We set up JPC in February 2009. That’s when the company was officially registered, but at that point it was all still a dream stage, we didn’t wake up to the reality until November the 9th when we opened our first contract.
We set the company up to support local suppliers, employ local people and support our community, and in 10 years those values have not changed. We still to this day work to the same ethos.
No one gives you a handbook on how to set up a successful company, no one tells you how scary it’s going to be either- jumping in the deep end and working hard to make a success can be daunting, but worth it in the end.
We first tendered for a contract in Bridgend, just a stone throw away from where our current office is located (though at the time we didn’t have an office and ended up working from within the site). The contract was operated by a national company at the time, and a new and unknown business were able to reduce budgets and operate within costs which alongside our ethos, won us the contract.
It became real, very quickly, giving up a steady income and diving straight into building a business. We employed three people, and wasn’t sure at the time whether we would make enough to pay them. We didn’t receive any grants or funding, we were set up by our own means only.
Luckily, we didn’t need much in the way of equipment, only two tills for a total of £169 and two invoices for stock that came to £3,000. We had to raise the £3,000 buy selling a truck we’d purchased, so we had the stock available to open the site!
Our director had absolutely no sleep on the night prior to opening. Her heart was pounding through her chest all night. Would they like our food? Would we have complaints? Could we manage? All fair questions, but questions that were unfounded. We did it, and we smashed it.
Tonight’s going to be a good night by the Black Eyed Peas came on the radio, and to this day we see this song as a sign for good things to come.
We ended the day with £275 gross sales. Even putting this small amount of cash into a safe we weren’t sure if we could manage- but holding hard cash from our first day was absolutely incredible.
Without the opportunity, and overcoming this first hurdle, we wouldn’t be where we are exactly 10 years later.