Changing the fortunes of two grumpy old men.
In 2010, the business called Cornish Patisserie knew that it had to reinvent itself. The taste for the luxuriously rich, butter-cream-piped gateaux that were their trade mark was dwindling and their typical customers – independent pubs and garden centres – were dwindling in number too. With recession in full swing, their purpose-built production unit at Launceston was working below capacity. If they didn’t act, they wouldn’t survive. Cue the fledgling Cornwall Food & Drink team, called in by business owner Trevor O'Shea to come up with a fix.
A market analysis exercise quickly confirmed that Cornish Patisserie needed a change of direction, but that there was plenty of unexplored potential they could tap into without making a seismic shift. Staying within the bakery sphere would maximise the use of the existing talent and equipment in the business and we uncovered two strong possibilities for them to investigate, one of which was pies. Both options would open them up to retail channels alongside foodservice, an opportunity they were previously missing out on. We also recommended that they needed to create a brand with personality and, of course, make sure the figures stacked up.
It was Trevor who hit upon the name Grumpies. According to him it was the obvious name for pies made by two grumpy old men like him and his business partner Mark Carne. We have to admit we weren’t too sure – they aren’t THAT grumpy in reality – but when we saw the life-size caricatures that would underpin the brand, we could see that it would be a hit.
The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the Grumpies range of 10 stunning flavours has won a number of National British Pie Awards and will soon include a gluten free steak pie. They can be found in farm shops, cafes, delicatessen and bakeries all over the UK, including Harrod’s food hall, and pretty soon they expect to be venturing overseas. Grumpies pies now make up nearly 35% of the total business and this figure is growing quickly year on year.
“Cornwall Food & Drink have been there for us from day one. They were not afraid in 2010 to tell us that our thoughts and plans regarding re-inventing ourselves were less than brilliant and they helped us to identify a way forward. They have been there from time to time when we have needed a guiding hand since then and we have great regard for their knowledge and professionalism.”
Trevor O'Shea. Co-owner, Grumpies