Podcast: independent café owner’s footfall tips plus social enterprise success

Here’s a brand new podcast of the Business Live radio show, first broadcast on Sheffield Live FM radio on Friday 1 February, with guests Lindsay Lonchar and Claire Dove.

Lindsay and Claire could each have filled a whole episode of the show, they both had so many interesting perspectives.

This episode includes powerful advice about succeeding in independent retail  from Lindsay AND about winning contracts and thriving as a social enterprise from Claire.

Listen or download the podcast below. It covers:

  • Photo of Lindsay and George of Wildwood and The Cabin

    Lindsay and George

    Mountain cabins, forest retreats and the food that goes with them: Lindsay Lonchar is co-owner of Sheffield brunch spot, The Cabin, and The Wildwood cafe and artisan gift shop just three doors away.

  • Lindsay and husband George opened The Cabin in 2016. They hadn’t been able find anywhere in Sheffield to eat the fresh pancakes and waffles George and his American family had cooked for years.
  • They wanted to re-create the authentic Canadian / North American cabin experience of super hospitality and lakes of maple syrup they had both loved.
  • The statistics show many high streets and their independent businesses are struggling. But The Cabin is thriving. What are the secrets of their success?
  • Lindsay’s strategies to drive footfall and boost word-of-mouth.
  • Why open Wildwood just yards from The Cabin?
  • How to offer “an experience” on the high street.
  • Advice for anyone considering setting up an independent food or retail business.
  • The key piece of research Lindsay did which made an enormous difference to the success of The Cabin.
Photo of Claire Dove

Claire Dove

Claire Dove runs a Liverpool-based social enterprise, Blackburne House. She’s also taken on the role as Crown Representative for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sectors. Claire has been involved with social enterprises for around 40 years and was the chair of Social Enterprise UK for ten years.

  • Blackburne House has been running for 37 years. It started to support women into careers and open opportunities for non-traditional employment. A number of complementary social enterprises have been created.
  • The societal dialogue has developed but there’s still much to do before full equality of opportunity. Is Claire optimistic?
  • Claire’s role as VCSE Crown Representative and what it means in practice. What are Claire’s objectives?
  • The barriers Claire has identified to voluntary, community and social enterprise participation in public service markets.
  • Claire’s advice to the VCSE sector when it comes to securing contracts.
  • Comments on consortia bidding and the issue of “bid candy.”
  • Developments and strengthening the Social Value Act, getting Government to rethink procurement in light of the collapse of Carillion, and giving more power to the Act.
  • Claire’s advice about growing and running thriving social enterprises.

Here’s the podcast – click the arrow to play or hover over the player to download it and play at your convenience:


  • 0 – 2:45 introduction and updates
  • 2:45 – 32:36 Lindsay Lonchar
  • 32:36 – end (51:20) Claire Dove

What next and key links:

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