In Champagne, as in men, Does size matter?
According to my business partner, Ian Mitchell, who is one of the most knowledgeable wine experts I know, and Rupert, a good friend who is the greatest consumer I know, Champagne is best from a magnum bottle. This suits me perfectly, as, quite frankly, I find a bottle is never quite enough.
This theory was proved true when we spent a fine Sunday lunchtime, all three of us consuming Champagne and some of the very best wine from our individual holiday events. It was a perfect Sunday: sunshine, great food - Ian is also an exceptional chef, so, of course, he hosted - and great wine. It's on days like this that I know I am a very lucky girl.
The "big is beautiful" theory, fortunately for us, does not work with our clients. This month we got the results of a survey of all our clients where we sought their advice on what our business strategy for the coming five years should be. Apart from an overwhelmingly positive response, one of the big issues they highlighted was size. Our clients love the fact that they know us and can deal with us personally, a challenge we are taking into account as we grow, especially as we personally meet with all clients every month. The word that many used was "care" and they singled out our commitment to, and support of, them and our teams.
September was the month of the Bartlett Mitchell barbecue, which is a family day for every member of the company. It was a treat to see grown adults taking advantage of the bouncy slide, and that competition on the Giant Jenga matched competition in the kitchen.
We have also been working hard with a company that is about to transform our accounting and communication systems by developing Bartlett Mitchell's own intranet. There has been lots of training, adjustments, talking and listening, which, despite the inevitable IT headaches, is all worthwhile as it is really one of the most significant events in our future.
Of course there are times when big is better. We are a company of big people, with big hearts, big ideas and a big passion for food and service. So here's a big thank-you to our team, who gave us such excellent results.
So how big is too big? I suppose the answer lies in the detail. On the man front, I couldn't possibly comment, but I am still looking for a tall, dark, handsome one. Coincidentally, I am off to the Champagne region for a weekend to celebrate the famous Rupert's birthday - so no doubt we'll test the Champagne theory, too.