From solo start-up to booming business

When Plugged in last spoke to businesswoman Holly Buckingham back in 2018, she was dishing up food and coffees at two cafés. Now, she has four local venues, with a fifth on the way. 

When things are back in full swing once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted she’ll be recruiting again, to create employment for 30 local people at her White Feather Coffee Co.

Holly said: “Not bad for someone who started as a one-man-band with a small mobile coffee van in 2016! I set out to work for myself and was happy to just tick over.”

That all changed when Somerset Larder asked if she’d be interested in setting up the café at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre (SEIC). 

Since then she’s gone from strength to strength, working with Hinkley Point C, Somerset Larder and consultant MYA to design the spaces and menus to create a quality brand. That brand is now catering for the Hinkley Point C workforce at two venues at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre, and the wider community at others in the centre of Bridgwater and at The Exchange. She’ll soon be opening yet another at Bridgwater Cricket Club.

She added: “For me the focus is all about supporting local businesses through everything we do. We source everything locally, from the food and produce through Somerset Larder, to our printing and our maintenance work, and we’re creating local jobs too.

“The project’s knock-on effect to the local economy is enormous. Thanks to the support from Hinkley Point C we’ve designed a business model for the office trade that I can replicate to grow my business beyond anything I dreamed of.”