Paul Hargreaves is one of the leading voices in the UK encouraging and inspiring businesses to move away from the capitalism that has resulted in more inequality than ever before and a planet that is on the brink of catastrophe.
Twenty-five years ago, Paul founded Cotswold Fayre, a speciality food wholesaler, from his house in inner-city London whilst he was also engaging in charitable work within the local community. The company grew rapidly to become the leading speciality food and drink wholesaler to retail in the UK.
Paul’s main role remains as CEO of Cotswold Fayre, but in June 2021 he opened Flourish a foodhall and restaurant, which has helped the whole company live out its values to the world.
The tremendous success of the company, now with revenues approaching £30M, has been down to creating a great place to work and one that focusses on changing the world for better, through its carbon reduction, community focus and primarily selling British-made artisan food products. In late 2022 Cotswold Fayre won the coveted Lloyds Bank Purpose Before Profit Award and in early 2023 the company was named No 1. in The Elite Business 100 Top SME Businesses 2023. Most recently in July 2023 the company won a coveted Grocer Gold Award as Specialty Wholesaler of the Year.
Since 2015 Cotswold Fayre has been certified as a B Corporation and was one of the founding companies in the movement within the UK. B Corps are companies that meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, and the B Corporation standard is one of the best ways of measuring how good a company is for the world. For the company this was a fabulous steppingstone into a more conscious business model.
Paul has published two books. The first in 2019, Forces for Good which describes the journey of his company and others into being businesses for good. Paul’s 2021 book, The Fourth Bottom Line, is a book looking at 50 essential characteristics of compassionate leadership and is designed as a 50-day reflective read. Both books have opened doors for Paul to speak to leaders across business and other sectors.