nene local | helen dawson


Category: Northampton & Earls Barton

Firms Join Forces to Deliver Profit Masterclass

A team of expert business coaches joined forces with a Northamptonshire accountancy practice to deliver the first in a series of free masterclasses to help local businesses emerge stronger from the Coronavirus pandemic.


ActionCOACH business growth specialist Jo Sahunta and expert accountant, Nishi Patel of Northants Accounting, partnered up and ran the ‘Masterclass to Massive Profits’ session to provide additional support to the clients of Northants Accounting.

The interactive workshop was the first ‘in person’ event run by ActionCOACH since the start of lockdown and numbers were restricted to allow for social distancing measures to be adhered to.


The workshop, designed for 15 people, concentrated on the five key areas business owners should address to increase their profits. Attendees were also shown strategies to improve the running of their business and identify areas where efficiencies could be made.

Nishi and Jo have joined forces to create these workshops to offer free help to local businesses and would love to see more local firms attend.

ActionCOACH business growth specialist Jo Sahunta and expert accountant, Nishi Patel of Northants Accounting, partnered up and ran the ‘Masterclass to Massive Profits’ session


Jo said: “As a business

ActionCOACH business growth specialist Jo Sahunta and expert accountant, Nishi Patel of Northants Accounting, partnered up and ran the ‘Masterclass to Massive Profits’ session

coach, I’m passionate about helping business owners to improve their business and work life balance and it was great to see so many engaged and motivated business owners. The feedback we’ve received was really positive and we’re looking forward to holding more workshops in the coming months.”


Northants Accounting managing director Nishi Patel added: “Good businesses aren’t built by chance; they take deliberate planning and execution by business owners who know where they want to be. This series of workshops will help our clients create businesses that support their personal goals in life.”


Among the attendees was Tom Saevarsson of TS Electrical. He said: “The workshop was well focussed and very informative and gave me a great insight into how I should focus on my business.”


The team at Northants Accounting and ActionCOACH will be running monthly workshops designed for Business owners. Anyone who is interested in attending future workshops should email


For further information about ActionCOACH visit or Jo’s LinkedIn page at

Networking On the Nene – Grow your Business by Connecting with Others

Networking on the Nene

As we ride the rollercoaster of COVID-19 and the ever-changing restrictions it has been reassuring for many businesses that networking has been able to continue (and in some cases grow) online.

Networking has been able to allow businesses to connect and showcase what they do, continue to develop their business relationships or (in some cases) showcase their new lockdown start-up businesses.

Although many businesses miss the face to face interaction that comes from ‘in person’ networking, online zoom sessions have been a successful alternative providing many benefits.

Here are a few of the benefits of online networking we have found:

More flexibility

When you join online networking, you don’t need to worry about the travel time to and from a venue. You can simply sign onto a Zoom call a few minutes before the start time, make sure your microphone and camera are connected and be ready to get connected.

Since lockdown there has been far more understanding if your call gets disrupted by a knock at the door or another member of your household entering the room. You can simply hide your camera view or mute yourself and join when you can.

Systems like Zoom also include features like breakout rooms so smaller groups can meet, recording the session and even live streaming into social media to provide added opportunity for online networking.

Building your connections

Strengthening connections is invaluable when it comes to promoting your business via networking. You get to connect with like-minded people with the bonus that sometimes your ideal customer hears your message.

It is a bit like having a bunch of great colleagues where you get the camaraderie and fun of being part of something. Of course, you build connections and contacts too and they potentially refer you and mention you to other people who may be looking for your skills.

Advice to advance your business

Networking allows you to get new perspectives you may not have considered for your business. You can ask the nagging questions that you spend hours mulling over to get a different opinion. There tend to also be a variety of subject matter experts who you can also get advice from to advance your business.

Build Confidence

If you have never been networking before I can feel rather nerve wracking promoting your business in front of a group. Networking groups are always hugely welcoming to those who invest their time into them. It can be a real confidence booster once you have a referral, recommendation or you are asked for advice and online networking is a great place to start.

