Browse content similar to Episode 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
I'm Alex Polizzi.
I cut my teeth inside my family's international hotel empire,
and now run a multi-million pound food business with my husband.
Last year, I battled to save six failing family firms.
I don't know if it's ever going to get better.
You must see some hope, otherwise let's not bother with this.
In the midst of the recession,
every month 1,000 businesses were going bust.
This business is on a knife edge.
At some point we're going to have to have to call it a day.
But for families, it was more than finance.
£50,000 now and you'll never see me again.
Now I'm heading back to see how it's all turned out.
This is a business! You're ruining your health, you're ruining your family life.
He's just used to getting his own way and I'm used to getting mine.
This week, I'm returning to two companies that were both run by parents that couldn't let go.
We're different from anybody else, and what's so wrong with being different?
A furniture store that was close to folding...
It just got quieter and quieter and quieter.
I don't think that it's all that bad, personally.
..ruled by a dad so stubborn he was forcing his son out of the business.
I could quite happily not come in tomorrow.
And a seaside bakery that was not making enough dough...
We need to do something, for God's sake.
..run by a matriarchal queen mum struggling to give up her crown.
I honestly beg you, Elaine,
to think about how you are going to work this hierarchy.
This conversation has gone too far anyway.
First up, I'm heading to a struggling family furniture shop on the outskirts of Leeds.
The furniture business is going through a dramatic decline.
This has been a terrible year so far.
People think in a recession much more carefully
about spending money on big ticket items.
To survive, furniture stores need to be flexible, fashionable and ready to move with the times,
or risk dying of old age.
Kettley's is... was a traditional shop.
It still is a traditional shop to this day.
Customers are probably 50-plus, looking for
old-style traditional furniture, from an old-style traditional furnishers like ourselves.
John Butler is king of Kettley's.
But it's a kingdom that's crumbling.
Profits have been falling year on year and in 2010, they nosedived.
We're not falling over ourself with the customers. It's hard to get them in at the moment.
From 2009 onwards, it just got quieter and quieter and quieter.
If the family fail to modernise, they simply won't have a future.
But John seems blind to the problems.
It's pretty good for a furniture shop is this, ain't it?
Causing a gaping rift with his family co-workers -
nephew Andrew, niece Nicola and, worst of all, with his son
David who had told one day to take this business into the future.
We do need to communicate better, yeah.
There's some days I'll come into work and me and me dad won't talk to each other at all.
We're not close, you know.
We're not like this kissy-kissy, huggy-huggy type of thing,
but our family has never really been like that.
I need to snap John and Kettley's out of this terrible time warp,
or there may be nothing left for the next generation to inherit.
I hope she isn't too harsh on us, because obviously I don't want her ripping the place apart.
I don't think that it's all that bad, personally.
Hmm. I can't say I'm overwhelmed as a first impression.
There's a lot of window and a lot of furniture, but no window display,
and there is a very strange collection of "objets" in the window.
-Pleased to meet you. My name's John.
How are you?
Very glad to be here.
'How glad I stay depends literally on what's in store.'
Well, John Lewis this ain't.
It does surprise me already that there's no attempt at all to kind of up-sell.
There's nothing that suggests a bedroom set,
ie beds with tables either side.
I mean, this is like a warehouse.
Online shopping may be popular,
but when it comes to furniture people prefer to try before they buy,
which means in this business, the showroom is everything.
Honestly, you don't see many shops like this any more.
It's a kind of museum piece.
Not only is this place uncomfortably crowded,
it's also littered with old tat.
I don't know quite what to say about that, except I never want it in my house.
Why is Betty Boop on that table next to lots of silk flowers?
This shop looks as if it was put together by someone who has lost their mind.
You've got an awful lot of stock.
You know, it all merges in. It's all a bit boring, frankly.
I would struggle to find one thing I wanted to buy in here, and I don't say that to be hurtful.
I just say that as a matter of fact.
Downstairs looks like an old people's home.
Maybe we should try and aim at a slightly younger demographic.
Widen your customer base.
A younger generation, you mean?
Well, don't look so horrified!
I agree that, er, a lot of people come into the shop
not realising that we've got a lot more, you know, suites on display.
They just think it's old-fashioned chairs.
I've analysed the demographics of this area,
and there's a lot more people under 50 than there are over 50.
We do get younger people in here.
-They just walk back out straight away.
-No, they don't.
Sweetheart, I just don't understand what's so inimical to you
that you can't handle the idea that you might have some stuff in here
that might be more attractive to a 30-year-old.
You know, open your eyes.
This is what's happening to the world,
that you have to do a lot more different things to even maintain your market share.
To stand any chance of turning this firm around,
I'll need to drag John kicking and screaming into the 21st-century.
Son David is desperate to take the lead,
but it feels like family tensions are putting paid to any progress.
Do you find it hard working for the family, working for your dad? Do you butt heads?
I do find it hard sometimes.
I asked my dad if he wanted me working here and he never give me an answer, yes or no.
-It's hard working with your family.
-Yeah, I've done it all my life, I know.
I worked with my mother for years,
and know first-hand that earning the respect of your parents is tough.
But at Kettley's, this task seems almost insurmountable.
-Do you like him working for you?
-Yeah, I hope I do, yeah.
-What do you mean, you hope you do?
-Well, he's been here long enough!
