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A change of heart

On 23/10/14 by Emma Sweet (Marketing Manager at Brakspear)

The BBPA asked me to submit a blog on behalf of Brakspear, about why we decided to enter the Heart at the Community Award this year. Well there’s a couple of simple reasons really, which I’ll happily talk you through now, but I wanted to begin by saying, we’ll definitely be entering one of the three awards next year, with a stronger determination to win!

Don’t get me wrong, we were delighted and amazed to be highly commended for our submission. The competition was stiff, and us entering this kind of award two years ago was unthinkable. Brakspear has been through a bit of a tough time with Henley over the last 14 years since the brewery was closed and sold, and production moving to Marston’s Wychwood Brewery. Many Henley residents still talk about this today, and not in a positive way either.

The company has completely changed in this time too, with new owners in the shape of the Davies family taking over, and having to deal with the hangover of a previous regime that hasn’t always been very popular, shall we say. So from 2007 until 2013, Brakspear pretty much kept themselves to themselves, quietly running pubs, and not really getting too involved with anything beyond that.

This changed towards the end of 2013. I arrived on the scene in July 2012, and was keen to change how Brakspear was perceived within the town. I knew we were a great company, and wanted everyone else to know too. Slowly I started gently introducing Brakspear to people. The sponsorship of a new local news website the Henley Herald, opens doors to meet the Mayor of Henley and various town councillors. And then the rest is history as they say, and more details about what we’ve been up to are on our submission.

We had a lot more confidence about ourselves, and what we were doing in Henley, uniting the pubs and the community for the greater good. However, we were still thrilled to be short-listed and to be highly commended certainly took us by surprise.

We know the good work the BBPA does, and we hold Brigid and the team in high regard for all that they do for the industry. We’re not a company that likes to boast about what we’re up to, but on this occasion we felt we should stand up and be proud, especially via an organisation that we have respect for too.

The final reason is that there’s still a lot of work to be done to quieten our cynics. This is why we’ll be entering next year, as we believe we deserve to win. The only way people will change their mind about us is if we keep shouting about the good work we’re doing, so watch this space...!

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