Weston College Business Services

Archive for: August 2011

Experience The Wine Tasting Co.

Wine Tasting Co.When you think of wine tasting you probably consider the famous regions of France or Spain or the vineyards of California. But you no longer have to grab a rucksack and travel guide to hit ‘the grape trail’ and taste great wine. Because you can do it right here in North Somerset – thanks to the Wine Tasting Co.

Based in Churchill, North Somerset, the Wine Tasting Co. was founded in 2009 by Kelli Gould, who used her experience from working for a London based international wine company and extensive wine knowledge gained from travelling around the world to set up a wine tasting centre.

Offering a range of competitively priced tasting opportunities from private gatherings, to hen parties, business networking opportunities and wine-tasting at the elegant Woodlands retreat, The Wine Tasting Co. aims to eliminate the stuffiness sometimes associated with tasting and to provide a relaxing introduction to great wine.

Kelli comments: “Our philosophy is love wine love tasting and we welcome everybody to come and taste great wine, no matter their experience or level. Wine tasting is a great social event that is perfect for celebrating a special occasion.”

It was on a trip to New Zealand in 2006 that Kelli had her ‘wine moment’ and returning to the UK, the former youth worker entered the wine industry, first in London and then in Bristol for an independent wine merchant, and gained advanced qualifications with the Wine Spirit and Education Trust. Kelli is also about to start the diploma that is the stepping stone to becoming a Master of Wine

The business employs a couple of hosts and according to Kelli it is going from strength to strength, with client networking proving a popular package.

“We run networking opportunities for businesses and they have been particularly popular. Companies are using more creative ways to win new customers and our tailored wine tasting events can be used to create new business relationships and impress prospective clients.”

To book a wine tasting session or to find out more about the Wine Tasting Co. call Kelli on: 01934 853 574 / 07891 723 785 or email on: kelli@thewinetastingco.com


Local sanctuary seeking survival package

Darren Jenkins of Avon Owls with Tango the owlAn organisation rescuing owls from cruel living conditions across the country is searching for a sponsor to help fund a new sanctuary in Weston-super-Mare.

Avon Owls based in Winscombe, North Somerset, is a family owned non-profit organisation, which re-homes ill-treated birds of prey to safeguard their future.

Founder Darren Jenkins cares for 12 owls but in order to continue his business, which sees the birds used to educate the community, he needs a financial boost.

It costs £200 a month to feed the owls, which vary from five weeks to 20-years in age and any funds Mr Jenkins makes is spent on their welfare along with added vet fees.

Now after outgrowing his garden, Mr Jenkins is making an urgent plea for a local business to come forward and donate to help build a sanctuary between Weston and Winscombe.

In return businesses that sponsor him will be advertised at around 200 Avon Owl events per year with their company logo on flyers and on the Avon Owl trailer, which transports the birds.

Mr Jenkins, 41, a conservationist, said: “I’m passionate about owls and have been since I was a child and now I re-home ill-treated birds of prey and care for them.

“But in order to continue my valuable work, I desperately need sponsors to help me create a new owl sanctuary, the first of its kind in Weston-super-Mare.

“However, without some serious sponsorship this may only be a dream, as I’ve been told by the Prince’s Trust I’m too old to be eligible for a grant and other grants have been declined because of the current economic situation

“If a business pledged £5,000 and we were given a one acre field or funds to buy one, we could have the sanctuary open to the public and save more owls facing cruel upbringings.

“Among our collection is Bob a one-year-old Tawny male whose tail feathers were badly damaged after its previous owner cut them off because they were dirty.

“Instead of washing them with some warm water, she took a pair of scissors to the problem but after we took him into our care and looked after him he has grown a whole new set.

“Our other owls include a 12-year-old Snowy Owl rescued from London after it was left in a aviary for 10-years with little contact apart from feeding and our three-year-old Tropical Screech Owl Chico, which had been kept in a rabbit cage with saw dust.