That's not saying one thing or t'other. "I hope I do."
Yeah, obviously there's them little moments in time when you think, "Cor, I could do without this."
It is the most hurtful thing in the world
when your parent is what you perceive to be unfair to you.
It's bad enough in normal life.
When that's in your workplace, it's virtually unbearable.
A divided and demoralised team will never be able to take the firm forward.
I'm going to have to bring this issue to a head.
What it seems clear to me, after a day spent with you,
is that there's some basic areas where there could be improvements.
The most obvious one, and one that I see a lot in family businesses, is the area of communication.
Do you need to clear the air about anything?
Why are you so quiet?
-Probably because me dad doesn't want me to speak.
-I'll go if you want.
Why? What are you talking about?
I asked you, didn't I, on Thursday if you wanted me to work at the shop and you never said yes.
When you ask your own father if he want... if he wants you to work with him
and you don't get an answer yes, it's quite upsetting.
I wouldn't force you to come into the shop.
It's entirely your decision.
But that's not the answer I wanted to hear.
The answer is you do whatever's the best for you.
If you feel that I'm too overbearing in that shop
and you can make your headway somewhere else in life, then that's totally up to you.
I just want to go home now, to be honest with you.
Don't start phoning me up when I get home, neither.
That was pretty tense, and I didn't really want to push it.
I think family dynamics are always quite hard and I should tread on eggshells.
I think what's important is trying to get them to talk to each other.
Everything she said, Alex, you know, is pretty true.
But, er, I don't think it'll make much difference, really.
If I were to be totally truthful,
I could quite happily not come in tomorrow.
The second company I'm visiting is a family-run baker's
in Padstow on the coast of Cornwall.
Each summer, over 15 million holidaymakers descend on this picturesque corner of England.
It's the home of celebrity chef Rick Stein,
and has become a big focus for foodies.
I'm on this beautiful fishing harbour in a very pretty town
that's become synonymous with some very good food in the south west
and it seems to me that this is a very good place to have a food business.
But despite the perfect harbour-side setting, all is not well at the bakery.
Five months of the year, we lose money. In March last year, we lost something like...
Was it nearly 30,000? In one month! You know. Crazy!
# Well, what a bummer! #
Chough's was founded over 30 years ago by husband and wife Elaine and Rob Ead.
I suppose I'm the great visionary of the company.
Oh, lovely jubbly.
Mother is the boss. I'll give you that.
She's definitely the boss!
After so long running the business, the couple are nearing retirement,
so they've made their daughter Louisa the manager
and put son Greg in charge of sales,
but the transition hasn't been easy.
Can we just get back to the whole idea and the point of this...
this discussion and the reason why, you know, you...
-I'm just trying to plan.
-Yeah, you're trying to plan.
Working with families. I don't know whether I'd recommend it to anyone.
On top of family frictions,
the shop suffers from a crippling collapse of business during the quieter winter months.
Elaine has had to remortgage her house to keep the firm afloat.
Action is desperately needed if the bakery is to have any hope of a future.
This business is on a knife edge. If it doesn't change, no-one will have a job.
We'll all be out of work.
Even though I've got some insider knowledge of this industry,
transforming the fortunes of this family is going to be a huge challenge.
I do have a certain amount of experience in bakeries, as I have a wholesale bakery myself.
But I have never had a shop.
My immediate impression is it doesn't make you want to charge in
and buy your Cornish pasty here,
despite the location being immaculate.
The signage that tells you that everything is made locally
on the premises daily looks very generic.
There's a broken window, which gives a very bad impression.
Every single day tripper who comes off a ferry
is going to come just from there. They HAVE to pass this shop.
They should be making money out of every single person
who comes into this town.
'Inside, there's more bad news.
'Untidy signs and stickers litter the place.'
They do have a real obsession with sticking things on windows, clearly.
The bread, in a side window, looks pretty ordinary,
while the range of cakes and confectionary is a flashback to the '70s.
Not at all what I'd expect in such a famously foodie town.
-Hello, how are you? Alex Polizzi.
-I'm very well, I'm Elaine.
-Lovely to be here.
-You've come to help me make some sandwiches today, is that right?
So tell me, you started this about 30 years ago.
Yes. I had the cunning plan that maybe we could open a bakery
in Padstow as there actually wasn't one at the time,
-a production bakery.
And I think I created a monster, to be quite honest, Alex.
Elaine's daughter Louisa has been here over nine years.
Part of her job is overseeing the production of Chough's award-winning Cornish pasty.
Who decides on recipes and what to do next and...?
I have been trying to make curried pasties for a few years,
and my mother keeps saying, "Over my dead body," so... after the wake, that'll be there.
Louisa seems keen to develop this side of the business,
but I can see how escaping the shadow of her mother might not be easy.
If it's working, you know, don't fix it.
That's, that's my sort of... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That's been my attitude.
She's biting at the bit now, I think, to change it.
At the end of the day it's her baby,
and she's not going to pass it over lightly, I can tell you that.
The family dysfunction hasn't escaped dad Rob, who seems trapped in the crossfire.
The business has got to change.
It's no use staying as we are or going backwards. We've got to move forwards.
They've got to learn to concentrate on the important thing about moving forward,
the need for agreement, and really, if we don't, you know,
we could just have to sell the business and put the beast out of its misery, so to speak.
