When the water level on Lake Windermere rose by 9ft on Friday, closing the roads to Ambleside, there seemed to be little prospect of opening the Interiors Show at the Low Wood Hotel on the shores of the Lake as planned on the Monday morning. Cancellation would have been disastrous for Lakes Hospitality as the Show is one of the two big money events of the year. But nothing fazes Gail, the Show’s indefatigable organisor and when the roads re-opened over the weekend she declared “business as usual”. All the exhibitors made it, but we had the bizarre experience of hearing the event being trailed on the local radio news only for the traffic bulletin which followed the news advising people not to travel to the Lakes because of the weather.
I was pleased to see Ian Steel at the J. Atkinson and Son stand, not least because he was generously supplying everyone with free cups of his excellent Java and Elephant coffees. Ian was in jubilant spirits, holding aloft a copy of the Independent, in which his coffee shop (founded as the Grasshopper Tea Warehouse in 1837) had just been named as one of the best 50 food shops in the country (see here).
I got chatting to Ian about my “Do One Thing” campaign and he told me about his brilliant “one fell scoop” idea. The way it works is that instead of supplying coffee to his commercial customers in individual sachets, he supplies it in bulk together with a scoop which measures out the quantity which would have been in the sachet. This saves him a fortune in the time saved by not having to fill the sachets and the cost of the sachets themselves. All his customers love it and he has the added satisfaction of saving the world into the bargain. Very Slow Life.