“This led to a raging eye infection, which we treated but her right eye has been left practically non working and blind.

“We have also recently rescued an Indian eagle owl, who didn’t have enough room to fly, so he has every primary flight feather damaged or missing, so with a lot of TLC he will make a recovery.

“All these birds of prey will live out their days in comfort, cared for daily by me and my family who are all volunteers, none of us are paid.

“But if they could live in a proper sanctuary it would make my dreams come true and we would even add a Portakabin to create a classroom to hold lessons for schools or clubs.

“One of our other goals is to start a Long-eared Owl reintroduction program, as these owls are in a lot of trouble and need a lot of help

“Once our centre is up and running then a lot of time can be put aside to the conservation of these beautiful creatures.

“Please help us to help conserve what owls we have left and to reintroduce more back into the wild and we will recognise you for that.”

For more information visit www.avonowls.co.uk or call Mr Jenkins on 07909160554

Summer exhibition at Lloyd Gill Gallery

The Lloyd Gill Gallery in Weston Super Mare is hosting a summer exhibition that will run until September 16 2011.

Hampshire based photographer Chris Spackman will be amongst those exhibiting, and his ‘Unstill Life’ series will be on show from August 23 at the Lloyd Gill Gallery in Beaconsfield Road.  He makes the photographs of flowers using a large format film camera with a single continuous exposure that can last for several days or weeks.

Chris, who recently graduated with a First Class Honours degree in photography comments: “I am trying to subvert the notion of the ‘still life’ genre often depicted in photography and art. I set the scene in front of the camera and then let go, giving up control of the subject and the photograph to time and nature’s cycle of light and darkness.”

Entry is free to the exhibition and you can visit any time between 10am and 4pm except on Sundays.

To find out more about the summer exhibition visit: www.thelloydgillgallery.com or to find out more about Chris Spackman visit: www.chrisspackman.co.uk

Weston company providing business training

Wendy Thorne - Spirit business trainingA new Weston-Super-Mare based company, ‘Spirit Business Training’ has been launched, providing class based business skills courses and consultancy for small-to-medium-size enterprise (SME) and businesses across the South West of England.  The one day courses will cover essential business skills such as starting a new business, marketing, purchasing and operations.  These are ideally suited for small business owners and their employees, the self-employed, mumpreneurs and those looking to start up a new venture, including the recently or long-term unemployed.

The launch coincides with the announcement that the government is to strengthen its plans to push the growth of small business across the UK with a big expansion in the scope of its planned New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) helping to create up to 40,000 new businesses by 2013*. The report behind this acknowledges that most people do not have the business skills to start-up and grow a successful and profitable business.

Most new businesses are built on a skill, passion or interest, but to achieve financial success, it’s important for entrepreneurs to also recognise their weaknesses and either build on these skills or bring new people into the business, perhaps as equity stakeholders if paying them a salary is not an option.  However, essential skills such as understanding the difference between cost and price, how to put together a marketing mix and promotional mix and tackling tax returns can be easily and quickly learned and really help to bring overhead costs down.

Spirit Business Training has a range of organised business skills one day courses.  These are complimented by training skills gap analysis, brainstorming and bespoke action planning services.

Statistics show that nationally, 50% of new businesses fail in the first year and a staggering 95% fail within five years, so gaining such essential business skills will ensure that you and your business are not just another statistic.  This is particularly pertinent for anyone who may be thinking about using a redundancy settlement in order to start a new venture.

Locally, in the South West, over 75% of businesses are classified as a small business, yet all too frequently we hear how these business owners are spending large sums of money advertising their businesses and not seeing the return on their investment.  We believe that this is because when making the decision to advertise, consideration has not been given to ‘value for money’ and measuring success and many people don’t realise that advertising is just one expensive part of the overall marketing mix.  So this is where Sprit Business Training can help.

For more information contact Wendy Thorne on 01934 516728 or 07527 752386, email spiritbusinesstraining@googlemail.com or visit www.spiritbusinesstraining.co.uk

*www.number10.gov.uk/news – 5th January 2011.