If the business is to survive into the next generation,
the family must also tackle the problem of seasonality.
-Son Greg is in charge of wholesale business.
-Alex, nice to meet you.
This should be providing the company with turnover beyond the busy summer.
What proportion of the business, overall in the year, is wholesale?
-Well, it was only 15% last year.
Chough's has a large offsite bakery run by Elaine's nephew, Ryan.
It could be churning out pasties for distribution by the thousand,
protecting them from chilling winter financial figures.
In March, they made a significant loss of 16%.
Based on the size of their bakery and the size of my bakery,
that surprises me, because even in the very worst month, we never make more than a 10% loss.
Running a family business is tough, particularly in the current climate.
But problems like squabbling and seasonality will never just go away.
And if the family can't see that, then I got no chance of saving Chough's.
Your bottom line, at the moment, looks quite profitable
because you two, you don't draw a salary, per se, and it isn't shown in this profit,
and you're still having to recommit your own money into the business
to keep it going through the lean times,
and so the figures are completely skewed.
You making your fantastic, award-winning pasties isn't enough.
The bottom line is time's running out for us two, really.
I'm aware. I'm aware of that.
At Kettley's furniture shop in Yorkshire, time is also
running out for father and son to save their souring relationship.
Son David is desperate to modernise in order to save the business,
but dad John is resolutely resisting change.
My dad has been here that long he's probably a bit too set in his ways.
If you didn't have any ornaments displayed on your furniture,
it would look a bit bland.
From what I've seen so far, the family seem like good salesmen,
but their tired shop simply doesn't attract enough customers.
I want them to broaden the store's appeal beyond the over-60s market,
and I'm dying to show them just how easily that is done.
I thought we would start the day by trying to do a room set.
-What do you think?
-Yeah, very good.
Room sets are standard in the furniture industry.
Every branch of IKEA has 48 of these room displays,
helping towards sales of over a billion a year.
I know how it can set out in that room, and I've said before
it should be a room setting in there. You can visualise it
then, that it's your living room, can't you?
Right, so that's about right there, isn't it?
Nicola and David are happily getting stuck into the room revolution.
Although not everyone is so enthusiastic.
Oh, get all the young 'uns involved.
I'll sit in the office taking the phone calls.
But will John agree?
Oh, God, here we go.
I think it looks nice.
I like the way it's set out, you know.
What do you think to all these pillows all over the settees?
I mean, these specifically in recliners.
-That really doesn't work, does it, really?
Well, if you're going to sit in that now,
-you want to try it as a recliner, don't you?
You have to take that cushion out of there.
-Can I try this chair now?
-Yes, certainly, sir. Please sit down.
So that's got to be moved, for a start.
So I'm going to go like this... "Oops-a-daisy, I've broke me legs!"
You've got two chairs that are exactly the same.
You don't probably need to try this one.
Let's move this a bit further bloody away.
It's not the end of the world, is it?
I think we should try a bedroom display
in one of the windows.
-There isn't enough room.
-If you put a metal bedstead
where you didn't have to back it onto anything,
you could get a metal bedstead in.
Well, you do it.
I think at the end of the day, you'll end up...you won't gain sales.
I think you'll lose sales, ultimately.
Well, we have to try these things, don't we?
It seems to me
that John is being purposefully obstructionist.
He doesn't really want to have a reasonable discussion.
He's just used to getting his own way and I'm used to getting mine, so we'll see.
It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Winning the battle with John is clearly going to take some time,
but how Kettley's presents itself to the wider world needs sorting out now.
One problem they have is in marketing and advertising.
If I was being polite, I would say that the ads are dated.
If I was being honest, I'd just say they're awful.
I'm desperate to shake John out of his comfort zone,
so I've brought him and Nicola London for an advertising master class.
These award-winning ad men work with mega brands like Coca-Cola and Sony Ericsson.
So I'm intrigued to see what they make of Kettley's ad.
Shall we have a look at the ads, the existing stuff? They're very busy.
Let's start with the headline, shall we?
OK. It's a strong headline, but it's negative from the off.
It's almost like, "No, don't come here!"
-But then it says, "Then visit Kettley's."
-Absolutely, but if you look at the size of this,
it's pretty much the biggest word in the whole ad.
-That's a very good point. Negative.
-And the red spells danger.
If we look at the messaging, though, it's very mixed at the moment.
It just needs to be streamlined.
'Low footfall is a big problem for the shop.
'I hope we can reinvent their marketing
'and draw in a crowd
'without alienating their current clientele.'
Each one of these balls has a message on it,
-but you only caught two messages.
That's just what the people who are reading the adverts are experiencing.
Their current ad is as cluttered as the shop.
They need to come up with a targeted marketing message.
The point is that even though people are old,
they still have taste, they still have discernment, they still want something.
And we really need to try and make it relevant again.
It hasn't changed the way that I feel about it as a business,
because we are still selling the same products, but I think
we're not portraying it as it should be to the customer.
It may not be wholehearted, but this is the first time John has even acknowledged the need for change.
Over half the people living near Kettley's are under 60,
but I can't believe any of them shop here.
If the business is to survive,
then they also need to attract these younger customers.
To overhaul the firm's antiquated image,
I've asked Nicola to pick out furniture to target a more youthful clientele,
and arranged a photo shoot with a company to capture
the aspirational look Kettley's so desperately needs to promote.