Networking for everyone

There really is a networking group for everyone the option to join paid or free sessions, industry specific groups and even groups targeting mums/women in business.

Here are several in the local area that we recommend:

Family Farm Shop Launches ‘Recovery from COVID’ Programme

Family farm shop launches ‘Recovery from COVID’ programme to help Northants small businesses


A popular family-run farm shop has vowed to help small Northamptonshire businesses which were severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


Smiths Farm Shop has announced its ‘Recovery from COVID’ initiative for local people involved in the food and drink industry.

(Left) Brand founder Benjamin Jelley and (right) Adrian Smith of Smiths Farm Shop

(Left) Brand founder Benjamin Jelley and (right) Adrian Smith of Smiths Farm Shop

The idea is to give local producers the opportunity to stock their goods on the shelves of both Smiths Farm Shops, which are located in Billing and Brampton.


Proprietor Adrian Smith said: “Business has been bleak for many who were forced to close during lockdown and it could take years for small companies to recover. So, we wanted to do something to show our support, while also giving food and drink producers a bit of a business boost.


“We will consider all produce of any kind, the only caveat is the stock must be made in Northamptonshire. We believe that, not only will this give local businesses the chance to showcase their fantastic goods, but also it’s a great opportunity to shout about talented producers we have in our county. So, if you make honey, jams, chutneys, bread or cakes, get in touch with us today.”


One small business which has already reaped the benefit of Adrian’s generous offer is the award-winning Jelley’s Organic Vodka, based in Brixworth.


Smiths now stock all three Jelley’s flavours which are pomegranate and rosemary, organic grain and elderflower.


Brand founder Benjamin Jelley said: “Normally we attend a lot of food and drink festivals, but of course they’ve all been cancelled this year. We’ve launched new ideas along the way, such as our Social Isolation Supper Club and ‘The Lockdown Local’ – a virtual cocktail bar hosted on Facebook, but it’s been a challenging few months.


“Smiths Farm Shop is a Northamptonshire institution, which has been selling the freshest, seasonal produce for generations. It’s a huge honour to have my organic vodka on the shelves and I’m extremely grateful to Adrian and his team for giving me this opportunity.


“The shop is extremely popular, with people coming from far and wide to pick up their essentials, so I’m in no doubt their busy footfall will make a difference to our business.”


Smiths Farm Shop was founded in 1958 and has continued to evolve and move with the times since then. Now, the business prides itself on offering a great diversity of product lines, while remaining true to the family heritage and core beliefs.


Family Ice Cream Business Keeps things Real for Customers

Sabrina and Tony Brindisi, the third generation of family owned business Mario’s expanded their business and launched i’m real ice cream in 2016. Despite Covid-19 having a huge impact on their summer sales period they are positive about the future and have been overwhelmed by the support received from the local community.

ice cream real | nene local

Real ice cream is something the brother and sister duo experienced in southern Italy. “We wanted to re-create our joy for freshly made ice cream and find a way to make it accessible for everyone to experience.” says Sabrina.  i’m real is 100% natural gelato made with simple, fresh and local ingredients.


A lot of time was spent experimenting and developing recipes, investing in new equipment and sourcing the finest local and fresh ingredients. The family team hand chop, peel, bake and cook all the ingredients themselves in their factory in Northants; so, they know exactly what goes into their products.


“We don’t have to explain to our customers why we are called i’m real. The joy in our customers’ faces when they taste real strawberries or freshly roasted cardamom in one of our eight delicious flavours is exactly what we set out to achieve” Tony Brindisi states.

ice cream real | nene local

Unlike other ice cream makers, they believe that Mother Nature gives them all they need to create the best tasting ice cream and judging by the continued support and success of i’m real their customers clearly agree.

Throughout Covid they have been delivering directly to customers in Northants. To place an order visit and browse all their delights. You can also find them locally in stockists like Smiths Farm Shop, Whites nurseries, Castle Ashby Deli, The Italian Shop in Abington, Nene Valley Visitor Centre and Scotch lodge farm.

For more information



Owners: Sabrina and Tony Brindisi