From Redundancy to Thriving Business Owner with Oast House

Industries 
Deliver snack boxes which support charities to a range of workplaces. These self-vending boxes earn money for you while you are out delivering yet more boxes and expanding your customer base.
Video

Oast House Farm Snacks

  Opportunities:
In the UK
  Business Type:
Franchise
  Minimum Investment:
£3,000
  Training Provided:
Yes
  Home-based:
Yes
  Part time:
Yes
  BFA Membership:
Member - Associate

“I’ve had support every step of the way and I see a bright future ahead.”

Former GB lawn tennis champion Rachel Apsey was working for a door-to-door tea delivery company which was forced to make redundancies in autumn 2016. She’d already developed glandular fever, including the debilitating ME effects of the illness, so it was a difficult time both personally and professionally.

Then she came across Oast House.

Rachel Apsey with Oast House Farm Snacks box

“I was looking online at different avenues and Oast House jumped out,” says Rachel. “It sounded really good and was similar to what I was doing in the past. I rang Matt Simmonds, the franchise director, and he came down to see me. That’s where it all started.”

The new business not only gave Rachel the chance to manage her illness in a way that suited her, thanks to the flexibility of the Oast House business model; it also provided the opportunity to tap into her previous experience of delivering books and gifts into workplaces. Now she provides snack boxes to local companies while supporting national charity, The Sick Children’s Trust.

Starting her Yeovil-based business at the end of November 2016, Rachel now has close to 200 boxes in various workplaces, with plans to grow to 300 or so in autumn 2017 – less than a year into her new venture.

Rachel says: “I see a bright future ahead. Once you get your core base of boxes in to the right companies then there’s a lot of growth potential. I don’t mind cold calling at all. If I lose a few boxes yesterday, I’ll try to find three new customers the same day if possible.

“Getting the boxes in in the first place is the hardest part of the business, but once you’ve got them in there, it’s really nice to go in and see familiar people every week and build up a relationship with them.”

Rachel Apsey, Oast House Farm Snacks franchisee

Helping Hand

Rachel is quick to pay tribute to the support she’s enjoyed from the Oast House head office team, which gets each franchisee’s business off to the best possible start by placing the initial boxes ready for collections to begin.

“Trevor, my area manager, has been a great help in my early growth,” she says. “You also have the support of Matt and Natalie at head office, and Suzanne who does the accounts. If I’ve got a problem I just pick up the phone and they’re always there to help.”

So was it a smooth transition into building your own business?

“Completely. You get the manuals from head office and support every step of the way. From day one once you’ve got your boxes out, on your first day of collecting you’ve got money coming back in. And the computer system is straightforward, not too complicated to follow!”

When it comes to the issue of managing the ongoing effects of glandular fever, Rachel says her business is perfectly suited.

“I still get tired but not like I was, I pace myself to manage it. It was six months before I could do anything after being diagnosed and I’m back playing tennis now! I play for the GB veteran’s team competitively and it’s thanks to the flexibility in the business that I’ve been able to get back so quickly.”

That might be a ‘nice problem to have’ again in the future as her growth continues. Rachel concludes: “I try and do up to 40 calls per day, but obviously when I get 300 boxes out I’ll have to calculate the best way to manage that!”

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