John Richardson is a man still very much in love with his business. The passion poured out of him for an hour while he talked to Nicola and Judith about how he got his start opening a sandwich bar with a friend in Northern Ireland, where he still lives part-time. The business grew rapidly to the point where when he was 28, the business was making 7,000-8,000 sandwiches a day, the biggest in NI, and then when he was 29 he found himself “on the streets”.
From there he created a fish and chip shop which, again, he wanted to be the very best in Ireland. They worked hard at this business and sold it well. This led to other businesses – a restaurant, a bar, domain names during the internet gold rush until he consolidated everything he’d learned into a garden centre and particularly coffee shops in garden centres. Now John is an expect in coffee shops and has written three books on the topic and is mobbed when he speaks at Caffe Culture.
John talks a great deal about being the default choice in any niche and how much work goes into becoming that and how to do it and here’s a clue – it happens with your third book!
In the year of his 40th birthday, John challenged himself to go from being “a messer” at sport to…