The North Coast hasn’t had a brewery since the 1980s. That is until Lacada Brewery was set up in October 2015. But, this is a business with a difference – a craft beer co-operative brewery with origins in a love of beer and brewing, a love of place, and a love of people. And, it all started with a father and son brewing together, which then quickly grew to become a group of co-operative minded, good beer loving aficionados with 7 part-time employees.

It was the Lead2Grow conference and speakers that inspired Laurie Davies to register for the programme. As a leader among equals in this cooperative business, there were a number of big challenges that required a step change in how he led the community stakeholders towards greater growth. He said: “my confidence in decision-making and problem solving before the programme was rated 7 out of 10. Since completing the programme, these skills have improved and I would rate my confidence as 10 out of 10”.

Of particular impact upon the business, was the sales academy master class with Lara Morgan. Laurie said: “we left the class with an invigorated and revised outlook as to how we do sales and do business. We put what we had learnt from the class into practice first thing the next day”. In working closely with his mentor, he has since set up of a new system to manage the customer experience and ensure customer enquiries are not missed. 

The impact of Lead2Grow was also evident in terms of implementing new processes, which included putting a structure around delegating tasks to staff, so his workload is lighter and he has more time to work on the business. There is no doubt that time spent on Lead2Grow has shifted Laurie into a more confident place of community leadership, which is paving the way for a new phase of growth for artisan beer outside Northern Ireland!