During the height of the pandemic, the dynamic duo re evaluated their market channels and began to sell direct to the consumer. The couple refreshed their social media content with the help of Photography Expert, Sally Ann Norman by creating some outstanding photography to engage and captivate their target market.
Tell us a little bit about your business
We started in 2011, husband and wife team, just the two of us.
We brew English ales in cask and bottle for on and off trade and since March 2020 direct to customer via online web-shop deliveries. Typical pub customers are Free trade pubs and some pub chains, plus beer festivals. We sell to independent off licences and specialist food outlets.
What has been the main impact of Covid-19 on your business?
Lack of customers due to pubs being closed so we lost over 95% of our trade overnight in March 2020. We cut back production by about 60% and diverted most of this into small pack (bottles and 5 litre mini kegs), set up a webshop and began direct to customer selling, both locally and nationally via a courier. We also sold small pack to businesses in greater volumes, and some cask for sale in containers by pubs.
Have you had to re-evaluate and change the way you do business, as a result of the Covid-19 situation, and how well have any changes that you have introduced worked?
Yes, we have had to sell direct to customers rather than to landlords/pub companies and boost our online and social media profile. The changes worked well and because we are small, we can make and implement decisions quickly.
What was the nature of the support that the BIPC provided?
Photo shoot at work, providing images for use in social media and press releases.
Has the support that you have received from the Citylife Business Support Expert helped you to move your business forward? And how?
Yes, it has helped us be able to create engaging and professional looking content for all our social media platforms, and we believe it has helped raise our follower numbers significantly.
We will soon be working on improving our website which was re-done very hastily last year to set up the online shop. We now know we have great pictures to use on the website when we are in a position to focus on this.
Has the Citylife support that you received helped to safeguard the future of your business and any employees?
Yes, it has given us images we can use going forward over the next few years, and given us more confidence in using photography to promote ourselves. It has made us think more carefully about the photos we take ourselves on a day to day basis, what to guard against, what to aim for.
The support has helped give us more confidence in our image and the way we portray our product, and therefore our ability to sell!
Cullercoats Brewery worked with Photography Expert Sally Ann Norman