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Small business of the month: Harry's Cider

As part of its Think Small programme, Earnest is interviewing a number of small businesses to understand the changing business models, challenges and ambitions that are spreading across the small business market. 

This month we met Harry Fry who runs Harry’s Cider, a small cider production and retail business that is run from their farm in Somerset. We met Harry down in his orchard and chatted about his business and his dreams over a pint of his delicious cider.

The Trip: Harry's Cider, Somerset

Harry told us that his whole life has been in farming, starting as a dairy farmer milking cows in 1982. But after farming regulations made things tougher and Magners released its multi-million pound campaign that made drinking cider trendy, it became clear he needed to ‘pivot’ – cider was on the up and Harry wanted a bite of the apple.

Harry said while his businesses is still producing just a tiny speck of the total amount of cider made in the UK, he slowly wants to build a business with a solid brand that can last a number of generations.

“I do feel like I should pass the business onto the next generation. It’s the only way you can build an empire, by passing it on. If I decided to just build this business and sell it in five to 10 years time and retire on just what I made, then what future is there for my children? I’m just like any other farmer and it will pass from one generation to the next.”

But the idea of building a business that has been passed through the generations isn’t just good for the kids – Harry believes it’s a fundamental part of what makes a good brand and a good business.

“People relate to me, my dad and the local area that we represent. People buy it and will keep buying it because of the story behind us, because of our heritage and because we’re local – local is such a big theme nowadays.”

What can marketers learn from Harry’s Cider?

When it comes to running a business things move much more slowly for Harry (but not in terms of how hard he works!). Considerations and decisions about what he buys and whom he partners with are centered around thinking about the long term, not the short (something that is often a huge differentiation between big and small businesses). It’s not about a quick buck, but about trusted partnerships. Take note

Think Small: How to market to small businesses

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