

differently, give away free stuff, I think that's<br />

the most challenging part.<br />

A lot of people go in to business and<br />

they fail in the first year. The failure rate<br />

in the UK alone is over 80% and that's<br />

being pretty conservative. What do you<br />

think a lot of people do wrong?<br />

It's hard to tell. Everyone's different,<br />

everyone has different ways of dealing with<br />

things, I think you got to set your<br />

expectations right. A lot of people<br />

sometimes don't make money so they put<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 19

their prices up thinking they are going to<br />

make money but that has the opposite<br />

affect. So I think you got to be patient, it's a<br />

long game, you can't just expect to walk in<br />

and go "Hey ho, I'm going to make loads of<br />

money", it doesn't work that way. Other<br />

than that I don't know, everyone's different,<br />

it's a difficult question to answer.<br />

Everybody's got a USP and there are<br />

some similar businesses in the area,<br />

what makes you stand out from the<br />

others; what's different about<br />

Charlie's?<br />

I mean, not to brag, but I<br />

think by far the shop<br />

looks the prettiest on<br />

the outside and on<br />

the inside, the<br />

coffee is freshly<br />

roasted, it's graded<br />

at over 90%, so<br />

anyone who knows<br />

anything about<br />

coffee will know. All<br />

our cakes, all our<br />

sandwiches, all our pastries<br />

are made daily, fresh, we don't<br />

keep anything. It all goes either in the<br />

bin or we give it to the homeless, so it's<br />

constantly fresh and it's baked throughout<br />

the day, which I don't think a lot of people<br />

do in this kind of business, unless it's a<br />

restaurant and then it's different. It's fresh<br />

basically.<br />

When you first started you weren't doing<br />

breakfasts, now you are. Was that part<br />

of a long term plan or did you just see<br />

an opportunity?<br />

Bit of both really. I think we should have<br />

maybe started off with breakfast but we<br />

didn't, we lured customers in gradually for<br />

the coffee and then the cakes and then the<br />

sandwiches and then the pastries. A lot of<br />

people were asking for breakfast and now<br />

we put the breakfast/brunch in and that<br />

menu got bigger in February of this year. I<br />

think it's about constantly adding new stuff,<br />

you can't just stay stale, you’ve got to<br />

constantly do new stuff, or people get<br />

bored. I didn't want to put it all in at once<br />

and then have nothing to add at a later<br />

stage, where as now I'm gradually adding<br />

more and more stuff every month or every<br />

two months.<br />

And lastly, what advice<br />

would give to people<br />

who are looking to go<br />

into business. Our<br />

readers are people<br />

who are moving<br />

from being an<br />

employee to an<br />

entrepreneur, what<br />

advice would you<br />

give them?<br />

You've got to take<br />

risks. If you don't take a<br />

risk, you're never going to<br />

know. You don't want to be 50<br />

years old and look back and think "Oh, I<br />

should have done this and I should have<br />

done that". Yeah it may not work, it may<br />

work, but the only way you are going to<br />

learn is to do it. I'd never been in this<br />

business ever, but its food, and especially in<br />

this industry people always need to eat and<br />

drink. So you got to take that risk and just<br />

do your homework.<br />

Charlies Cafe & Bakery, 169 High Road, Wood<br />

Green, N22 6BA. Opening hours: Mon to Sat<br />

7am-8pm. Sun 8:30am-7pm.<br />

20 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

Available to restore<br />

coppice, fell trees and<br />

lay hedges. Greenwood<br />

craft demonstrations,<br />

training and woodland<br />

walks also available.<br />

If what you need can be made with sticks, get in touch.<br />

www.rivenwoodcoppice.com info@rivenwoodcoppice.com<br />

Blue House Yard, River Park Rd, London N22 7TB

Resources on your<br />

doorstep<br />

Your start-up business journey doesn’t have to be a lonely one. If you’re juggling your<br />

finances on a shoe string, there are plenty of free resources online for budding<br />

entrepreneurs like yourself, but nothing beats face to face interaction and there are plenty<br />

of free resources you can access right on your doorstep, well, maybe a short bus ride away...<br />

