It’s a tricky question, and somebody asked us this question 3-4 years ago and it took us sometime to come up with an answer that was worth listening to. We knew it was not money, material or short-term gain, so what was it? Almost 10 years into owning Byfords, working pretty hard, and did not know why we were doing it! With an answer that took 4 weeks of thinking, we were still fumbling around and could not express what it really was that we were driving for and leading a great team towards. So we turned to the team, assembled them into small groups and listened to passionate people talking about what they wanted the business to be great at – what would make them really proud.

It became clear that although we had some really nice places and some great product, we were a people business and operated within the customer experience industry – its people that made the difference.

As we described the good days when everything went right, the same words were repeated time after time, as various groups talked about a business that was synonymous with people brilliance. Nothing clever or pretentious, just a really honest, giving, environment where everybody felt comfortable, had a chance of maximising their true potential and delivered a great experience to all. It was inspiring and the seed was planted for a very simple goal that we now share as a business:


The smiley face is a bit of fun, we try not to take ourselves too seriously, but helps us remember that everybody that touches our business is a customer – the paying customer, our Team, the suppliers, and the community that we exist in. If we achieved excellence with each one of these, we figured that we would be around for a decent amount of time.

To help us strive to achieve our goal, we noted down the words that were being mentioned time after time – kind of made sense, as if these words described our passion, then let’s try and use them to help us do more of it. We formed 4 family values:


The Goal & Values would help us as people, the service we give, and the business we were looking to create stay on the right path and give us a chance of converting all the graft into something that makes us really proud……phew!

So with that sorted, what’s the future?

We have resisted ‘rolling out’ a brand as our primary goal is not money – cut and paste is easy, build a proper business each time is harder, but much more rewarding. We enjoy learning and providing all our customers J variety in the experience we provide, therefore, everything we do has its own authentic identity.

Our business is not about one person at its helm. We have individual teams led by some great leaders all running their own show, and sharing in its success.

Short term success is ‘easy-ish’, long term success and creation of a multi faceted business that gets closer to our goal year after year is more difficult. Our growth will be slow and measured without the thirst of ego and greed. Instead, we grow with great people, strong locations, good product and continue to learn along the way. In terms of size, who knows, it would be a shame to share such a great aspiration with a small number of customers and locations. Maybe the vision stretches longer than a single lifetime, we hope so, as if we achieve our goal, the positive impact will be greater and our efforts not just a short transaction of time.

In summary…..

So, a people business within the customer experience industry, with a clear goal of excellence through customer experience and some pretty simple core values to help us along the way. A collection of different business, led by some great independent leaders, providing a superb environment for all customers J that wants to kick around for a few generations……..simple really!

As a customer

You may be a paying, employed or supplier customer, whichever, your role is key!

As paying customers spend time and money with us, we will invest this back in the experience. As our team shows us loyalty, we will try and do the same in return and create a great environment. As a supplier we shall try and do justice to the product you supply and be fair.

If we do not hit the mark, let us know, we will change. If we do, spread the word and we will do more of it and continue our efforts in creating something special!

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2 Responses to Why do we do what we do?

  1. David Wright says:

    Just had tea and scones at Byfords in Holt and disappointed as the scones were not fresh- dried out and crumbly – like having yesterdays leftovers
    Sorry to complain
    Staff were as welcoming and warm as always ,

    • Lesley van Dijk says:

      Hi David, thanks for the feedback. I will pass it on to Byfords and hope that it will be a good experience again soon.


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