King of cool: getting the right people

King of cool
King of cool

The importance of surrounding yourself with good people is something that Murphy is keen to emphasise…

Commercial director James Ellender he describes as “an entrepreneur who knows how to build a business”; project director Glenn Goodliffe is the “sense checker” who gives them direction; and head of new product development Iain Tedbury, who also invested in the company, is certainly in the right role as, according to Murphy, he’s “a phenomenal chef”. Like he says: “you can’t do it all on your own, you need a different perspective on things sometimes.”

As for the product itself, available in a mouth-watering variety of flavours with a British twist to them that include Cream Tea, Rhubarb & Ginger and English Sparkling Wine & Elderflower sorbet, Murphy has no truck with those who decry ice cream as being out of step with a healthy lifestyle – “I’m a big fan of indulgence and believe a little bit of what you fancy won’t do any harm”. Developing the brand further is a goal that is firmly in his sights and to that end he is teaming up with an award-winning British distillery to produce a range of cocktail sorbets for 2016, with Gin Fizz and Marmalade Mule (flavoured with vodka) on the menu among others.

Mindful of the need to contain costs, he eschews the more expensive option of focus groups and instead asks friends and family to try pre-production samples. He’s determined to be innovative in his approach to product development – “I want to stay away from pedestrian flavours” – and his next offering will be the delightful sounding Gooseberry Crumble. He certainly must be doing something right as the company has already attracted interest from overseas, having recently been approached by an importer based in Dubai.

Asked to provide his top ten tips for others looking to succeed in a start-up and Murphy is only too happy to offer the benefit of his experience (see box), but in typical self-deprecating fashion he suggests that SME readers might want to ignore his pointers entirely. “What do I know? I’m still finding my way. Get an idea and give it a go. If it’s your first time it won’t be perfect, trust me, but at the end of it all you own it. Take the hit if it goes pear-shaped, or celebrate like a goon when you make your first million. Either way, it’s your baby and you have to take responsibility for its future.”

In the next instalment of our King of Cool series, we provide ten top tips for growing your business…