Jeremy and Alice Hocquard have the ingredients for success that have put Brick and Artisan Bread Company—BABCO—on the map. Starting two years ago with pizza ovens and a food truck, as they prepared for the huge investment of setting up a bakery, they made the move to their current location after one year in business. Just a year after opening their bakery on Albert Street in Palmerston North they’ve already expanded into the next-door shop and refurbished. BABCO is a bakery that is becoming iconic, but according to Jeremy they are simply rising to the challenges they’ve laid out for themselves.
Jeremy has taken an interesting path towards opening a bakery having at first studied vet science straight out of school before realising he didn’t want to pursue that interest any further. He went on to study music in Wellington and it was there that he found himself working in the hospitality industry and discovered an interest in food. After breaking his back Jeremy couldn’t work for a couple of years while he dealt with surgery and recovery, but that didn’t stop him from using his downtime to learn more. Combining his love of food and strengths in science Jeremy gained a food science degree majoring in wine science. He spent four years working within the industry in the Hawkes Bay before moving to Palmerston North to study photography and design at UCOL where he met Alice who was doing a videography major.
BABCO is not the first business that Jeremy and Alice have owned having previously started a photography, videography and design company together. Jeremy also spent six and a half years setting up and working in E-commerce businesses but got sick of sitting in front of computers. He felt the pull towards food, and with a science degree specialising in fermentation, creating artisan pizza and bread were good options. With business experience and the ability to create their own top-notch marketing and branding materials their plans were baking hot! BABCO has experienced phenomenal growth with Jeremy and Alice both working incredibly long hours to keep things running smoothly and manage the growing pains.
Jeremy heard about Advanced Accountings Business Development Group (BDG) through his brother-in-law who had taken part in it the previous year and recommended it. While their business was running well they recognised it was important to make sure they were doing the best job possible to achieve their goals.
Jeremy feels the BDG has been great for BABCO and he has implemented useful strategies he learned through attending the course. He has enjoyed observing how other businesses work and has created better systems for tracking his progress. Jeremy and Alice no longer refer to their employees as staff preferring instead to focus on viewing them as a team. They’ve also instilled a sense of accountability into their team culture where everybody owns up to their part in a problem and moves on. BDG has definitely made an impact on their business resulting in taking a step back and handing some jobs like system creation to other team members so that Alice and Jeremy can focus on their larger plans. They gained the support they needed to push go on their plans to expand into the next-door shop and have even adjusted their plans for the future. Jeremy and Alice have lots of dedicated planning and goal-setting sessions and have a five-year plan for their business expansion. They’re committed to their investment of working long hours in the short-term in order to achieve their goals to bring more food-based outlets to Palmerston North and they’re both eager to get on with their plans.
Jeremy has recommended the BDG to other business owners feeling that it has been incredibly valuable to BABCO and future business plans. Being introduced to new content on the course allowed him to step-back and assess his business in a new way and helped him take a new direction. Working with Aaran McLeod helped Jeremy and Alice maximise the potential of their future plans because Jeremy and Alice don’t do anything half-baked—watch this space.