OUR STORY SO FAR
I am Megan Charnock, Founder of Mini Miss Ltd.
Jump back to the middle of 2016. I do that thing that many people only ever dream of doing - I walk. I get up and walk out, away from my desk in a corporate events company, into the car and drive to a nearby residential street. I phone Jeff, my then husband, and sob. I have no idea what I am going to do next but I know I will not be going back to 9-5.
But that's ok. We can do this. We can survive. Let's strip back the luxuries, let's focus on the essentials, ourselves and our children, and we will be fine, we agree.
Six months later, I've found a job in a local cafe allowing myself some breathing space to work out my next steps. We are coping financially, just. I've decided I need to be my own boss. I want to do something creative. I want to build a brand and I want to be in charge of its future. I never want to be answerable to a boss again.
I start experimenting with bread. Then sourdough. There's a shortage of decent, handmade bread locally. And sourdough is so much more flavoursome and nutritious. I play around with logos and set up an instagram account using my childhood nickname to chronicle my progress. I give away loaf after loaf after loaf, asking for feedback. And then one day my neighbour insists on paying for her loaf. I take the leap and register myself on Companies House.
By the middle of 2017 I'm making 40-50 loaves a week from the home kitchen, using the domestic oven, to sell to locals. It's going well and my new business is building nicely, even though it's far from earning me an income.
I get a call from Jeff. He's been made redundant.
Again, I sob. But we pick ourselves up, strip back the essentials even further and somehow carry on. We are fit, healthy with two amazing children. We are lucky.
We hit the start 2018 and Jeff is still out of work but MINI MISS demands are growing. It is a now or never moment. MINI MISS can't grow without more resource. Jeff is only finding work involving a four hour round commute. The two will not work side by side. So yet again we hold our breath and take the jump. Jeff joins MINI MISS.
We have a little pot of redundancy money which goes towards our first commercial oven. And at the end of 2018 we sign the lease on a dilapidated property to get us out of the house and into a dedicated space for the business that we convert ourselves: Mini Miss Bread, 2a Church Street, Saffron Walden.
We are doing business our way. We have built it around us and our family (despite Jeff and I splitting in 2021 we still work together and happily co-parent our children). The MINI MISS approach to running a business isn't for everyone. But it's working for us and we have a lot of happy customers.
2023 brought us a new challenge with the addition of a cafe at the Angela Reed interiors store in Saffron Walden; Mini Miss Upstairs. This has given us the chance to offer customers, old and new, a little more of the Mini Miss menu, serving up an all day dining menu of simple dishes made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and bakes from Mini Miss Bread.
We are always striving to improve, move forward, evolve and keep things interesting for us and our customers. But we haven't ever known, and nor do we know now, what is around the corner. We grow organically based on our family needs, the need's of our team and our customers' preferences.
Something is working. And we're loving it. And we hope you do too.