At the moment, they're using generic images,
and it's time they did something representative of their shop,
and then hopefully we will end up with an image
that you feel will take you into the next chapter.
There's a real skill to this.
On average, we look at print ads for less than three seconds,
so we need to grab the customers' attention with the right image.
-You can see how it's coming together, definitely.
-I know, it's amazing.
And it's amazing how moving something just ten centimetres, two centimetres...
This all now works really nicely.
-So what do you think?
-It looks amazing, does that.
You wouldn't think that was the furniture from our showroom!
Yeah, it's really, really good.
It's fantastic. I'm absolutely thrilled.
Really pleased. Thank you.
I'm starting to understand now that less is more.
We are devaluing the products by squashing them all in.
These pictures will form the basis of a new campaign
that showcases their furniture in a much more contemporary way.
But it's pointless having pretty photos if the shop just doesn't match up.
There's a lot of accessories, and there's a plethora of styles.
Chuck them all in the bin or give them to a charity shop.
I don't mind what you do, I just want them off the floor.
The majority of these are John's original ornaments from home.
Four, five, six.
I think the poodle's worse than the pig.
I can't see anybody buying this.
But once again, not everybody is happy.
That one item looks like a solitary item in there now.
-There's nothing wrong with putting something else in it.
-With one piece?
-I'd rather see that cabinet bare than a load of shite in it.
-Not everybody's tastes are the same.
I had hoped John was beginning to come round to the idea of change,
but judging by the atmosphere around here, that clearly isn't the case.
-How's everything with your dad?
-I have been at the end of my tether,
along with everybody else, in, you know,
that we do want certain changes to happen, you know,
we're keen, we're looking forward to it
but there is somebody holding us back, you know,
and that person needs convincing the most.
-I'm absolutely sure that it's going to come good. I promise you.
It has to be given a chance, yeah?
Clearing out the chintz is one thing,
but what this place really needs is a massive makeover.
David can't seem to convince Dad,
but maybe the soft touch can crack this tough nut.
It is important to me that you understand
that I am completely on the side of this business,
and it's just that there's the young ones in this business
-who would love to see things change a bit, I believe.
And who suggest to me
that it's really you dragging your heels.
There are certain aspects of it that I totally don't agree with.
What you should do is send me away for two weeks
-and I'll come back and tell you if I like it.
-Fine. Absolutely fine.
-You're serious about this, aren't you?
-I am, I am.
Oh, all right, then.
I can only hope John sticks to his suggestion and leaves David
and I to make the changes this place so desperately needs.
At Chough's bakery in Cornwall, the head of the
family is also part of the problem.
Owner Elaine says she is ready to retire,
but won't let her children take the reins.
We can't just do our individual things. We've got to work together.
We need to do something.
The family do have a great product in their award-winning pasty,
but the constant bickering about who is in charge means
they are not making the most of it,
and as for their shop in picturesque Padstow - well, the less said about that the better.
Come and look at this place.
What do you think, standing here looking in?
This is a mess. Constantly saying that front window...
I come down after a couple of days off and we've got posters here, and I just go, "Take it out."
Just bloody take it out.
But you're the one that says, "Oh, I want a sign in the window that says bacon baps.
"I want that Cornish Pasty Association poster in that window."
So a lot of it is stuff that you've told people to do.
I think the important thing is
let's do what we can now to make it all look better,
and arrange for a glazier to come and fix that window.
Instead of having someone else's bread, let's have our own real bread in the window.
-It's our bread.
-All right, yeah, fine.
But it's a two-dimensional image instead of three-dimensional, REAL, fresh-baked bread.
I seem to have got them quite fired up.
It is frustrating, though, because this is all fairly basic stuff.
These are the first small steps.
I'm hoping that this is just the beginning of the momentum they'll gain,
and it's going to take all of them to fully sign up to this process
to make sure we achieve as much as we need to.
But as the family clear out the bakery,
not everybody is embracing the change.
And it's got all these nasty hooks and yellow spots.
Yeah, well, that's for the Christmas decorations. Oh, no.
How long have you waited to tell me this?
I've wanted to tell you ever since I've been working here, but I wouldn't dare.
For the last two years she's been talking about, saying, "Oh, I'm going to be 60 soon.
"I want to retire, it's time I took a step back."
But she can't.
It works like any other business, I should imagine.
If whoever owns Tesco's walks into one of his stores I'm sure the store manager,
if he tells him to move that over there, he's going to do it.
It's like she can't leave it alone. It's her baby, she built it,
she developed it, she'll always be down there interfering.
OK? £6.50, please.
So, Greg and Louisa say they are ready to take the business on,
but they need to prove that to their mother.
I think developing a frozen pasty could be the way forward,
giving Chough's star product true wholesale potential.
But in order to convince Elaine, Louisa must come up with
the perfect recipe.
We are going to part bake them,
but we're going to part bake them for different times, to see
which is going to give us the best result.
First out of the oven for the all-important taste test,
a pasty part baked for a short spell.
# Da da da da! #
Oh, my gosh.
-They look very good.
-The pastry is holding up nicely, isn't it?
Yes, it certainly is.
It's dry. It's very dry.
Baking a freezable pastry product is a tricky business.
Here's hoping Louisa's second batch, with a longer part bake,
will pass muster with Mum.
Oh, that's better. Look at the juice and gravy coming out.
