Mike Thorne

Background

Graduate in French, morphed by circumstance into food manufacturing and distribution. Serial investor and entrepreneur in niche and specialist food companies across all sectors. Currently focused on bakery and coffee sectors including manufacturing and retail. Bristol based since 2012, 4 kids and a historic motor racing habit to feed.

What skills can you bring as a mentor?

Significant real life experience of concept, start ups, rapid growth, private equity and direct funding to exit in various fields. Direct contacts in many areas. Well versed in implementing strategic reviews for growth food & drink businesses, including corporate and team structuring, product and range reviews, appropriate performance measurements and financial structuring to exit. Real life self taught experience as a non accountant of matters financial. Current equity, chair and NXD roles in live growth businesses.

What do you think makes the difference between a good business and a brilliant business?

Clarity, Great People and Excellence. Clarity of vision and strategy – ie a plan! A great, well-motivated team with superb products or service can deliver remarkable results with a clear, well thought through plan, sensible benchmarking and an understanding of market cycles.

If you had your time again in business, what would you do differently?

Great question – easier to answer in hindsight too! Earlier recruitment of superb people, as partners, each ideally better skilled than me to complement the team. Braver and earlier adoption of new technologies and better investment in appropriate plant and machinery.

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Co Owner Cakesmiths & Bakesmiths/Angel investor