To help you take your business to the next level, here are a few places in <strong>Haringey</strong> that are<br />

either free or available at low cost for start-ups / small businesses:<br />

The Business Lounge, provided by the<br />

<strong>Haringey</strong> Library Service, located on the<br />

ground floor of Wood Green Central<br />

Library, offers information and inspiration<br />

to help you start your business or plan for<br />

growth.<br />

Research your market and competitors, get<br />

help with developing your business and<br />

marketing plan and get information on key<br />

financial and legal issues.<br />

There are free advice sessions, workshops<br />

and seminars and networking events to get<br />

to know other local businesses and widen<br />

your network. There is also a free open<br />

workspace offering flexible hotdesking and<br />

a glass room that can be booked for<br />

meetings.<br />


Every Wednesday 1pm-5pm Free business<br />

start up and growth advice drop-in with<br />

<strong>Choices</strong> <strong>Local</strong> CEO Anthony Charles. Get<br />

help with your business plan, business start<br />

up and growth, marketing and advertising.<br />

Drop in or email Anthony to book a<br />

guaranteed slot -<br />

anthony@choicesmagazine.co.uk<br />

Every Friday 9am-5pm Free Friday Business<br />

Advice sessions are provided by Enterprise<br />

for London with Mike Williams. Book on<br />

020 7101 0696 or email<br />

enquiries@enterpriseforlondon.com.<br />

The Business Lounge is free to use, just fill<br />

out a form from the library customer<br />

service desk on arrival to become a member.<br />

You’ll need to bring proof of your signature<br />

and address from the last three months.<br />

Alternativey ontact them for more info<br />

Location: Wood<br />

Green Central<br />

Library, High Road,<br />

N22 6XD<br />

Opening Hours:<br />

Monday to Friday: 9am to 7pm, Saturday:<br />

9am to 5pm, Sunday: 12 noon to 4pm.<br />

business.lounge@haringey.gov.uk<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 23

A disused clothing factory in Manor House has had a makeover, now a quirky coworking<br />

community space offering a flexible, comfortable and creative place where people in the area<br />

can go, relax and work without any hassle, with the space designed to inspire you to think<br />

differently and encourage collaboration and productivity.<br />

This coworking space also hosts regular meet ups, coaching to grow your business and<br />

workshops. And for some good community fun and bonding, get togethers indulging in<br />

wine and cheese, film nights and painting and creative evenings. Prices for use of the open<br />

workspace start from just £9 per day.<br />

Location: Unit 5, Overbury Road, Manor House, N15 6RH<br />

For more information visit: www.areaworks.com<br />

24 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

This new business hub for small enterprises, entrepreneurs and creatives opened in April<br />

<strong>2018</strong>. The 13,000sq ft workspace combines flexible and affordable workspaces, co-working,<br />

training rooms and creative spaces and offers access to grants and business advice from<br />

Nwes, the country’s largest enterprise agency.<br />

Wood Green Works also offers fixed desk membership, meeting rooms, conference facilities,<br />

various office space sizes and will run events and workshops.<br />

Location: 40 Cumberland Rd, London N22 7SG<br />

For more information telephone: 0845 4374 465 or<br />

email: workspace@nwes.org.uk<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 25