The pastry's a lot thicker.
Yeah, this is tasty.
-It's quite nice.
So what do you think?
After all this, do you think it's possible now
to produce a frozen pasty that meets your exacting standards?
Exactly. Yeah, I do, I do.
Hallelujah! Louisa's second pasty is a hit.
And it's a big step towards developing a product that's
suitable for shipping out to retailers.
But the pasty isn't the only thing I'd like to see hitting the road.
I have a challenge for you.
I would like you to try and sell your pasties
at a big event. Christmas fairs, football matches.
And you could do something throughout the year.
-So are you up for it?
Local craft fairs and sales like this one run throughout the year
and are a great way to generate income during the quieter months.
-Can we interest you in a Cornish pasty?
-We're warming them up currently in our oven as well, so...
Come and try a Cornish pasty.
Couple of cheese, leek and onions too.
That's £5, please. Thank you.
And it's not long before the pasties are flying off the shelves,
getting the attention of the punters and the organisers.
We're wondered if you'd be interested in attending on a Saturday,
-because it's full of market traders, that sort of thing.
-Is it busier than this?
It's a lot busier on a Saturday.
I do think there's mileage in it, if it's costed up properly,
obviously equipped properly, and, like, filling up the spare capacity in the winter time.
After a successful sale, back in Padstow, it's all go, go, go!
Louisa has set about overhauling the bakery's outdated confectionery range.
I've just done a lemon drizzle and a chocolate brownie.
Kerry's doing hazelnut muffins.
While nephew Ryan is experimenting with some speciality breads.
They looked nice, so I'm just having a go just to see if we get anything.
But all this hard work will count for nothing if Greg can't manage
to secure the wholesale customers their frozen pasty is crying out for.
Hi, Greg. Alex Polizzi here.
'Hi, Alex. How are you?'
'I'm fine. I just wanted to be told'
-what you've been up to.
we haven't moved on much from when we met with you last.
Well, sourcing potential customers is up to you, isn't it, darling?
-'So how are you with that?'
-Yeah, it is. I've got a list of five or six.
-But until we know that we can mass produce this,
we can't approach them.
What's holding me back isn't that I don't want to do it.
I'm being held back by others who are saying,
"Don't go and approach them because we haven't ticked the boxes we need to tick in terms of production."
-Let's see if they like the bloody product! OK, thank you.
-All right, bye.
It's hugely disappointing that Greg doesn't seem to be doing anything with the leads he's found.
But he seems to be saying that someone is holding him back.
Once again, the lack of clear leadership is stifling the future of this business.
I truly believed after my first visit here that this was somewhere
I was going to be able to make a huge difference.
I was going to be able to dramatically change their fortunes
and I feel like I've been stymied by the family's procrastination.
'If I can't get the family to agree to a new way forward,
'I fear all my hard work may well have been in vain.
'So, I have gathered the whole clan together to finally confront the issue.'
I think the whole succession of the place
needs to be discussed and who ultimately is in charge.
There has to be someone with whom the ultimate authority rests.
And what I've seen is that the person who...when...
when I needed stuff done has always sprung to the doing, is Lou.
It's nice to have someone who doesn't procrastinate and gets on with stuff.
If we make a decision in your absence, if you don't like that decision,
"Well, I wouldn't have done it like that, so we're not doing it any more."
It's not discussed beforehand. That's the problem.
There's a lot of discussing that goes on, but the discussing never seems to really lead anywhere.
-I can't imagine how you feel about it because I feel sick.
-Yeah, I do.
-And I beg you, Elaine, to think about how you're going to work this hierarchy.
-Ultimately, you have to decide who's going to be in charge, OK?
What more could I do?
I'm sure that some of that was very hard for them to hear,
but I honestly don't think that I would have done my job if I'd avoided saying it.
At the moment, Lou's got a lot of skills to learn before she can step into my shoes.
Sometimes you've just got to let people do it on their own, and if they screw up, they screw up.
But you've got to try and let it happen.
There's been a four-year plan for about ten years.
The thing is, if you carry on hovering around, no-one's going to take that responsibility.
So you can guarantee me now... All of you, £50,000 now,
I'll walk away and you'll never see me again. OK?
-Well, that's not what we're saying.
-No, no, no, no.
-That's not what we're saying.
-"We can do it without you."
No, we're not even saying that at all.
No, no, this is... This conversation's gone too far anyway.
I think over and out, please. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
-You know, I'm sorry.
-I'm not going to go on with this any more. It's...
And there we go.
When someone's cornered, they tend to lash out and they tend to not think the thing through.
If she doesn't, and Louisa turns her back on it and walks away, that's the business gone, for my...
It's all been for nothing, then.
At Kettley's furniture store near Leeds, things have also come to a head.
The Butler family have shut up shop, but only for a much-needed makeover.
With Dad taking a self-imposed leave of absence, son David is finally
able to get on with the changes he has been hoping to make for years.
New carpet, wallpaper, painted walls...
And an elegant new logo brings the Kettley's storefront up-to-date.
Oh, my gosh. Wow!
The refit is ambitious. The family are investing their own money and manpower
so we can push the boundaries as far as possible.
But with the re-launch to public just hours away,
there's still a mountain of work to be done.
I mean, downstairs, the chairs are still in utter chaos.
The ground floor is still a long way to go. But it has to be done tonight.
