Blackpool couple toast their new drinks in the post venture
An entrepreneurial couple who saw their events business hit hard by coronavirus are raising a glass to 2021 with a new venture - A Toast in the Post.
David and Jane Charnley who run Love Expo, which provides exhibition stands and promotional items for companies attending major events, and Wedding Table Plans.com, were all set for a busy year of exhibitions and weddings before the virus out a stop to all major events.
The pair were poised to move from their old premises in Chiswick Grove to a purpose built HQ on the airport enterprise zone, but decided to go ahead anyway and use the enforced down time constructively.
They rented out 40 per cent of the new building to another firm, Polycover, and in the meantime came up with the idea of Toast in the Post.
David said: “Many sectors were hit hard such as hospitality, but the events industry turned the lights off and stopped. There is no work to do.
“While there is a potential end to it with vaccinations, it will be at least April before anything changes and could be a year.
“Our industry event sees 5,000 people coming from all over the world and meeting in one room – you could not have a worse scenario for spreading the virus.”
He said Love Expo had had it best two years and was showing significant growth just before lockdown particularly through hiring out an aluminium modular stand system - Mobius more environmentally friendly than wood and board stand built as a one off.
“We have been running the business for 23 years and we were at the point of buying a premises and we spoke to Rob Green at the enterprise zone about building something.
“The rates relief was important as we were buying using our savings.
“We decided I would get involved in finishing off the building and at the same time launch Toast in the Post.
“Its all about sending friends families colleagues and loved ones a drink through the post.
“You just go on the website and choose forma wide range of miniatures whisky, gins rums champagnes and an appropriate mixer and it goes in a stylish ,100 per cent recyclable cardboard gift box and you upload a photo and message that gets put in the box.
“Our tag line is ‘Let someone know you’re thinking of them.’ Its all online and we launched six weeks ago.”
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