639 is a visionary space for business,<br />

employment and volunteering in the heart<br />

of Tottenham. Run by local charity the<br />

London Youth Support Trust (LYST), the<br />

639 building has been developed as a centre<br />

to help local people aged 18 – 30 get started<br />

in business and gain employment skills.<br />

rooms, a cafe and a free-to-hire space for<br />

charities and third sector organisations. The<br />

Centre provides free business advice, free<br />

business mentoring, volunteering and<br />

mentoring opportunities and training<br />

opportunities via other organisations based<br />

in the building.<br />

Facilities include; affordable office space,<br />

shared workspace, conference and board<br />

Location: Tottenham Green<br />

Enterprise Centre, Town<br />

Hall Approach Road, N15<br />

4RX<br />

For more information visit:<br />

www.lystbusiness.com<br />

The North London Chamber of Commerce<br />

(NLCC) is an independent membership<br />

organisation offering a range of support services<br />

to help businesses raise their profile and generate<br />

new opportunities. Regular networking events,<br />

seminars, business advice, directory listings and<br />

discounted meeting room hire. The Chamber also<br />

provides advertising and sponsorship<br />

opportunities to strengthen business profiles as<br />

well as access to a legal HR advice and support<br />

line.<br />

To access the full range of benefits, membership<br />

starts at £99 per annum, but anyone can book to<br />

attend a networking event and pay the non<br />

members price.<br />

For more information visit;<br />

www.nlcc.co.uk<br />

26 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>


YOUR<br />



Ways to stay on track<br />

when all hell breaks loose<br />

I was a bit apprehensive when I started<br />

writing this piece; I’m not one to get into<br />

great religious or political conversations,<br />

because people can get really<br />

judgemental on what is essentially your<br />

personal beliefs and convictions. And<br />

although this article is about neither of<br />

the above subjects, I guess my<br />

apprehension came from<br />

the fact that sharing<br />

personal issues or<br />

experiences always leaves<br />

you open to the<br />

judgement of others.<br />

Producing a magazine<br />

that is all about helping<br />

people to start up and<br />

run successful businesses has always<br />

filled me with a desire to share our own<br />

success story with you the readers. The<br />

problems is, when you don’t<br />

automatically turn your business into a<br />

roaring success or when you hit those<br />

obstacles in the road, your story mainly<br />

consists of putting out one fire after the<br />

other.<br />

<strong>2018</strong> was a particularly rough year for us;<br />

nearly ten years ago when we were in<br />

severe financial hardship we approached<br />

the council for assistance with our<br />

council tax; they misinformed us telling<br />

us that we were not eligible, which not<br />

only resulted in years of financial<br />

struggle, bailiffs, stress, etc... It<br />

culminated in the council taking us to<br />

court to obtain charging orders against<br />

"This court case came bang in the<br />

second year of the launch of our<br />

magazine. Needless to say, the stress<br />

of dealing with it took its toll both on us<br />

personally, and the business."<br />

our property; eventually applying to the<br />

court to force the sale of our home.<br />

This court case came bang in the second<br />

year of the launch of our magazine.<br />

Needless to say, the stress of dealing with<br />

it took its toll both on us personally, and<br />

the business. We were already in a bad<br />

place with some of our main advertisers<br />

pulling out; we struggled to get the<br />

magazine out and get in more advertisers,<br />

making it tremendously difficult to run<br />

28 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

the business, while fighting to save our<br />

house.<br />

On April 13 <strong>2018</strong> we attended<br />

Edmonton County Court and got the sad<br />

news that after all of our hard work the<br />

Council had been granted permission to<br />

sell our property and we were to hand<br />

over the keys on 13 July <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

In the midst of this battle, I remember a<br />

friend of mine asking me how I managed<br />

to cope, much less get anything done<br />

under these circumstances. I’d like to<br />

share some of my answers with you:<br />

1<br />


This is about the most important thing I<br />

could say. As embarrassing as our<br />

situation was I didn’t try to hide it, not<br />

only did we go everywhere for advice and<br />

help (C.I.B at the Royal Courts of Justice,<br />

applying for legal aid, etc...) I also spoke<br />

openly to friends and colleagues about<br />

what had happened. I got a lot of really<br />

good help and advice and found that<br />

many people had faced similar situations<br />

and managed to find solutions.<br />

As the business came to a virtual<br />

standstill, we had to let all of our clients

know our situation and what we were doing<br />

about it and the majority were fine,<br />

understanding and supportive.<br />

2<br />



My close friends were very sympathetic, but<br />

when I messaged one of my clients who had<br />

paid for advertising, explaining what had<br />

