Who Am I Interviewing This Month?
• This Twickenham entrepreneur comes originally from Dorset.
• His first few jobs included working in a pie factory and a coat-hanger factory.
• He started his business when he was 22 (22 years ago!)
• He found a man on the street in Calcutta making puzzles out of metal, and he then paid this man to teach him how to make them.
• When he came back to England he started selling them in markets in Camden and Covent Garden.
• That was over 20 years ago and the business has developed and grown ever since.
• The business moved to Twickenham from Shepperton four years ago to be closer to the City: “We needed to be able to hire London talent as well as local talent. Twickenham is a great place to be able to benefit from the best that London can offer without everyone having to commute.”
Have you guessed who it is yet? No?
• He is most proud of his team. “We are now a group of 70 working around the world – Chicago, Bristol, Fareham and China, but the main office is here in Twickenham.”
• “They are the hardest working team in the industry and they are a truly inspiring bunch.”
• Business mantra: “Patience. It takes time to grow a stable business. If there are any short cuts, I’ve never come across them.”
• He would like to learn to ride a penny farthing and play the accordion – but not necessarily at the same time!
• He has a passion for talking-dog movies.
• His business has supported local charities by donating some of its stock of games to sell at local fairs. Both SPEAR and ETNA have benefited in this way.
It can only be one person, Ben Meldrum of Professor Puzzle.
PROFESSOR PUZZLE is the world’s most innovative designer and manufacturer of games and puzzles. From small beginnings on a market stall, their mission is to become the world’s leading games and puzzles company. They are driven by a belief in the benefits of challenging the mind and the importance of creative play.
“Puzzles are a great mental workout. Games are the best way to bring people together. And garden games are a lovely way to get families outside having fun. Something which has been so important in the past year.”
Ben would love to open some puzzle cafés in the area but has not yet quite figured out how to make it work. For more information, visit the website: professorpuzzle.com
Con O’Brien, Business Consultant
0785 401 3864