Film festival calling all businesses

Traders in Weston Super Mare are being asked to mix business with cinema by acting out their favourite movie for the Weston Film Festival.

Taking place between September 19 and 25 2011 Weston Film Festival aims to celebrate the silver screen by inviting local pubs, shops and all other businesses to hold a party or themed event depicting a famous film.

Each company that enters can chose to interpret any film for their themed day and each entrant will need to produce a short – maximum three minutes – video of their event which will be judged at the Weston Film Fesitval awards night, with prizes being handed out to the themed event judged the most engaging and true to the original film.

Tavern Inn the Town, The Commodore Hotel and The Parish Pump are amongst those already signed up to the event and their chosen films are Chicago, Jailhouse Rock and The Rocky Horror Movie Show respectively.

A full programme of events and prizes will be posted shortly and it costs £20 to enter the event. For more information or to place an entry please call Terry Gilbert on 01934 418118.

Somerset firms sign up to business event

Businesses and organisations are rushing to sign up to the inaugural Somerset Business Show in order to sell their products and services to a room full of prospects, that will include businesses and visitors.

The show is being held at Taunton Holiday Inn from 2pm to 7pm on Wednesday September the 28th and organisers say it is shaping up to be the biggest meeting of companies in the region this year.

Visitors enter free and exhibitors can showcase their products and services for as little as £50.

Jon Hebbes, Managing Director of Poppy Communications, who have already signed up to exhibit, explains why business people should attend the exhibition:  “Everybody involved in business should be at this event because there will not be a better opportunity in Somerset for networking, sharing knowledge and winning more customers.”

“We expect to attract lots of new clients from the Somerset Business show because where else can companies put their products and services in the hands of prospects so easily? This will be the event of the year in the business calendar and I would urge other companies not to miss out.”

Already signed up to exhibit at the one-day event are the Somerset Tourism Association, Cost Control Services, Woodlands Castle, Business Against Poverty, JT Retail and many more.

The event will also host numerous seminars providing vital tips on how to grow your business and win more customers, as well as presentations from expert speakers that shoot from the hip.

The Somerset Business Show is organised by Weston-super-Mare based C4 Events and its director Ian Williams believes that because of the current economic climate, it is more important than ever for firms in Somerset to be networking, sharing knowledge and making new connections: “If you exhibit you will be able to meet buyers face to face and with a host of major names already signed up, this a great opportunity for firms, large or small, to learn from each other and be part of an event that will put Somerset on the map.”

To find out more or join the long list of businesses already signed up to exhibit visit: www.somersetinbusiness.co.uk or call C4 Events Director Ian Williams on 07775 928772

Next Weston Chamber meeting

Local business people are being offered the opportunity to make new contacts at the next Weston and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce meeting.

As well as organising events with speakers, the chamber also organises networking events to give like-minded business people the chance to make new contacts and socialise with chamber members.

The August meeting will be one of these networking events and takes place on Wednesday 17 August at the Old Colonial on Weston’s seafront, starting at 7.30pm.

The chamber’s president, Gail Parsons, said: “There is no agenda for this meeting. Instead, it is a great opportunity to network and chat with like-minded business people, in the lovely setting of Weston’s seafront. We look forward to seeing familiar faces and welcoming new people along.”

Family business offering touch of class

A FAMILY-run business in Weston-super-Mare has brought style and sophistication to the resort by swapping a strip club for a cocktail and champagne bar.

The Kimitri family opened Club Tabu on the Boulevard to the public on Friday August 5, 2011, at the site of the former Players Lounge strip club.

The venue underwent an extensive renovation and now boasts luxury décor to appeal to its clientele.

Weston Town Mayor, Cllr Cyril King, conducted the official opening ceremony by cutting the ribbon.

The Kimitri family, who own several businesses in Weston and Bristol, said they wanted to bring the modern designs of London to the seaside town and help to clean up the evening trade.

