The Black Farmer
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones: farmer and founder of “The Black Farmer”
The Black Farmer: put simply, when you buy this brand you know that you will be hit by something that is really different; gluten free sausages with real taste, eggs with the darkest yolk on the market and chicken that is produced to the highest standards of welfare. So, what’s the story? How do you go about building a brand in an already crowded market that screams premium quality and noble standards?
Wilfred: “I started off as a chef and then worked in television, but I always had the ambition to have a farm, so I set up and ran my own food and drink marketing agency for 15 years; I learnt how to market brand while raising the money to buy the farm and from there I launched The Black Farmer.
The idea was always to think big, to overcome the perception of: “A small food producer in the heart of Devon”. From the outset I was aiming for a brand far greater than a packet of sausages… I went about building a brand with aspiration: I believe that businesses have a responsibility to wider society and I like the idea that the brand that we now have is an inspiration to others, to farmers and young black people; we are a path finder into new areas and territories.”
Start Point Finance know that the majority of successful businesses use financing as tool to achieve their objectives, so how does financing fit with growth of The Black Farmer?
Wilfred: “To build a long-term brand you have to have a long-term vision… and for this you need the right type of investment; the classic routes like angel investment, tend to put a massive strain on any businesses; investors want to get a return, decisions are often short term and not necessarily for the best interests of the business.
I wished to hold on to all the equity, so the only real option was for debt financing, but with banks you can struggle to get the right kind of support. You may succeed if you have property, but banks don’t understand the idea of ‘marketing intangibles’, so this can be a real struggle; it was my good fortune at this point to have the introduction to Tim at Start Point Finance.”
Start Point Finance provides businesses of all types with quick and easy access to a wide choice of finance products and as Toby Jones, Start Point Finance Operations Director often says: “We listen and provide the best solution.” So, let’s see how this pans out in Wilfred’s experience…
Wilfred: “Start Point Finance have the expertise in finding financial avenues that supported what I wanted to achieve and we found the right financial cushion for the businesses to make it all work. Of course, I’m very pleased with all of that and I would recommend Start Point Finance to anyone who is looking for people who really understand business and business needs – as opposed to a bank that is often just looking at the numbers… and the opportunity for commission.
But its more than that: I’m good at running a business, but finance is not my area and when you lay your business out on the table the last thing you want is to feel judged – you need a safe place where no question is out of bounds – a place to explore without the fear and assumption that just because you don’t speak the language, that you are some sort of idiot, or that your ‘business is too small’ or that your ‘profits are not good enough’ – you get none of that with Start Point Finance; they take the time to understand and to talk you through the whole process and all the options.
Start Point Finance helped me to make the right choices based on the nitty gritty facts of my business, leaving me to get on with the job of developing and marketing the narrative around The Black Farmer brand.”
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