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  • Mark Taylor FIH

‘2021 Ends and an exciting 2022 to look forward to……..’

So, as I sit here on a train to Manchester to see a prospective new client, writing my final blog post for 2021, I must look back and be extremely thankful for the year myself and Bloom Foodservice have had. Since starting Bloom in April, I have been so lucky to gain some amazing clients across such a diverse range of products, solutions and sectors.

Having reconnected with some old colleagues and friends has been lovely.

Given the year we’ve had, it was always going to be risky, but nearly three-quarters of the way through my first trading year, I really can’t complain. It’s funny, when you work for a corporate organisation, you take so much for granted and when those things aren’t there, yes it’s scary, but actually what I have learnt is that it’s all good. Yes, you have to make decisions that maybe someone else would have made previously, but conversely, if you make a mistake, it’s just down to you and you’ll probably never make that mistake again!

To say the last 8 months have been a vertical learning curve would be an understatement! I have learnt so much about so many different things, from amending websites to dealing with legal documents that I must create (now I’ve found an amazing legal consultancy to help me, so it’s not so bad!), writing proposals and most importantly delivering the end results for my clients.

One client I am working with had an idea about a product range and working very closely together, we have been able to gain listings within a few months. From a chef’s kitchen table to a live foodservice product range going live in January – very exciting and once again, in a category I wasn’t really used to working in, but now I’m all over ‘plant-based’ and ‘vegan’ amongst other things!

It’s been great to continue to attend some of our industry events, particularly after most of them were shut down in 2020. I’m of course, referring to LACA, The NACC Training & Development Forum, the LUNCH show, Café Culture amongst a few. Next year will ‘hopefully’ be back to some degree of normality, but with the Omicron threat hanging over us, who really knows? It’s also been great working with my colleagues at the Institute of Hospitality Thames Valley Branch; we had our first face-to-face event early in December, which was excellent - they really are the nicest bunch of people and I’m pleased to call them friends now.

For what’s it’s worth, we have to all work together to get hospitality and foodservice back on an even keel. The sector has been hit numerous times across both the cost and commercial sectors and this must rebalance in 2022. The whole ‘unlock’ followed by an ‘emergency brake’ and then repeated is so damaging to livelihoods and businesses; notwithstanding the detrimental effect it’s having on our health & social care sector. We must hope that with the incredible vaccine and booster programme currently underway, the dial shifts towards more positivity during 2022.

I’d like to thank so many people for their help; support and guidance on my journey during 2021. My clientswho I am blessed to be working with and long may it continue, my friends & industry colleagues who have put up with the good days and a few bad ones, but knowing they’re always there to offer advice, friendship and support means so much and last, but most importantly my family, who have been with me every step of this journey and keep me sane and grounded. Constantly telling me I was ‘doing the right thing’ initially… thank you!!

So as this year draws to a close, I’d like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year – let’s all pray that 2022 is a much better one…..lots of happy thoughts over the festive break methinks.

See you on the other side….

Mark Taylor

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