Meet Katherine Davies, the small business owner of “Pops Blackjack” business based in Millicent, SA
Meet Katherine (Kate) Davies, the small business owner of “Pops Blackjack” Worcestershire business based in Millicent, South Australia. She makes her Worcestershire sauce from an original 100-year-old generational recipe that was passed down by her father. She started this business to honour her father’s memory. The recipe she uses is a family tradition that originated with her dad, who learned it from his grandmother, and she, in turn, inherited it from her parents. This recipe has been passed down through generations, and it’s something the entire family has always cherished.
“I was clueless about starting a business and had many apprehensions and questions but Shaun, my business coach from Many Rivers was always there to answer my questions or patiently listen to me and share his expert insight and ideas on how to go about my business. I now have a better understanding of my business and other things thanks to Shaun.”
Read more about Katherine’s business journey so far:
I started my business in late 2016 and since then there has been no going back because this business is very close to my heart because it is associated with my dad’s recipe. I made the first batch of my sauce in 2016 and I took it to the local supermarket in my area and they told me that if I get proper labelling done on my bottles then they would stock them for me in their store.
I began this venture to honour my father. The recipe I use is a family tradition that originated with my dad, who learned it from my grandmother, and she, in turn, inherited it from our great-grandparents. This recipe has been passed down through generations, and it’s something we’ve always cherished. Whenever my dad made it, the would find its place on the kitchen table. Besides my personal love for the recipe itself, I also appreciate the sentimental value attached to it. The label on the bottle features my dad’s face, captured during the first time I attempted to make it. His presence behind me as I nervously prepared it adds an extra special touch to the whole experience.
In my business, I make and sell a variety of sauces such as the Original Worcestershire, Garlic Worcestershire, Chilli Worcestershire, and extra hot chilli Worcestershire, a sweet chilli sauce and a boozy barbeque and another one the dipping duck plum sauce.
What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers?
I am 63 years old right now and throughout my life I have done a couple of hands-on physical jobs like working in paper mills, wood mills, gardening, and also worked at a dry cleaner’s store. I also got into growing organic vegetables and edible flowers at one point.
Why did you want to go into business?
I began this business as a way to honour my father. The recipe I use belongs to him, and he observed me preparing it. This recipe has been passed down through generations, originating from my grandmother and great-grandparents. It holds sentimental value for our family, being a tradition, we’ve always cherished. I not only enjoy the taste of the recipe but also appreciate the personal touch of having my father’s face on the bottle. The first time I made it, he was there beside me, and despite feeling nervous, it’s a special memory.
Working with Many Rivers
I received business coaching and mentoring from my Many Rivers coach, Shaun. Since I was clueless about starting a business and had many apprehensions and questions, Shaun was always there to answer my questions or patiently listen to me at all times and share his expert insight and ideas on how to go about my business. He will lead you up the garden path and he has put me in touch with different people for marketing. He sent me a whole documents pack to assist me with the cashflow and ABN. I am able to have a better understanding of my business and other things now thanks to Shaun.
What did you find the most useful about the assistance from Many Rivers?
The overall support and coaching from my business coach, Shaun has been the most useful assistance for me.
Did you get a loan from MR? How did you use the loan?
No, I did not get a loan from Many Rivers.
Do you have any current employees? If so, how many employees? Are they full-time or part-time?
It’s just me doing everything. I hire a commercial kitchen where I do most of the cooking and packaging the sauces in the bottles and then I put the labels on the bottles and then post it to anyone who has ordered. I get orders on phone calls and sometimes on my Facebook page.
The most significant challenge so far has been marketing. While I’ve always had confidence in the sauce itself, the struggle lies in effectively promoting it. Finding a way to get the product out there, considering the costs associated with shipping, has been a hurdle. Creating appeal for people to try it has proven to be a challenge as well.
Additionally, the limited finances have been an obstacle in expanding the business. Moreover, I feel that it is challenging to sell more of my sauces because it is a small town with less people. There have been businesses that have stocked up my bottles but nowadays it is not so great maybe because of COVID and then due to the inflation post-COVID. My sauces are a bit premium with a premium price of $11 as compared to the regular price Worcestershire sauces available in the supermarkets for $4.95.
My biggest success has been people buying my sauces. It makes me happy that people are spending money on something I have made with my heart. I’m proud that my family’s special recipe is becoming known, and it means a lot to see my dad’s recipe and his face on the bottles of all my sauces.
In the future, I hope my business grows, and my sauces are available in many stores and supermarkets. I want more people to buy them, and I aim to keep running my business steadily and consistently.
Thank you, Kate, for sharing your business journey with us. We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours and business success.
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