Founder of compassionate egg company CackleBean Eggs, Paddy Bourns, launched his business in 2009. After identifying a lucrative gap in the market for organic poultry farming with an even higher level of welfare. Read about the things that helped Paddy carve out a niche and grow his business.
1. Use your passion
I’ve always been in the poultry industry, even as a boy, but I wanted to learn more about the industry so I went on to do a HND in poultry. For me, it was important that I did things differently, using more humane and sustainable practices with happy hens. That’s when my business plan started to form so I bought a couple of sheds and started from the bottom with a lot of hard graft.
Today, I’m still doing what I love. But instead of working for someone else, I'm working for myself, doing it my way. So, if you can find your passion then it never really feels like work.
2. Don’t compromise your values
The key challenge for us has been staying true to who we are as a company. We only produce eggs from our own breed of hens, hatched at our farm, which is unique to the industry. As welfare is our main focus, expansion is slow which leaves us without enough product for the demand, but we’re not changing our system.
It’s difficult explaining that to people who want to increase their supply and we’ve even had to turn down huge partnership opportunities as they don’t balance with the niche of our eggs and we refuse to compromise on quality. That’s what makes us who we are.
So my advice is to stick to your niche and don’t follow the crowd. Hopefully we show that you don’t have to have a big chicken farm to be successful.
3. Get specialist support
Our Barclays Relationship Manager understands the Agriculture industry. With their knowledge and advise, they helped us build our business organically.
Barclays has supported us since we were just a year old. As time has gone on, we’ve developed a close-knit relationship. They’re always honest with their opinions and don’t always say yes to our ideas. But they always challenge us to be better – which is exactly what we need to succeed as a business.
4. Community is key
Although the Covid-19 lockdown created a boom of business for us due to the demand coming from London, we have always looked out for our community first. Our eggs are supplied to local restaurants that wouldn’t compromise on quality after using our produce.
We also pitch in with advice for other Agriculture businesses in the area. They’re our neighbours. We want to help each other grow, and after the specialist support I have experienced with Barclays, I have recommended them to other businesses as they really do understand our complex industry.
5. Enjoy the process
We want to be known for what we do and that we do it well. Growing organically has meant that we can take time to appreciate each milestone of our business, and our own personal lives too.
We plan to see more growth and more changes, but it will always be at the pace that’s right for CackleBean Eggs so we can enjoy the business for the success it continues to bring.
“Barclays has supported us since we were just a year old… We’ve grown together and they’ve been an incredibly supportive partner we can rely on.”