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Mentoring Matches: Taking it back to basics

Mentoring Matches: Taking it back to basics

JEM’s Bar Co. is a mobile bar and events company founded by James Warmington and Emilie Bowes-Read. The pair are looking to innovate their company’s services and increase its sustainability by using more local food and drink. They are working with our volunteer mentor, Jo Pullen, an expert in customer behaviour and innovation.

Jamie and Emilie on Jo

What were you hoping for?

A mentor who could offer advice on how to develop our business further by understanding our target audience and improving our service offering. We are looking to develop more relationships to secure consistent and regular bookings and hoped our mentor could help with this.

What were your first impressions?

Jo is a lovely lady who is very friendly and approachable. She has incredible knowledge and has encouraged us to look at things in different ways which have been so beneficial to our business. She clearly explains everything and provides us with great resources that we can take away to use. It feels like she really understands us and our business which is so important to us.

What did you talk about?

We are looking at the user journey of our target audience, how to target other demographics and how we fill that initial gap. We have stripped things right back to the initial stage of the customer journey and why they would choose our business, their motivations and expectations. This is all key information that will help us with every decision we make going forward.

Best thing about your mentor?

Jo is so easy to talk to and makes you feel comfortable and at ease instantly. She has incredible knowledge and understanding of how she can support our business and clearly explains different processes and ideas that we can easily adapt. She is more than I could have hoped for - thank you Jo!

Describe your mentoring partner in three words.

Expert, friendly, helpful.

Was there anything you were surprised by that came from your mentoring sessions?

Jo has helped us look at aspects of our business from different angles. We were focused on the end product and thought our sessions would revolve around this. But Jo has helped us take a step back and look at the initial aspects. Things like our audiences and how our services are filling a gap in the market, which will really inform key decisions we then make about end products.

JEMs Bar owners Emilie, James and friend ready to serve behind drinks bar, with grey dog

What one thing will you be taking from your time with your mentoring partner?

Take it back to basics. Always be thinking about your customers, why they come to you, their motivations & expectations and how you offer something different that they then think ‘I need that!’.

Will you be meeting again?

Yes! We are due to arrange our next meeting and are looking forward to it :)


Jo on Jamie & Emilie

What were you hoping for?

A good match, which is exactly what we got. More specifically a business that was up for it, and ready to think about things from a different perspective.

What were your first impressions?

“Wow, what a team!” with a clear skill, drive and a passion for business, proven by what they have achieved so far. All while both are working full time too. Incredible!

What did you talk about?

Initially, I was keen to make sure I could add value. So Emilie shared the JEM’s Bar journey so far, and we talked about their vision, plans and what they were looking for. I was so pleased they wanted to continue together as I was already excited to see where things could go. Our first session really focused on the customer and getting into that customer’s world; What do they need? What do they find hard?

Best thing about your mentoring partners?

They fully embraced the process and the session. Stripping things right back can be challenging but because of their approach, we were able to do so much. I also love that their core values at the heart of their business shone through in how we might develop solutions and products for the customer.

Describe your mentoring partners in three words.

Determined, hard-working, passionate.

What one thing will you be taking from your time with your mentoring partner?

It really is a privilege to be considered a mentor and to be working with Jamie and Emilie. Our session was certainly reciprocal in value. I learnt from Jamie and Emilie to be brave, challenge yourself more and to do what feels right, as well as what makes sense business-wise!

Will you be meeting again?

Absolutely yes…. I really can’t wait to see how they got on speaking to their customers and what this might mean for their business and offer.


If you’d like our help in finding a mentor, or are interested in volunteering your time and experience to support others, sign up to our mentoring programme.



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