Thursday, January 28, 2021

The year ahead: Nick Peel, Managing Director, Stokes Tea & Coffee

Each year Lincolnshire Today invites a select panel of the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead.

It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.

Here we catch up with Nick Peel, Managing Director of Lincoln-based Stokes Tea & Coffee.

Perhaps even Nostradamus himself may have struggled to predict the economic fortunes and losses of 2021.

Turbulent Brexit negotiations, trading conditions and the relentless financial fallout from strict pandemic restrictions may well sound the death knell for many more businesses before year end – but is it all doom and gloom?

2020 saw predicted changes, market behaviours and trends take hold at a blisteringly rapid rate, and developments that were expected to arrive in an orderly fashion over the next decade took hold in just 10 months!

Working from home, online shopping, virtual meetings, home fitness and the changing face of the high street are just some that have now cemented themselves as the ‘new norm’.

So – one of the biggest predictions for 2021 is undeniable; Those businesses and enterprises that have the agility to innovate and adapt will without doubt, have the strongest chances of survival.

Stokes Tea & Coffee is a century-old family company with feet firmly in the hospitality sector – from wholesale supply to café operations and barista training it has felt the full force from recent storms. However, the resolve and drive to meet market and customer needs has seen new green shoots and a growing customer base spring from new, innovative online offerings coming from Stokes Tea & Coffee.

The company has launched new online experiences and events including special coffee tastings which are helping customers to bring their teams, colleagues or clients together to share something that is memorable, unique and in real-time. The uptake has been staggering with local and global clients signing up and most recently, bookings for Stokes virtual events have been made by a number of Fortune 500 companies.

Constant change is a certainty and keeping ahead of what’s next on market horizons will be the ongoing challenge. The economic landscape is certain to remain challenging in 2021 and beyond – but ingenuity and reinvention will be front and centre in deciding the fortunes for many businesses.

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