Jess Magill, director of Powderkeg Brewery, talked to Food Drink Devon about covid19 and the roadmap ahead. Here’s the interview.
Jess pictured with husband John at Powederkeg Brewery
Food Drink Devon: Many companies have had to adapt and find new ways of working since the emergence of covid-19. Do you feel any of these have improved or benefited your business?
Jess Magill: Yes — we have started doing local home delivery, which is not normally something we would have the time or resources to do. It means we get to deal with more end customers directly, and makes us feel more connected to the people who enjoy our beer.
FDD: What was your biggest hurdle during 2020, and how did you overcome it?
JM: Most of our pub and restaurant customers were shut for a large part of the year, so we concentrated on home delivery and mail order.
FDD: What do you know now that you didn’t know a year ago? Either about yourself, your business or Devon?
JM: We know, in case there was any doubt, that people really need pubs! That informal public space where you can meet and relax with drinks and food makes a huge difference to people’s lives. And that people really do want to support local businesses and will go out of their way to do so.
FDD: What, if possible, would you like to change to improve the current state of play in the food and drink industry for 2021?
JM: More support for small businesses to grow. There’s some great support and training on offer from Devon County Council — we’d like even more!
FDD: Given that there is not an endless amount of government money, what would you like to see the government do to help?
JM: Reduce duty to help small breweries, and cut business rates for pubs and restaurants to ensure their survival.