nearly there

Over the past year or two, I’ve intermittently mentioned our master plan to set-up an Olli & Lime office in the US. Well, it’s finally within reach. And it’s getting a bit scary.

We’ve had an amazing year of North American exploration – Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Boston (of course), thanks to British Airways.

Winning the grant has allowed us to check out all the places on our American short list (Vegas was for a trade show, incidentally) and, unsurprisingly, we’ve settled on Boston.

I say unsurprisingly, but there are 101 other places that would have made things far smoother financially, but none that would have fit our future plans and needs so snuggly.

So, now just the small matter of getting our VISA. I jest. We have to invest plenty of $, commit to employing US citizens, etc, etc. So it’s certainly not to be sneezed at.

rooftop blanket

We awoke this morning to a fresh covering of snow! So, I just thought I’d share the view from a top floor window at he back of our place, looking across the chimneyed rooftops…

As our Boston Christmas trip approaches, I’m not only concerned that we may miss a white Christmas in our home town, but also that BA may cancel flights, as per today.

daily telegraph

Great piece of coverage for us yesterday, in The Daily Telegraph, about the BA grant we won this year, and the progress we’ve made so far. Note the (very rare) photo of us…

Click for the online version. Really good exposure. Shame some people see it as an invite to peddle their wares. Actually, I’m not complaining…it feels good to be popular!

opportunity granted

Last year we applied for a British Airways Business Opportunity Grant, with a prize including 12 business-class flights and 5 cargo shipments, across the BA network. The grant is for small to medium-sized companies and it’s assessed on how a year’s free business travel would help to achieve specific, measurable business objectives.

Having submitted a carefully-worded application, we sat back…and waited. And last week we were told, along with 99 other businesses, that we’d been successful! I was out when I got the news and, on my return, was greeted by the rather fetching handmade sign, above. Karen clearly has too much free time. Haha, so not true!


Karen was deliriously happy as she’s “never won anything. Not even in a raffle”. On the other hand, I was very optimistic as the grant just fits our objectives so perfectly. It means 2010 will be a year of growth and progress, just as we’d planned. We’ll visit key territories, make retail pitches, set up US distribution and attend trade exhibitions.

This is a huge boost for our business, allowing us to accelerate our expansion plans, and even removing the worry of meeting costs for stock and equipment transportation. True to form, we’ve already mapped out our business travel plans for the next 12 months. It’s gonna be an incredible year! I’ll keep you posted as things take shape.