Even if we do get the work finished,
the big hurdle will be convincing the King of Kettley's that
the new look works, before we launch it to the public. And he's due back any moment.
I'm hoping he's going to go, "Wow!" and I think he should go, "Wow!"
-You know, I'm
-me pants, I honestly am. I'm really nervous.
The best thing, right, would be for me dad to come in and say, "Oh!" and start crying.
That would be probably the most amazing thing I'd ever see.
-Are you all convinced that we've done the right thing?
-I'm happy with the way it looks.
It does look stunning and it looks beautiful.
It's just such a wow factor.
It's been a long wait.
Can't say we haven't put anything into it, that's for sure.
The question is, will John like it?
Look at him, look at him!
THEY SING A FANFARE
I can't believe it. I really can't.
It looks really good. I think I'll stop here tonight!
I really like it.
It's thumbs up for the ground floor. Next, the beds.
Well, if anybody doesn't like this, they've got to be crazy.
Ah! Ah, well.
-Listen to that!
That's what we wanted to hear.
I mean, it's absolutely stunning, really.
I can't believe it.
-I really like it.
-Oh, love you!
Every piece of furniture in the shop was here before.
It's just been presented in a more aspirational way.
By following this simple retail principle,
Kettley's now feels worlds away from its dreary past.
I'm absolutely thrilled.
He seemed genuinely pleased by the whole thing.
You wouldn't believe it were the same stuff.
You can tell he genuinely does think it looks lovely.
-Oh, I'm so pleased!
-He does think it looks nice.
-Well done, darling!
So now all we need is a few customers to come in and go,
-"Oh, my goodness, this looks fab!"
-And he'll be happy.
What do you think?
I wouldn't have thought of coming here for furniture. Now I would.
And it's not just the usual crowd here today -
the shop is now appealing to a much younger clientele.
-I never realised there were all these things that
I just thought it'd be stuff for my parents!
I like it. It's nice, clean, uncluttered.
Looks fantastic, yeah, really exciting.
-Do you like it? Do you like it? Hmm?
Well, you can't please them all!
The relaunch has been a huge success,
but there's one last piece of the jigsaw.
-"Discover the most comfortable chair in Yorkshire at Kettley's."
-Very happy, yes. Really happy.
The important thing is
that you make sure that you don't just sink into your bad old ways,
that you make sure that everyone pulls together.
The end result will be you making more money, and that's what we want to see.
Stick together. You do good.
-I'm going to miss you all when I go.
Go on, keep it up, keep it up, see if you can get me going.
This shop really felt like it was stuck in a time warp.
It felt like a waiting room to nowhere very nice.
I think it has been given an enormous new lease of life,
and that is very visible in the family too.
-Here's to the future.
It's been 12 months since Kettley's relaunched their shiny new store.
But have the family continued to embrace
the furniture revolution, or slip back into the dark ages?
The opportunity that we've been given,
it has been an absolute blessing.
Everything has improved in the shop's looks, the shop's turnover.
Sales were up 25% on the previous year.
It seems like my idea for Kettley's to target a younger clientele is starting to pay off.
The shop definitely looks ten times better than it used to look
before and the layout of it is so much better, as well.
We do change things around a lot more than we used to do,
so that's a good start and that's what Alex wanted.
I'm delighted to see David and Nicola are still pushing
forward and they've even started to develop another area of the store.
Even more impressive, Kettley's have commissioned a TV ad -
a perfect way to pull in punters from further afield.
Welcome to Kettley's. There's so much to see.
It was my idea to have a new advert,
because we needed something to reflect us as we are now.
Investing in an advert is the family's boldest step yet,
but it's a bright move.
When I first visited Kettley's, John couldn't even tell his son
he wanted him working at the shop.
But with the firm moving bravely forward, he has made a momentous decision.
To trust David with the biggest role in the business.
It is comfortable, but I think we could probably do with,
if it were in our shop, with a bit firmer seat cushion.
David has taken over the buying now, so I just leave it in his hands
and obviously, he's got a younger outlook than I have
and hopefully, that will appeal.
At work, I feel more at ease
and I feel like a free-range chicken, you know.
I'm allowed to just do my own thing
and decide what I want to order and what to not have in the shop and
reduce, and my dad doesn't question me as much as he used to do.
This is a Chesterfield two-seater settee, and a Chesterfield chair
we decided to give a go, and I think at first you weren't too keen.
It's just different from what we had before
and I thought Chesterfields had had their day, basically.
But obviously, since we've had it in,
we've had about four grand's worth of sales out of it.
So it's proved me wrong, again! So, sorry, son!
Well done for buying the suite.
I'm impressed with David's sales, the way he is ordering things in
and generally taking things in his stride, yes.
This is such an incredible transformation.
I never imagined John would release the reins this much.
But then again, he hasn't completely let go.
I'm just putting some sale tickets on some of the suites that
we've had in the shop floor for quite a long time.
Just that when you pull that there, like that,
all t'pile comes off on t'back of t'sticker!
So, as long as anybody is prepared to buy this suite now with
the big pile mark there, it's quite good.
And there is something else I'm not pleased to see.
The old tat seems to have crept its way back in.
If you ever got a burglar in... because they're that heavy! You could...
1986, they went missing off the set of Coronation Street.
I'm sorry, Hilda, I own up. They're there, your ducks. So, quack, quack!
