Travelling through Sheffield, it’s hard to miss the world-famous Sheffield Pie shop, often with a queue outside.
Sheffield Pies is owned by the extraordinary husband and wife team, Shane and Loretta Paterson. Qualified bakers by trade who grew up locally, they were excited to take over the business in 2002. Back then, the business was primarily a catering and wholesale company, but Loretta and Shane saw the value in setting up a retail shop and offering their pies directly to customers. “Our margins improved and the quality control of our product was a lot better,” Loretta explained. The move to a retail focus also enabled them to diversify their product line, introducing bread, cakes and other bakery goodies.
All of their pies are made from scratch, primarily with local ingredients, in their bakery in Oxford. Their bakers are constantly coming up with new flavours of pies; a recent addition to the menu includes the popular venison and whisky relish. This kind of creativity and dedication reflects the environment that Loretta and Shane have worked hard to develop, caring for their staff and customers. Their bakers recently reached a record high for number of pies made in one week: 524 dozen. With cafés added to each of their locations in recent years, and with online ordering and renovations on the horizon, the business keeps going from strength to strength.
But running the financial side of the business was becoming cumbersome and Loretta wasn’t using her time effectively. This is where Leech & Partners stepped in to help.
Loretta and Shane treat the three parts of their business—the bakery, the Sheffield shop, and the Oxford shop—as different departments, and Jon Jarman and Jane Pearce help them make data-informed decisions. “They’ve helped a lot with making the finances of those departments independent and making sure we can see where each department is at. Jon and Jane are easy to work with, very approachable and responsive. They make sure that Shane and I understand exactly what is going on. They get how the rural area works and the clientele we have out here.”
Part of this process included working with Georgia Goodman, Division Manager of LP Assist, who introduced Xero and Hubdoc to streamline the financial side of the business. “It’s made things much easier for me. I’ve never had the ability before to go into a system and see, at the end of every month, how that month has gone,” Loretta said. “Now we can do a lot of things ourselves that previously we had to rely on our accountant to do, like our GST. Things are a lot more automated than they used to be.”
Setting up the new software was simple, Loretta explained. “Jon explained that Xero and Hubdoc would be the best system for our business, and Jane and Georgia made sure it was set up properly to start with. Even now I am still emailing them and asking them questions and they’re always happy to help.”