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Latitude Festival

We only went and won an award didn’t we?

11 years ago almost to the day, I sat with my new mate “Luke” (who I’d just met in the queue) at a rainy music festival in London. We talked for hours about our love for live music and food. At this moment, we both agreed how amazing it would be to live the festival lifestyle with a food and drink business- travelling the country, hearing our favourite bands and serving up some excellent quality food in the meantime.
It was a dream that we came back to constantly in our early years together and something we hoped to make into a reality when we sold our first brownie and coffee at a festival 4 years ago today.
Those of you who’ve been following our journey since the start will remember that we didn’t have an easy time of things during the pandemic and sadly had to give up our festival dreams, but…We are one of the very proud winners of the @Barclaycard Business Boost Awards at Latitude Festival 2023, which means we got to trade at @latitudefest this year.
It has been the biggest achievement of both our careers and we are so excited to see so many of you there next week. Thank you so much to everyone at @barclaycard_payments and @latitudefest for giving us this life changing opportunity.

Latitude Festival Q&A

  • How you managed to get to Latitude

Barclaycard and Live Nation were on the hunt for small businesses in Suffolk to support. The idea was to identify small businesses that could do with a helping hand and give them a boost by awarding them with a free pitch at Latitude Festival and up to £10,000 towards the cost of infrastructure for trading at the event. We were privately nominated by a local food and drink editor who was contacted by the event organisers. The first time we heard about it was when we received an email from the Head of Food for Live Nation, telling us about our nomination. 

To put it into perspective; as a small business we probably receive around 5 emails a day telling us we’ve won awards (all of which you have to pay for). Normally the emails go straight in the junk folder, however this email had a familiar name in the body, so it immediately piqued our interest.

  • How Barclays assisted

Barclays offered advice and assistance with financing a project such as Latitude. Live Nation also provided a mentor to guide us through the practicalities of trading at such an enormous event. 

  • How you felt as a food and drink business at a large festival

I’m not going to lie, it felt enormously intimidating at first. I felt like I had “Rookie” stamped across my forehead as I sashayed about trying to work out which plug socket I should be using. Thankfully all of our fellow traders were so helpful and friendly, we soon felt more at ease!

  • What did you enjoy the most?

The best part of the festival was the atmosphere and also seeing so many of our customers there. Most of the people we saw had followed us since day one and it was incredible to have them all there to share in the moment.

  • How were sales?

Due to the weather being pretty awful, we were very busy. Rather than drinking Pimms and Lemonade, people were opting for a hot cuppa and a comforting slice of cake!

  • If this was your first festival, what could you do better next time?

We’ve never done anything on this scale at all, but I think for next time, we’d stay true to who we are as a brand and not offer such a wide range. Thankfully we worked this out after the first day, so we didn’t have any wasted stock.

  • What do you wish people had told you before your first festival?

Expect to not sleep- hahaha! Luke was baking pretty much around the clock and we were delivering fresh every day. This leaves very little time for sleep, but you eventually catch it up!

  • Have you seen a difference in customers and sales since the festival?

I wouldn’t say we’ve seen a difference as such, however it was wonderful to feel the support from our fabulous customers. We really do have the best customers in the world.

  • How has the project supported you?

The project has really opened our eyes to a whole new revenue stream that we’ve never really explored. Festival pitches are a huge outlay and sales aren’t guaranteed once you get there. Being awarded a free pitch enabled us to make mistakes on our own timeframe and learn without feeling the financial burden. It also gave us amazing exposure to the event organisers and our mentors.

Brownie and the Bean at Latitude Festival. There is a sign above head hight with the Brownie and the Bean logo and "Brownies and Coffee" written in bold type font. There are 4 women and one man in the photo. These are the Brownie and the Bean staff. They're all wearing black with a gold Brownie and the Bean logo on. Everyone is smiling. There is a menu to the right hand side.