CPU Story - Chapter Seven

Here is the Seventh chapter of the CPU Enterprises Story which was originally sent in the CPU Winter 2010 Newsletter - emailed out to customers on 14.02.10. Written by Peter

You may remember that the last edition of the CPU story ended when Dianne left her employment with John Lewis. I know many of you are eagerly wondering when DKY was born and became part of CPU ENTERPRISES, so please read on.

We were now both "out of work" and with both of us having health problems we were finding it hard to find a job. So we decided to do what many of her JLP customers had suggested and find a shop to sell wool.

Unfortunately the banks would not lend us money to get started, and in any case we could not find a shop in the right place with an affordable rent. To top it all we discovered that part of Dianne's contract with JLP stated that if she left she could not set up shop in opposition to them within a certain area. This was quite a down time for us as it seemed that we would not be able to proceed further with our dreams and that CPU would come to an end without anything to leave our kids.

Then, once again, fate took over. We were buying fruit and veg from our local market when we had the silly idea of a market stall. The rent was weekly so all we really needed was the wool and Dianne still had many contacts in that area. So we made enquiries at the market office. That's when two things happened to once again dash our hopes. Firstly we were told that we could not sell wool on the market as there were already two stalls doing that. Secondly we remembered the JLP contract clause - would they look on a Market Stall as opposition?

So back to square one? Not quite, the market stall idea grew in our minds so we asked the market Manager "what can we sell?" His reply "pots and pans and kitchen implements on a casual basis"

On a casual basis meant that you turned up at the market with a van load of goods no later than six am to book in. Then you had to wait until 8 am to see if a regular failed to turn up. If you were lucky you got a stall for the day, if not you went home again.

This we did for several months and were eventually given a tiny area (about 6 feet by ten) under canvas in the old part of Peterborough market. We had made it, our own space - despite the fact that when it rained the canvas roof leaked and the surface water seemed to make a small river right through our stall - this did not seem to matter. We had started to get back on the road to earning a living again. What a lovely feeling that was, and it was not long before we were allowed to sell wool again. One of the wool stalls closed and we eventually found out that JLP did NOT consider a market stall to be competition.


More on our Market adventures next time.

Chapter Eight of the CPU Enterprises Story

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