The Drinkwater family have been farming in and around the Cotswold village of Ebrington for generations so when Peter Drinkwater and his wife Amanda decided to open a Farm Shop and Cafe it seemed like a natural progression. Peter supplies fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit direct from the family farm and Amanda looks after the Cafe.

The purpose built Farm Shop and Cafe opened for local business and in no time the Drinkwater's reputation and the quality and selection of produce on offer made it a growing success. The Cafe took a little longer to establish. Following a recommendation Pete & Amanda contacted Chris Brown from CotswoldXL. They were taken with his enthusiasm for their business and his success with others so they agreed a Social Media Management arrangement for an intial period of three months

Vegetable Matters had an existing Facebook Business page, which was being managed elsewhere, but had not become involved in any other Social Media Platforms. The business had it's own attractive website but no ongoing management was in place. Peter says " I'm not very tech savvy so we knew early on that we could do with some help. Three months with Chris and CotswoldXL seemed like a reasonable time to see if they were any good. They didn't want to tie me up to any long contract so we gave it a go."

CotswoldXL's first port of call is  research and understanding. We see ourselves as part of the team so we needed to fully understand how the business works and what exactly needs to be achieved. We quickly identified the need for more Cafe customers which in turn would bring in more footfall.

One of the CotswoldXL's strengths is it's unique brand of Photo Journalism. Simply great pictures with great words. Planned and posted consistently and relevantly. The secret of a great Social Media post is friendly interaction with relevant content, in this case beautiful smiles and mouthwatering food - who wouldn't want to visit?

CotswoldXL intelligent software monitors and records every post. As existing friends liked and shared we took the audience reach of each post from the tens and hundreds into the thousand. Building with every post and interacting to encourage and grow the following. Using our software's 'learning' ability we chose ultimate times to post and never missed a chance to 'talk' with Vegetable Matters friends.

 ...and so they came, the great and the good! 

At CotswoldXL we often offer a three months starter option. It's enough for us to demonstrate our worth and for the client to feel the benefit without needing to commit to any scary contracts, long term or otherwise. We have lots more to offer so we confidently expect our client to keep us on and expand our involvement. Our system is modular so can be picked up and dropped as it suits the clients needs. We were ready to add other Social Media platforms and take a look at the website... but we hadn't planned on COVID-19

For Peter and Amanda it was a potential disaster. The Cafe had to close and the Farm Shop had to be reorganised for Social Distancing. The stress on everybody was immense but the family kept going. For CotswoldXL it was a time to test our mettle. We had built a bigger following than ever and Peter and Amanda used this base to communicate almost daily with the fast changing situation. An expanded delivery service was introduced and messages scurried backwards and forwards across the Social Media platforms. They coped, they grew and they won the admiration of their customer base. Vegetable Matters showed just how Facebook, in particular, works so well in a business environment.

 ...literally a growing business, onwards and upwards. 

The CotswoldXL team have loved working with Vegetable Matters and it looks like we might be here to stay so, never one to rest on our laurels, we are working on the next stage of their development with particular emphasis on growing their newly found e-commerce enterprise. If you would like to work with us give us a call or better still pop in and see Vegetable Matters Farm Shop, when it's safe to do so, and say hello to Peter and Amanda. They'll be delighted to see you. | Tower House, Herbery Courtyard, Blackminster Business Park, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 7RE, UK

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