CPU Story - Chapter Eleven

Here is the Eleventh chapter of the CPU Enterprises Story which was originally sent in the CPU Winter 2010/2011 Newsletter - emailed out to customers on 06.03.11. Written by Peter

I have to say that as Dianne and I get "less young" we are ever more thankful that we do not have to stand on a cold market stall any longer. This is mainly thanks to our girls who have taken over promoting and running our website and warehouse. It is several years now since we finally gave up our stalls on Peterborough market but I have to say that we still miss it a little (but only in the nice weather). We still regularly shop there for our fruit and veg, meat and eggs.

All this brings me nicely to the next part of the CPU history - why and how we left the Market.

It was a big step for us to give up the market as this had been our only source of income for many years, and we felt that we were letting down our many loyal customers. But there were a couple of major reasons for leaving, both personal and practical.

It was becoming increasingly difficult and un-ergonomic to process the website orders from the Market. All the computer equipment was in an office at our house which was about 300 yards from the Market on foot. But, because of a one way system, that same journey was almost a mile by car, and there was limited parking during the day at the Market anyway. So I was making that trip on foot many times a day, ferrying customer's paper orders from the house to be 'got up' and packed at the Market, and then back to the house ready to be taken to the Post Office. Now for someone without dodgy leg joints and 2 quadruple heart bypasses, that would probably have been good exercise...

Then came one of the main reasons for calling the first of many family business meetings - a cold and bitter Winter. Both myself and Dianne were in our Sixties by now and a fairly open Market Stall in the middle of Winter is not a good place to be. While I kept warm by walking back and forth, Dianne had just a one bar electric fire and thermals to keep her warm. There is a lot of standing around on a Market, with wind whipping around the corners and snow blowing in, it was not always pleasant.

The family quickly convinced us to give up the Market and concentrate on the website. They felt this would be where the future expansion of retail trade was, and how right this is turning out to be.

But first we had to find somewhere to put all of the stock that we had - the market stall, all 48 by 10 feet of it, was chocked full, as was some of our house. Dianne then had one of her brainwaves - I think that she has had about three of these since we have been married (I have taken credit for all of the others). "Why don't we have a warehouse built in the back garden?" We had a long garden with Greenhouses and Bird Sheds at the bottom, but no time to do any gardening. "What a good idea", we all said. "But wouldn't that require planning permission?" And that, as they say, is another story....

Chapter Twelve of the CPU Enterprises Story

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