Good & Proper was borne out of a desire to have a great food and drink offering inside Temple Meads Station. We spoke to owner, Clare Morris, about her experience of opening the outlet and her passion for good food and local produce.
Describe the business in 3 words
I’ll need to use 4 – Good food, done properly.
How long has the business been going?
We opened on 17 December 2018 after over 18 months of work. It was truly a labour of love.
Why did you decide to set the business up?
As a mum and a commuter from Weston to London, I wasn’t able to afford the luxury of the direct train. The change in Bristol was often fraught with the choice of Starbucks or the buffet cart. Other parents might be familiar with my frequent dilemma on the train; do I leave my child in the seat to get a coffee, or take my child and leave the bags, risking the loss of essential overnight luggage, or do I go without – arghhhh! I often went without as I took too long to decide and the buffet cart would close just before Reading.
When an empty unit came up, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. It was a wholly selfish decision, thinking I could change my travel for the better, but I hope lots of others appreciate it too!
What would you identify as the best moment in setting up your business? Has there been a ‘worst’ moment?
The best moment was in August 2018 when, after a year-long application, I was finally given the go-ahead for the unit to be built.
The worst moment – there’s been a few!
I originally asked a friend, also in catering, to be part of the business. Sadly, it didn’t work out and, in mixing my business and personal life, I lost a longstanding friendship and had to make the decision to continue alone.
I also dealt with a tough family bereavement during the process which really took the wind out of me but it also empowered me to keep going. As another regular commuter from London I knew she would be incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved.
How many people are there in your business?
There’s me and my daughter, Francesca, who has taken the brunt of every decision I’ve had to make – at 8 years old that is no mean feat!
I have recruited a fabulous team I’m really happy with and with Loyi as manager I know the café is in great hands.
Do you have plans for the future of the business?
I’d love to open up Good & Proper across the South West train lines. I think we are evolving to become a nation that demands a higher standard of take-away food, especially when we work hard to afford that luxury.
What do you want to see happening in Bristol Temple Quarter / around Temple Meads in the near future?
Although I’m not a Bristol resident, I can see the improvements all around me whenever I’m at the station. The proposed new access from the Enterprise Campus to the station may well put paid to Good & Proper in its current location but I am excited to see what the future brings for Temple Meads and the surrounding areas.
What advice would you give to a business starting out?
Try to stay positive, even when things are tough, and be accepting of change to your original plans and ideas. Reality is often very different but can still be a fabulous version of your dream.
Keep up with Good & Proper by following on Instagram and Facebook – Good&ProperBristol – or on Twitter, Good&ProperTM.
You can also find out more on their website www.goodandproperbristol.com.