We love getting to know the people behind the businesses – we caught up with Chris and Marisa at Kelchner Brewery to ask them our famous 5 questions:
Hi guys, what prompted the start of the business?
Both of us were working and wanted something different. I always wanted a vineyard but didn’t have the millions needed. We then Googled breweries for sale and came across a local brewery. We thought we could make a go of turning it around and making it into a profitable operation.
What does your business offer its customers?
We concentrate on producing quality local products which both retailers and publicans are proud to serve. The pubs, we offer support through “meet the brewer nights” where we speak to pub goers about our products and explain what we do. We also offer a personal service to each of our customers and are more than happy to support events and initiatives they may have.
What kind of customers do you work with? Are there any types of businesses you collaborate well with?
We work with all sorts of businesses. We supply local free houses with direct deliveries as well as large pub co’s through the SIBA scheme. For retailers we supply a lot of local farm shops and retailers. We try not to over supply in areas as we want to help shops with unique products.
We also offer our products to sports clubs and aim to support their activities. This could be free ale for a fundraising event through to sponsorship of a board at the ground. We support clubs from local cricket up to national teams like Ampthill RFC and Luton Town FC
What’s the toughest part of running your business?
Initially it was the administration which was difficult as we both worked full time. However, this year was easier as we moved towards a full time basis. Covid has hampered us as we just can’t move forward as pubs and clubs are restricted and don’t want to over commit on stock.
What piece of advice could you give to other business owners?
“Be brave but not foolish”. If it was easy and simple, then everyone would do it. It takes courage to invest in a business and take it forward. If you have a plan which is researched, then have confidence to take it forward. On the other side, know when to call time on something which isn’t working.