Don’t adventures ever have an end?

February 1, 2024


“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story”*

I’ve been on an adventure – no doubt about that! 40+ years with some great people and great businesses too. Bells, Baxters Food Group &Tennent's NI (C&C Group) laid early career foundations for the adventures that followed!

Together with a formidable business partner Ghill Donald and a real 'can do' team intent on murdering mediocrity, we created BD Network which grew rapidly to become a leading Agency. I did a successful MBO in the early 2000’s, but soon developed an urge to start something again!

Now, in these types of adventures at some point the protagonist will miss a step, take a tumble or take a left when he should have gone right…well, that’s where we are at this point in the story. “I’ll buy a Catering business” - I still shudder when I think back!! I quickly found that delivering food out to the corporate world was a world away from brand marketing which had become second nature to me.

Thankfully, these same adventures are contractually obliged to produce heroes to come to the rescue - enter stage left Spoonfed business partners, Murray McNicol and Steven Wojciechowski who developed dynamic software solutions tailored for the error prone world of corporate catering.

There was huge value in what had been created - so we sold the catering business, kept the software and worked on a plan to scale it globally. The Spoonfed journey had started!

At that time I became a founder member of Equity Gap and following Spoonfed's proof of concept, it was time to turn poacher from gamekeeper and seek funding to grow at pace. Big shout out to Jock Millican, Fraser Lusty, Rhona Bree, Scottish Enterprise and all who backed us.

Now there are ups and downs in any journey…but a global pandemic should be seen as a pretty vertiginous drop! Just what do you do with software designed for those meeting together when there are restrictions on meeting together?! Well, in the midst of the storm we took the bold decision to bring back our furloughed development team early to deliver tech solutions for the post covid world.

Fortune favored the bold. Spoonfed grew steadily and, skipping over several more adventurous chapters, we delighted to become part of US based 365 Retail Markets in late 2021. Yes, there were bumps in the road, and some real scary moments but these were totally outweighed by the many memorable and fun times with all involved. “Don’t adventures ever have an end?” Well, I am retiring and yet…not quite. As Bilbo points out, someone else just carries the story on - that will be the really interesting remit for the next part of my story as well. I am retiring today, but delighted to have been asked by 365 Retail Markets to continue on a very limited part time basis to contribute to the promotion and growth of 365. And to those carrying on with this fantastic adventure good luck and I await the ‘next season’ with great interest!

To my family, many work colleagues, friends and clients - my sincere thanks - you are ‘simply the best!’ These adventures would not have been possible without you!

  • Bilbo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring