Summer 2023 Highlights

Posted on 2 Oct 2023

Writing this post has been more difficult than I expected because there have been many highlights this summer. These are a mixture of business and personal highlights, as I feel as if I’ve grown as both a business owner and a person. I’ve narrowed it down to 10 moments (just).

  1. It’s a love/hate relationship with the machines, they have been my life all summer (and many years) but they also make me proud.
  2. Graduation was a big moment. After 4 years of hard work; some online, some in Australia and most of it spent in the library in Edinburgh, it was massive to be able to celebrate that with my family. I’m lucky because I got to implement things I learnt during my degree straight into practice with BU.
  3. Taking our converted horsebox to the Open Farm Sunday in Newent and the Royal Forest Show in the Forest of Dean was so much fun and such a good way to meet other local businesses and customers!
  4. Our first ever Spotify episode! I love podcasts and being interviewed for one was a pretty big pinch me moment. Thank you Michelle.
  5. We opened our 3rd machine! When I invested in our first one I didn’t think we’d have three in two years. Everyone in the Whitchurch & Ross area has been so lovely and welcoming and hopefully you’ve stopped off too!
  6. Attending the Women’s Business Conference was a big step out of my comfort zone, knowing absolutely nobody and being the youngest by far! However, it taught me to be brave and not to be afraid to ask questions. I was able to connect with so many amazing women who are doing their own amazing things. I left inspired and boosted to keep growing.
  7. Time management has been a big learning point for me this year. I’ve realised that running your own business means it can become all-consuming if you’re not careful. I would be working on and off all hours of the day and then I would go to bed unsatisfied, my head racing with more ideas or things to do, then I would dream about berries too! It became unsustainable. Now I’m trying to block out my days, delegate, to have designated time off and to grow myself, learning new skills that have nothing to do with the business. Watch out because I’m learning how to land a punch!
  8. Having a social media manager has been a GAME CHANGER. Anyone that runs a business account on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or LinkedIn knows how time consuming it can be. I love marketing and being creative with our account, but Grace has helped in more ways than she knows. She’s been a sounding board for my ideas, come up with her own ingenious ones, helped to stick to a posting schedule (ish!) and filmed reels better than I ever would. So thank you Grace!
  9. Using a van! It may seem small but what a difference it’s made! For 6 years I would bring the fruit every morning, 7 days a week, to the stand - fresh off the field or cold store in my tiny red car. This year we’ve been using a van and not having to play Tetris every morning has been huge, and Iliana’s smile every morning (well; most mornings!) makes it worth it.
  10. Finally, this summer reminds me how important people are to a business. Yes, I work with fruit, but I also work with the best BU salespeople, the best accountants, the best family and the best customers. I couldn’t do it without you! So thank you for all your support, as always.

That just about wraps it up! If you’ve got this far into the post, congratulations and hopefully you’ve seen into the little things that have made me proud of this year so far.

Having said that, the year isn’t over yet! We’re looking forward to the winter season with lots of exciting products to introduce to our machines, including local, healthy snacks and drinks. Watch this space!

Ariana x