happened, I got the reply ‘seems like I’m<br />

being spun a yarn’. I’ve got to admit, it<br />

completely took the wind out of my sails; it<br />

felt like a gut punch. I felt gutted that after<br />

being 100% honest, I was being accused of<br />

being a liar.<br />

value to other businesses, they are not going<br />

to do you any favours, do business with you<br />

or take you seriously.<br />

It’s really important not to take this<br />

personally; people do business with people<br />

they know, like and most importantly;<br />

people who are of use to them. If you have<br />

one and two, but not three (being of use to<br />

others); your only option is to add value to<br />

yourself and not take any rejections<br />

personally.<br />

3<br />


There were two things on my mind through<br />

all of this:<br />

This feeling went on for ages and<br />

continuously brought me down every time I<br />

was up. Eventually I had to really pull<br />

myself together, reminding myself that my<br />

clients (particularly the new ones) didn’t<br />

know us personally and could only go on<br />

the reputation we were<br />

building with them. It was<br />

nothing personal; it was<br />

business. I’m big on<br />

customer service and<br />

satisfaction so we have<br />

some bridges to mend and<br />

we won’t stop until<br />

everyone is happy. It’s not<br />

great when you slip up and get something<br />

wrong; the most important thing is what<br />

you do about it.<br />

When you don’t start off with a good<br />

reputation, you have no credibility and with<br />

none of those qualities going for us it was<br />

hard to get clients. And when you are of no<br />

1. We were not going to lose the house.<br />

2. We were going to make a success out of<br />

the business. I sat down and read over our<br />

business plan; made some adjustments and<br />

began to take action.<br />

"...when you don’t automatically turn<br />

your business into a roaring success<br />

or when you hit those obstacles in the<br />

road, your story mainly consists of<br />

putting out one fire after the other."<br />

I had to energise myself so I could get and<br />

keep the focus to keep me on track. I began<br />

to listen to more self development material;<br />

I started getting up early in the morning to<br />

meditate and I started running; I set myself<br />

mini goals in all of these areas to help with<br />

my focus.<br />

30 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

One of the things that I gain a lot of joy<br />

from is helping people, so I decided to use a<br />

section of my radio show to share some of<br />

the exercises that I use to help me to focus<br />

and succeed. I shared a concept that I call<br />

‘Titanium Thinking’ on the air; I was very<br />

apprehensive at the beginning as, again, it’s<br />

something personal to<br />

me and although I was<br />

used to sharing general<br />

motivational content<br />

during the part of my<br />

show called ‘The why<br />

hour’, I wasn’t used to<br />

talking about my<br />

personal beliefs' in the<br />

area of psychology and<br />

metaphysics. The response was amazing; so<br />

great was the response that I decided to<br />

record this philosophy over 12 shows and<br />

now I’m getting ready to share them on my<br />

podcast; much to the anticipation of my<br />

listeners.<br />

was affiliated with in some way, looking for<br />

pieces of work or joint ventures. Three<br />

organisations came back to me with work<br />

that brought in thousands of pounds.<br />

In my business plan, <strong>2018</strong> was the year I<br />

was due to launch a number of free events<br />

"Believing in yourself is crucial; life can be<br />

tough, and adversity will always introduce<br />

a man or woman to themselves. At the<br />

end of the day, it’s not what happens to<br />

you, but how you deal with it."<br />

in the Business Lounge (Wood Green<br />

Library). Launch I did and we had a great<br />

response; in fact it was in one of these<br />

events that I was recommended a book on<br />

sales called ‘The inner game of selling’ by<br />

Ron Willingham; I’m working through it as<br />

I write this and it has been extremely useful.<br />

4<br />


5<br />

Meditating, running, reading and helping<br />

others is great, but when it comes down to<br />

getting the results that you want; you have<br />

to plan, prepare and then take massive<br />

action. Every day is not the same in<br />

business and when one door closes, you<br />

have to start opening more doors like crazy.<br />

I struggled with getting advertising in for<br />

the magazine, so I pushed myself harder,<br />

and again, wasn’t scared to admit the areas<br />

that I needed help in.<br />

The magazine was on hold, so I started<br />

speaking to all the other organisations that I<br />


I guess one of the toughest things to do<br />

when it comes to taking massive action and<br />

keeping your focus is to continue believing.<br />

Here I am fighting to keep my business<br />

afloat and to save my house; I’m running,<br />

meditating and listening to motivational<br />

material; is all this really going to make a<br />

difference in my results? If I wasn’t taking<br />

massive action the answer would be no; but<br />

those exercises and rituals provided me with<br />

the energy to take massive action again and<br />

again until I got results.<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong> 31