I can't say I'm completely surprised.
But it is truly amazing to see that the business,
and this father-son relationship,
is almost unrecognisable from the one I first witnessed.
Me and me dad are definitely better off together, after Alex left.
It has definitely pulled us, you know,
a little bit more close together.
I think this would suit you ideally, sir.
Because then, you wouldn't have to go upstairs,
you'd just get that off there and have a nice little crap.
It holds all the fumes under there.
It won't put you off your fish and chips.
There you go, you learn summat every day, don't you?
Seeing this business embrace
and benefit from change is hugely encouraging.
But what is most heart-warming of all is knowing that the family
are finally united behind the Kettley's cause.
There's still a long way to go, still improvements to be made,
but the future is definitely bright for everybody, yeah.
At Chough's Bakery in Padstow, things are beginning to look up.
The Ead family have begun work on transforming their tired harbourside shop.
And Elaine has finally decided who she wants in charge of Chough's.
It is a very precious thing, a business that you create.
But I'm not here for the sake of being here.
I really feel as though we've just got to hang on here a little bit longer.
So, Elaine has now decided she isn't quite ready to retire.
But at least it's a decision.
At the bakery, Ryan is continuing to radically improve his breads.
And behind the scenes, they have boosted the sales team,
with the addition of Ryan's wife, Erica.
Obviously, through Ryan, I know what's in the products
and how they're made. It just made more sense.
Sounds like you two have very interesting pillow talk.
-I know, it's really sad.
-"There's 10% rye in this one."
All right, well, I'll see you at one o'clock on Monday with all the samples.
OK, cheers, bye.
God, how... I'm so pleased!
-Well done, thanks.
One phone call and Erica has got an appointment
to show off Ryan's new bread to the head chef of the biggest hotel in Padstow.
Et voila. It's that simple.
Erica's addition to the staff has had other benefits, too,
freeing Greg to follow up on the frozen pasty project,
with samples now winging their way to a national retailer.
Inside here, ladies and gentlemen...
Here's our first batch.
That is our new frozen product, and that, I believe, is the future of the Chough Bakery.
The future could also hold better off-season profits.
We've got the steak at 2.50, steak and Cornish blue at 2.75.
With their new breads and pasties,
the family can attempt to clean up at winter fairs by going mobile.
Lovely, that's £5. Much obliged, sir. I'll just get you some change.
What we need to do, I think, is get a series of these, like this,
and then we must put them in a calendar of events,
so every year we know when that time of the year comes, we're going to do these markets.
Would you like to come and try some of our bread? Elaine's famous baps.
We have to reinvent ourselves. You can't stay still.
-Thank you very much. That's £5.
-Thanks very much. Don't forget your bread.
Today is a huge day for Chough's. It's the bakery's relaunch event
and they are holding the town's first ever Cornish Pasty Day.
But first, I want to see the new-look shop for myself.
First impressions - I'm thrilled.
The once dreary and messy shop front has been completely transformed.
It's stylish, harmonious and feels much more like an independent family business.
And instead of hiding their products away,
they're now proudly showing them off to the punters of Padstow.
Inside, the scruffy signs and stickers are a thing of the past.
-How's it going?
-It's looking great outside. Are you pleased with it?
-It's looking really, really smart.
-It really stands out now.
And it just looks very professional and very slick.
And I think that, you know, now our confectionary range is just so much better.
Oh, good, darling.
Um, you know, she really is... she is a creative chef,
and at last she's out of that pasty kitchen.
-Oh, it's nice, it's a compliment.
-You know, it's really coming on.
That's nice. I'm really pleased. Well, I think that this looks...
I mean, there's a big change from when I first walked in here.
I know that there's a long way to go, but I feel very positive
and I just hope that today works as well as it could do.
The sun may be setting on my time with the family,
but the townsfolk have come out in droves to support this local business.
The family have laid on Cornish dancing,
fancy dress and a world exclusive.
Welcome to Cornwall's first pasty crimping competition.
-Come on, Lou!
The local community, customers old and new
and the press have turned out to support the Chough Bakery.
Even the town's most famous resident, Rick Stein, who
also has a pasty range, has turned up to check out the competition.
Very good, very good. I'm a bit worried about them, actually.
Ha-ha! You are nice. Thanks.
Now I hope they can boost sales by getting a deal to sell their pasties all over the country.
Thank you, darling, you've been a star.
It's been absolutely superb to have met you.
I think a good healthy debate is good,
-as long as you actually solve something at the end of it.
-All I can say is thank you, Alex.
-So we're parting friends.
-Thank you. Absolutely.
-I'm glad. It's been a pleasure.
-It's been a pleasure for us.
What can I say?
This has not been the easiest job I've ever done.
They're quite a difficult family and it was quite a big challenge.
However, I do feel that they've set off well down the path I laid down for them.
They've definitely got a lot of potential. The future's in their hands.
# Hooray and up she rises Early in the morning. #
Since Alex visited us, the changes have been absolutely extraordinary.
We are working now on a lot of the projects that Alex suggested to us.
With their revitalised bread range now taking pride of place,
the Chough's harbourside shop has gone from strength to strength.
The sourdough is just cracking, and the focaccia,
we just can't sell enough of it, you know, it's so popular.
And I think our bread sales are hugely up this summer,
so it's fabulous.
