This month we find out more about Heloise Cotton and her business Bread and Breakfast…
When, and why, did you start your business?
I started working on Bread and Breakfast in early 2021 and launched in September as the pandemic pushed me to do something I was really passionate about. Having grown up in France, I love bread and pastries, which I have always found hit and miss on the high street. My husband and I have often talked about how convenient it would be to get fresh bread and croissants delivered early on the weekend and I realised that there was a gap that needed to be addressed.
What challenges did you face when setting up?
Finding a great supplier was difficult – there are many of reasonable quality, but I wanted to sell excellent products and that took a long time to source. I also find marketing challenging. I had never really been active on social media or promoted anything before so I struggled a bit, but I am learning and get better every day.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love the positive impact I’m having on peoples’ lives. It really makes my day when customers message me to tell me how much they enjoyed their breakfast and gives me adrenaline to carry on! I also love solving problems – it’s challenging and never boring.
What valuable lessons have you learned?
I’ve learned how much goes into setting up a business. As an entrepreneur you have to do everything yourself, you have to love the challenge and be resilient as your emotions are on a rollercoaster.
Is there anything you would do differently if starting out again?
Probably not. My business is a work in progress, I test new offers all the time to refine the concept and am still learning.
What’s your most popular service or product?
Customers love the pastries, especially the pains au chocolat! I also get a lot of happy vegan customers as I offer amazing vegan pastries.
What advice would you share with other small businesses or those thinking of starting out?
Don’t be afraid to start, just go for it and use all the help you can. I’ve had so much support from customers and other small business owners, giving me invaluable advice when I had just started.
What are your plans/hopes for the future of the business?
I receive a lot of repeat orders, which is very encouraging and shows that people really love the products. I now need to scale (locally) and get the word out there that Bread and Breakfast exists.
Name some other local independent businesses that you love to support.
I love Green Sparrow nut butters; they are made in Teddington and incredibly delicious. In Richmond I love the Alligator’s Mouth bookshop, it’s such an amazing place to buy children’s books with passionate people running the shop.
What do you love about our local area?
I moved here in 2016 from central London and haven’t looked back. I love the beauty of the riverside and local parks, and the community feel of the area.
And finally, tell us a little-known fact about yourself!
I sang in front of the French president back in 1994. I won’t tell you how old I was but I was old enough to sing!
1 the Hermitage, Richmond TW10 6SH
Tel no 07910 059217
Compiled by The Word Sanctum,
Copywriters for small businesses.