Belief is crucial when you are taking massive<br />

action and things still seem to be going<br />

wrong. Prior to going to court, we wrote to<br />

Claire Kober (the then leader of the<br />

Council), her reply shut us down and backed<br />

the council 100%; that was followed by the<br />

decision on 13 April <strong>2018</strong> in the councils<br />

favour. What I haven’t mentioned is that<br />

our case was originally meant to be heard in<br />

January <strong>2018</strong>; however the council’s<br />

representative did not attend court and the<br />

matter was struck out. We knew it would be<br />

relisted, but what we<br />

didn’t figure was that the<br />

delay bought us enough<br />

time for the local<br />

elections to take place in<br />

May <strong>2018</strong>, resulting in a<br />

new regime taking over<br />

the council with a<br />

completely different<br />

outlook to their<br />

predecessors. All of a sudden, we had our<br />

local MP and councillors on our side and<br />

things began to take a turn for the better.<br />

to the close of this article, sharing this part<br />

of our story has been somewhat cathartic.<br />

I hope that this episode in our story gives<br />

you the courage to know that you can get<br />

back on track, even when all hell breaks<br />

loose. I hope, if nothing else, it will<br />

encourage you to set your goals, follow your<br />

plans, make the necessary adjustments, keep<br />

your focus, believe in yourself and take<br />

massive action to make your business work.<br />

Believing in yourself is crucial; life can be<br />

"Failure is only failure when you stop<br />

attempting to do better. Sometimes<br />

you just have to fail your way to<br />

success. Wishing you all the success<br />

you can dream of and work for."<br />

tough, and adversity will always introduce a<br />

man or woman to themselves. At the end<br />

of the day, it’s not what happens to you, but<br />

how you deal with it.<br />


So here we are; with our latest edition of<br />

<strong>Choices</strong> <strong>Local</strong>; we are already working on<br />

our next two editions and I’m getting better<br />

at sales. We are looking forward to an<br />

exciting 2019. We are still in our home; we<br />

managed to get an extension to January 13<br />

2019. I don’t intend to hand over my keys<br />

to the council, but they are not going to give<br />

up without a fight (I’ll keep you posted).<br />

I wasn’t expecting this, but as I am coming<br />

Failure is only failure when you stop<br />

attempting to do better. Sometimes you just<br />

have to fail your way to success. Wishing<br />

you all the success you can dream of and<br />

work for.<br />

32 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

Twenty years from now you<br />

will be more disappointed by<br />

the things that you didn't do<br />

than by the ones you did do.<br />

So throw off the bowlines. Sail<br />

away from the safe harbour.<br />

Catch the trade winds in your<br />

sails.<br />

Mark Twain<br />


Last word...<br />

The next time I write for <strong>Choices</strong> <strong>Local</strong> will<br />

be in 2019, a new year and new beginning<br />

for all of us. I would like to leave you with a<br />

wish that you have a Merry Christmas and a<br />

prosperous new year.<br />

A new year brings new beginnings for many<br />

and the opportunity to reflect on the last 12<br />

months. Looking back you can see what has<br />

been, what might have been and sometimes<br />

what you wish hadn’t been.<br />

I’m sure looking back on <strong>2018</strong> for many of<br />

you; it was a time of great uncertainty; well<br />

at least politically as far as Brexit is<br />

concerned. Perhaps your year was shaped by<br />

some defining event; I know ours has been<br />

(see page 28). Even though we still have a<br />

major fight ahead of us I am looking<br />

forward to 2019 with great optimism.<br />

Not everyone may share my optimism and I<br />

understand that; this may be due to business<br />

or personal challenges that you are facing,<br />

but I hope as we go forward with <strong>Choices</strong><br />

<strong>Local</strong> we can provide help, support and<br />

solutions for 2019 and beyond.<br />

No matter what has happened in the past 12<br />

months, you can’t change it; but you can<br />

change your perspective of it. Take some<br />

time to assess what has happened; the good<br />

and the bad; what could you have done<br />

differently? What can you improve on?<br />

We are coming to a new year and we’ve set<br />

our goals bigger than ever. As we take time<br />

to reflect on the past 12 months, we are<br />

focusing on our achievements; one of which<br />

was to make the magazine bigger; did you<br />

notice the extra four pages? We have big<br />

plans for 2019 and we realise that we can do<br />

so much more with this magazine and the<br />

resources that we have. We want to see<br />

businesses grow and thrive in <strong>Haringey</strong> and<br />

we want to play a part in this success.<br />

My encouragement to you for the upcoming<br />

year is to set bigger goals; look for more<br />

solutions and don’t get stuck in the past.<br />

We’ve learned for things to get better; we<br />

need to be better; and to paraphrase<br />

Ghandi; ‘we need to be the change that we<br />

want to see’.<br />

Wishing you the very best for 2019 and<br />

beyond.<br />

.<br />

Anthony.<br />

Sign up for the Inside <strong>Choices</strong><br />

newsletter at: www.choiceslocal.co.uk<br />

You see; everyone is self made; but only the<br />

successful are willing to admit it.<br />

34 <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Haringey</strong>

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