But it's not just the bread that's flying out of the door.
Chough's award-winning pasties have also attracted increased orders
and some new local wholesale clients.
That's the second load that's going out today. And today is a quiet day!
So, has all this extra work turned into profit?
You can see in early February after Alex finished with us,
there was this massive leap.
We were consistently more busy than the previous years.
The figures are impressive, especially when you remember
they were running at a 16% loss at the same time last year.
But the tiny pasty kitchen at the shop is struggling to cope with the increase.
This summer has been manically busy. And we've been sort of without pasties
early in the mornings in the shop, selling out pretty early as well,
so we're finding it difficult to keep up with demand.
Last year, Louisa developed a frozen pasty recipe.
But with no room for large-scale production,
the product's progress has all but stopped.
Now with demand outstripping supply,
Elaine wants her children to prove themselves with this pasty project.
So she's putting the siblings firmly in charge of a potential
£100,000 upgrade to their offsite facilities.
These kids have got a chance in a million,
they have got so much training and help available for them,
and I want them to realise that it is no easy task, taking a business like
this on when they are in charge, and are they ready for that commitment?
Converting the bakery into a pasty production line is a huge
financial gamble, and if Chough's don't secure large-scale sales,
then the investment could bankrupt the business.
I do worry, you know, that however much money is in the bank,
that's got to make us survive the winter first, there's no point
spending it and then hoping to God that we've got a market there.
Louisa and Greg have the risk and responsibility for expansion resting squarely on their shoulders.
So they've taken the wise decision to find out
if their product is actually appealing to
an international distributor, before jumping in with both feet.
-Today is really important, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
You know, it's our biggest chance of getting this frozen pasty
sort of sold out of the county to a massive wholesaler.
If they were to say no today, we've got to go out there
and find other clients, you know, we are putting all our eggs in
one basket, taking a big risk here, it's a gamble.
We could end up potentially at the end of this year with
a fantastic, brand-new pasty production unit,
with no customers apart from our local wholesale customers.
Today's crunch meeting is with Kevin Denier, head buyer for
Fairway Foods, representing 20 wholesale companies across the UK and Europe.
If they impress him, it will open up
hundreds of thousands of new customers for the family.
This is the plan, yeah. The blast freezer located here
and an oven here.
Then we've got the whole rest of this area for production -
tables, pasty-making machines, etc.
My gut feel is...
obviously, I can't see the full layout,
but from a national perspective, I don't...
-I think it's a little small.
I think you will outgrow this very, very quickly on the national arena.
My next question would be, when you do outgrow this, where can you go from here?
-Next door. We're taking it all on!
It's available and we are negotiating the lease on that,
to run concurrently with the lease on these, which is a nine-year lease. So, long-term.
Greg's quick response is impressive and the fact they have already
negotiated the lease next door shows Kevin just how serious they are.
From our perspective, if the product...
We look at the product, we look at the quality
and if we think it's good enough, we will send that message out.
The siblings' passion for this project is clearly paying off.
But convincing Kevin of the bakery's potential is only half the battle.
The pasty now needs to pass the all-important taste test.
That's great. You can see visible chunks of meat, you know,
you can see the fibres of the meat. I think it's great.
He likes the taste.
But does Kevin see a future for Chough's frozen pasty?
I think, if we can develop together and grow, we are all businesses
at the end of the day and we can make some money for each other.
-A mutual business relationship.
-That would be wonderful!
It's time to break the good news to a tense Elaine and Rob.
Kevin did say he is willing to lend us
their expertise from that company and to help us develop,
because he can see an amazing product and people with passion
are making it, that really want to make the product go out there.
In a six-week period, you've done really, really well, I'm very proud of you.
At last, Greg and Louisa have proved to Elaine that the future of
her cherished Chough's rests firmly in safe hands.
I think the best thing I've noticed is they are actually working
together, they've grown up, taking these decisions.
I think it's given Robert and myself the confidence to say, "Right.
"30-odd years is long enough, let somebody else take the reins now."
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Alex returns to some of the businesses she first helped over a year ago, catching up on their struggles since she left and discovering whether they have managed to turn things around while still battling the harshest economic conditions in living memory.
In this episode, Alex returns to Chough's Bakery in Cornwall and Kettley's furniture shop in Yorkshire. When she first arrived both businesses were suffering from controlling parents, leaving the children feeling frustrated and undervalued - and their sales were also suffering from a major slump.
At Chough's, Alex tasks them to look beyond the busy summer period to when sales drop like a stone, giving daughter Louisa her chance to shine by showing off a new range of frozen pasties. Alex also makes them go mobile with the pasty but attempts to find outside business appear to suffer as a result of the lack of clear leadership. Despite the battles, on Alex's last day the business holds Padstow's first ever Cornish pasty day and even the most famous local, Rick Stein, turns up to see what the competition is like. How have things continued with Alex gone?
At Kettley's, a major revamp of the showroom was needed to drag them out of the last century, whilst the way they advertise their product was far from something to be proud of. Yet dad John doesn't like change and when it comes to giving the place a makeover, the only way it could was for Dad to leave his children to it. But there's no certainty he will like what he sees when he comes back, just before Alex leaves them to survive on their own. So once Alex goes, will John continue to resist the rest of the family on every possible push for change in the business? Or has he managed to let the young generation start to take some of the reins?