Owner Kerry Kimitri said: “Weston needed a sophisticated venue tailored toward the older customers who do not wish to mingle with kids in the night clubbing trade.

“After the tenants left the Players Lounge I felt this was the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate the building with a complete refurbishment.

“Many residents in the town had always been opposed to the strip bar and its previous establishment Vamps, which was a pole dancing club.

“I felt it was time the community were heard and I have created a classy venue for people to enjoy a safe and friendly night out.

“Club Tabu is situated in an up and coming area of town, which has seen significant investment recently with the opening of other quality bars and restaurants.

“As it is further away from the main night clubbing area it also does not attract troublemakers.

“I am delighted the town Mayor, Councillor Cyril King, assisted with our official opening and I look forward to welcoming more customers.”

Club Tabu is for people over the age of 21 and customers can choose to opt for a free platinum membership card, which allows free entry and queue jumping privileges.

As well as the boutique cocktail bar there is an exclusive VIP area and the dress code is smart.

For more information on Club Tabu contact Kerry Kimtiri on 0787 962 6614.

Make some noise at Boomfest

If you’ve ever wanted to break a World Record with a well-known band, or you just want to unleash your creative side, Boomfest, which runs from Friday August 19 to Sunday August 21, is the place to be.

Held at Clarence Park in Weston, the event offers young-people the opportunity to take the stage with a host of experienced artists and companies from the South West and further afield. As well as providing a fun day out for the family.

Entrance to the three day extravaganza is free and activities range from cultural and creative arts performances, BMXing, performance poetry, skateboarding, art exhibitions, theatre and a wide range of other activities.

And headlining at the event will be the internationally acclaimed Weapons of Sound, who have previously performed at the Glastonbury and Reading festivals as well as the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games, held in Manchester back in 2002.

Along with performing, the group will be offering the chance to take part in a world record attempt. They will be looking for around 750 people to form the world’s largest junk orchestra. Event-goers of all ages will be able to take part in the attempt that will kick off on Saturday August 20 at 4pm. The current Guiness World Record is 617.

If you want to to take part in the record breaking, you will have to register by 3.45pm on the day.

Members of The Echo will be attending Boomfest and look forward to joining in the fun.

If you would like anymore information on the event please log onto www.boomsatsuma.com or find Boomfest on Facebook.

Former Weston journalist fights back against redundancy

A former Weston journalist has fought back against redundancy by setting up her own PR firm.
Morwenna Tudor, aged 31, set up Tudor Communication in February this year, after being made redundant from her previous job as a communication manager when the government cancelled the project she was involved with. Since then, she has seen her business go from strength to strength, working with local and national companies.
After leaving university, Morwenna worked as a journalist for four years on local newspapers in the town, before moving into a PR role within the fire and rescue service. Clocking up more than 10 years’ experience in the industry, she also worked with international clients at a marketing and communications agency and as a communication manager both regionally and nationally on a government project.
She said: “I’ve always been passionate about good communication and, when I was made redundant from my previous job earlier this year, it seemed like a great opportunity to set up my own business. This has enabled me to focus on the work I enjoy and to become more involved with my local community.”
Morwenna balances her paid work with a number of voluntary roles, including being the executive member for PR with the Weston and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, volunteering with Guide Dogs for the Blind and working on Weston’s RNLI week.
Among the clients she has worked for are the Weston Business Improvement District bid, North Somerset Council, The Wine Tasting Co and RSL – a Coventry-based company.
Tudor Communication offers a wide variety of services to clients, including writing news releases, copywriting, developing case studies and trade press articles, proofreading, media training, stakeholder consultation and engagement, development of communication strategies and production of newsletters. Full details of the services offered can be found on the website at www.tudorcommunication.co.uk
Morwenna added: “Every client is treated as an individual and I bring together all the skills I have developed over the past 10 years to ensure they receive the communication support they need in order to help promote and grow their business.”

Morwenna Tudor