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27 Nov 2023

A Day in the Life Of... Bray Cured

A Day in the Life Of... Bray Cured
Bray Cured
For the very first edition of 'A Day in the Life Of...' we spoke to Alex Mugan the Founder of Bray Cured, an award-winning British charcuterie company based in Maidenhead. Read on to hear his tongue-in-cheek behind the scenes look at a typical day in his business...

First task of the morning?

The children awake and transport themselves to school by magic, I need not intervene. Unassailed by such trivialities as cashflow or the rota, I serenely come to in my own time. As I mull the infinite possibilities of long term strategy, I improvise a delicious take on Eggs Benedict, using our cured ham. It is spectacular, and I happen to have a camera and perfect lighting, so I film the whole process. Fortunately the kitchen is spotless, so all of the footage is usable. Upon arrival at the factory, I once again find no issues to report in the opening checks, and everyone is about their business, requiring no input from me. At something of a loose-end, I make a cafetière of locally roasted coffee for the team and disappear for a while to do sales.

And just like that, it's mid-morning already...

As we’re a young, growing business, it’s critical for me to work on sales daily. Fortunately, all of our internal and external stakeholders know this, and I am undisturbed for a focused three hours, during which I smash all targets and secure the company’s short-medium term financial health. This makes me peckish, but I don’t want to overdo it, so I spend a couple of minutes gently cooking slivers of our Great Taste 2 Star bacon for a brunch slider on a tiny artisan muffin. This also turns out to be something of a triumph, which is just as well as I have live-streamed the whole thing to various social media.

Alex Bray Cured

It's lunch time!

Thoroughly energised, I don’t feel the need for lunch, so I put the rollitos of local cheese and our hogget chorizo I’d made this morning for lunch, in the kitchen for anyone to take. They are picked up by one of our team members who happens to have 15,000 Instagram followers, and they go viral. While unexpected, it’s very nice. Ascending beyond the need for nourishment leaves me with a few extra minutes, which I use to manage the customer service email inbox. While the imperfection of our service has led to a parcel arriving a day late, and someone having trouble with a voucher code, nobody has used the anonymity of email to suggest that I am a fraud, or shouldn’t run a business. My serenity unbreached, I resolve to improve wherever we can and crack on. 

Afternoon pick me up?

My afternoons are reserved, exclusively, for the craft. It’s times like these, as I spend quality moments with my hands in the product, that I’m grateful to be entirely up to date with all bills, financial admin, and that no operational crises are demanding my immediate attention. It’s so good just to be doing what you love. In the cool of the butchery, time passes quickly, and before I know it, it’s time to wash up.

It's time to wind down!

I’ve been contemplating lately, whether I’ve achieved the right work-life balance. As I pick the children up from school, on time, spend an hour reading with them and put them down for a sedate bedtime, I conclude that I could work harder. I resolve to film making dinner. With a three camera set up, I film myself spooning nduja into a baked potato. I set it to some fairly heavy music and it is promptly removed from YouTube for being ‘too sexy’. Somehow it’s only 7.30pm, so my wife and I hire an instant babysitter and go to the local pub for a quick drink. The pub is a five minute walk and pints cost £2 each. Later I drift into a worry-free sleep, baffled that more people don’t run their own businesses.

To find out more about Bray Cured, and to take a look at some of their amazing products (and maybe even buy some of the ones Alex mentions), head to their website here:

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