‘I’m bad at haggling but very jealous of people who get great deals’

Are you a saver or a spender?

It is impossible for me to save with three busy boys but, if I am honest, I have always been a spender at heart.

Do you shop around for better value?

I try to shop local as much as possible but it must represent value. When it comes to the weekly shop, for example, I believe it is worth investing in good-quality food, as it’s healthier for my family.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?

Unfortunately, since starting the business, I have not been able to make any extravagant purchases but, before that and prior to children arriving, it would have been travel, experiencing new places and different cuisines. Hopefully, those days will return.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

Our home. It is the biggest investment we will make in our lives, but it gives you a great sense of security, and we love where we live.

How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?

Given the support the business has received throughout Covid, shopping local is something we feel is important to do. I always shop local during the restrictions and really enjoy the interactions. Some days it was the only break I got from work and home schooling.

Do you haggle over prices?

No, I am bad at that but very jealous of people who get great deals.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?

Well, I don’t go out any more. Going out for dinner would have been something we did regularly before the lockdown. The spontaneity of human interaction, the laughs, the catching up – they are all things I have really missed and cannot wait to get back this year.

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Do you invest in shares?

No, I never do. I received good advice once to always invest in yourself and that is what we try and do. We invested in our new app last March and have enjoyed watching it grow. It was one of our best investments in 2020.

Cash or card?

Always card these days, but if I were more organised with my money, I would prefer to use cash.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

We invested in electric bikes for the delivery business, along with our electric car and compostable packaging. Our focus is very much sustainability and trying our best to reduce our carbon footprint. This is always good value for money.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

Our home. We were renting for seven years and then it went on the market. We had a relatively short amount of time to save for our deposit, but it was worth every sacrifice. We love it.

Have you ever lost money?

On our first month in business in 2010, we decided to trade at a big music festival. It was the worst experience from start to finish and, on the last night, I dropped all the takings on the way back to our B&B. We retraced our steps through all the late-night revellers – would you believe I found it in a patch of grass? I think it would have been the end of the business if we had not found that cash.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?

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No, never.

Is money important to you?

I do not believe money makes you happy but having a bit of disposable income can make life easier. If anything, [what] 2020 taught us is that your health is your wealth.

How much money do you have on you now?

Not a penny, just my card.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea


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