Friday, 24 October 2014


COULD expansion be on the cards for a popular Grimsby wine bar and bistro?

Liz Parry of Abby's in Abbeygate gave the question a fairly wide berth when she was quizzed at yesterday's Business Hive Live exhibition and conference conference at The Auditorium.

But  the final slide of her presentation gave a  clue with its cryptic message : "Coming soon to a place near you . . .

Earlier, the businesswoman of the year  provided a whistlestop tour of her life and how Abby's has grown since she took it over with a friend and partner (whom she has since bought out) in April 10 years ago.

Liz grew up at Girlsta in the Shetlands and obviously had a knack for the hospitality and catering industry from an early age because she was appointed supervisor of a local restaurant when she was just 16.

She still recalls how, two years earlier,  the creation of the Sullom Voe oil terminal - the largest in Europe - brought prosperity to the isles.

Energy giants BP only paid one pence for every barrel of oil landed but,  even so, the extent of the operations - millions of barrels -  generated huge wealth.

Liz  is hoping that North East Lincolnshire could benefit similarly in the years to come through the creation of a huge renewables industry.

She  came to Grimsby in 1987 following  her marriage to husband John,who is in the Merchant Navy, and she took a job in sales - which she "thoroughly enjoyed" - with Nunns, the car dealers.

Subsequently, she joined Lloyds TSB, first as a personal account manager, then as a financial consultant.

Following her joint purchase of Abby's wine bar, it expanded to become Abby's Wine Bar and Bistro Ltd.

In 2011, Abby's Upstairs was created at a cost of approachig £65,000. This was some 10 times more than her provisional budget but it meant she could cater for receptions, parties and, since last year , civil weddings and partnerships

Liz now heads a team of 18 including five chefs (Andy Rendall, the head chef, has been with her since 2006.)

Her son, Lewis, a Sheffield art graduate, is  events and marketing manager at Abby's. He helps topromote and oversee speciality evenings such as Gin and Jazz nights and Lobster Nights.

Liz emphasised that Abby's prides itself on its food having been grown locally (wherever possible)  and  freshly cooked. The origins of all the meat is traceable.

Liz began her presentation by flying the flag for the Shetlands and she ended it by doing the same for Grimsby.

" It is a great place but its needs to become better at singing its own praises,"she declared.

Liz chats with entrepreneur Levi Roots at an event held in October last year at The Oaklands Hotel on the outskirts of Grimsby



HOW could anyone fail to  be impressed by Angela Smith who used the experience of her fight against illness as a launch-pad for developing a unique Cleethorpes business?

Angela describes losing her hair, as a side effect of  chemotherapy, as “almost as frightening as the cancer that was invading my  body”.

She continues: “My confidence was affected - I felt ugly and vulnerable.”

Angela Smith - inspirational example

 As a mother, hairdresser and also a singer, image was obviously important to Angela, and she felt compelled to search for a wig while she waited for her hair to re-grow.

Though that experience was “traumatic” in itself, it set her on a path to opening a new salon and wig clinic, offering a highly personal service customising wigs and toupees - made from either human or synthetic hair - to meet the needs of clients.

Because hair loss affects more than just the head, Angela also specialises in enhancing eyebrows and eyelashes as well as hair.

Her Positive Image Clinic is based at 243 Grimsby Road, but she took time off to showcase the service she offers with an impressive stand at last month’s Business Hive Live exhibition at Grimsby auditorium.

Angela’s wesbsite is :



A LIFETIME of trust is an absolute must. . .

That natty little rhyme was the springboard for an entertaining presentation by Matthew Storey to the Business Hive Live conference and exhibition

Matthew, of Crofton Myers, used to work in a bank’s call centre, but he now provides a consultancy service, advising businesses on the do’s and dont’s of customer service.

He suggested that too many firms were so intent on pursuing new markets, that they risked overlooking the needs of existing customers.

He pinpointed two particular “own goals” to be avoided at all costs - allowing employees to use the terms “With respect, Sir” or “It’s company policy” as potential put-down responses to dissatisfied customers.

In the first case, the employee is seeking to have the last word, and, in the second, he or she is showing that a firm lacks both flexibility and the readiness to empower its workforce to come up with solutions.

Matthew Storey - plaudits for Branson and Bezos

Sir Richard Branson was praised by Matthew for his success with Virgin Airlines. Although he started with just one plane, he saw off many rivals by dint of excellent customer service.

This commitment to the customer was again in evidence at the end of a London Marathon - sponsored by Virgin – when Sir Richard congratulated participants who completed the course.

For their excellent approach to customer service, Matthew  also pinpointed the John Lewis Partnership and Amazon whose boss, Jeff Bezos even encourages feedback by making available to all and sundry his email number: Jeff@Amazon. com.


THE exhibition at Grimsby Auditorium (October 23) provided a great opportunity for Business Hive members to showcase their products and services. Here are some of those who took stand space and added to the vibrancy of  the event.

Representing health insurance specialists WPA- Sally Harvey and daughter Sophie

 Flying the flag for Wilkin Chapman solicitors - Alison Mitchell and Katie Davies

  Ebony Chapman (left) and Hannah Quayle of Navigo

Up The Gunners! Lisa Smith of Black Fish Print & Clothing

 Dream as if there are no impossibilities - Angie Burnett of Janella Giftware

 Banging the drum for  Europarc Pallets - Chloe Phillips and Olivia Ridlington 

A hive of activity - plenty going on at the auditorium last Thursday

Former psychology student Phillipa Jayne Richardson, from Hull, is now forging herself a successful career in network marketing, fucusing on  Arbonne beauty products

Sarah Clarke, proprietor of  of Graphic and Print, and Lee Shakespeare, sales manager  of Sign of The Times - both based on Cleethorpe Road, Grimsby

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