When client Duncan Bond needed help expanding his Cornish Tea and Coffee Company, it was Coodes’ Helen Willett he turned to for legal advice.
Duncan Bond is on a mission to create a successful global brand that is Cornish to a tea. His family-run firm supplies hotels, restaurants, and homes all over the world, as well as a long list of local businesses.
With sales riding high, Duncan decided it was time to expand and diversify by developing the property side of the Cornish Tea and Cornish Coffee Company.
The successful entrepreneur has been working with Coodes’ Commercial Property team to purchase a 17,000 sq. ft of industrial units on the outskirts of Liskeard.
Duncan worked with Helen Willett, Coodes’ Head of Business and Commercial Services, to buy the buildings, once home to the manufacturer Drinkmaster.
The properties have been divided into 22 units and are currently being let out to small local businesses.
The site might one day provide a new home for the Cornish Tea and Cornish Coffee Company’s new factory. But for now, the idea is to give Cornwall’s start-ups a chance to grow and thrive.
It’s the latest in a series of ventures for Duncan, who started his family-run firm back in 2012.
He says having the right experts on hand to help the brand develop and expand has been key to his success.
“I’m incredibly busy and I’m a big thinker, rather than a minute thinker,” said Duncan, who has also worked with Coodes to purchase two other commercial properties, one on an adjacent site and another in Looe. “It’s people like Helen who make my decision-making simple,” he added. “Helen made the whole process easy and that’s all you could wish for.
“She was very patient with me if I’m honest! She’s been very good at pointing out the things that can go wrong and advised me on what I could be doing.
“My advice to anyone out there would be to take expert help when you can.”
Building a portfolio
Duncan is hoping to boost the property side of his business and wants to buy more commercial buildings, with the intention of renting them out to other firms.
Helen Willett said, “We are absolutely chuffed to bits to be working with Duncan and acting for a brand such as the Cornish Tea and Cornish Coffee Company. Duncan has bags of energy and enthusiasm and that is really encouraging to see. The company has ambitious plans, and we are really delighted to have Duncan as a client, helping him to grow his business which is incredibly active and has a real focus on Cornwall, being an integral part of the local economy.”
He’s keen to help out small start-ups in need of a decent local location. Some companies have already moved into the Liskeard site, including a green energy firm, florist and upholsterer.
“It’s been great to see these small, micro businesses going great guns,” said Duncan, who has also been acting as a mentor to a couple of the young entrepreneurs. “I’ve been a bit of an adviser to a couple of them so far and that’s quite important to me when I stop and think about it,” he added. “It was never at the forefront of my mind that I wanted to help these small businesses but it’s really encouraging to see the growth.”
A homegrown brand
The family behind the Cornish Tea and Cornish Coffee brand can be traced back to bakers and grocers who were selling tea and coffee to the hotels and restaurants in Looe and Polperro in the 1800s.
Duncan started the company ten years ago after teaming up with his uncle and now business partner Harvey Bowden.
Today, Cornish Tea and Cornish Coffee Company has its own state-of-the-art factory in Little Trethew, in between Liskeard and Looe, supplying businesses, homes and tea and coffee drinkers all over the world.
The firm, which employs 25 staff, is growing 30 per cent year on year and recently made a £5million turnover. The aim is to hit £50 million over the next few years.
“It’s all going great,” said Duncan, proud to be doing his bit for local employment and raising the profile of his home patch. “One of my big motivations is that we’ve got 25 staff who are all well paid and in good jobs with good job security. We’re one of the biggest employers in the area now and we’re growing so fast.”
More projects on the boil
The Cornish Tea and Coffee Company is constantly looking for new warehouse space and room to expand. Duncan says buying commercial property will be an ongoing process, for the good of his business and others in the area.
He’s hoping to work with Coodes in the future.
“I would advise any business to use Coodes; I can highly recommend them,” he said, before adding: “I’m excited about the brand and I’m excited about Cornwall,” he said. “We’re definitely on the up.”
For more information about the Cornish Tea and Cornish Coffee Company, visit www.cornish-tea.co.uk