How Hokodo helps Chinley Cheese thrive as a seasonal business

Thiziri Hammouche
Customer Success Manager

  • Jonathan Berger took on management of the unique Chinley Cheese store shortly before Christmas.
  • For future Christmases, Jonathan needs the right stock at the right time, with agreeable payment terms.
  • However, with the cost of stock and rent increasing, credit terms may prove useful beyond the Christmas season.

Meet Chinley Cheese

It’s not every day that you find yourself in your local post office, having just dropped off a parcel, only to turn around and immediately be considering purchasing a perfectly ripened brie and a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. That is, if you’re not a resident of the village of Chinley.

“Our business model is geared around selling tempting food and beverages to locals just before the weekend. So, Fridays are our busiest day. People come in and they stock up on cannoli, coffee, smoked salmon pâté, cheeses, and wines,” says Jonathan Berger, the owner of Chinley Cheese, who has also taken to selling unusual, handmade toys sourced from B2B marketplaces.

Preparing for seasonal success

Having taken over the running of the local post office and shop just before the Christmas of 2021, Jonathan knows just how in-demand the food and drinks items that he sells are during the holiday season.

“We have a lean couple of months between the end of the tourist season at the end of summer and the beginning of the Christmas sales around early November,” says Jonathan. Then, as the big day approaches, footfall increases significantly.

Naturally, increased demand for stock comes with a rise in upfront costs. Jonathan has to plan ahead and begin his bumper Christmas orders in the early autumn, all the while knowing that this stock may not be sold for weeks or months.

For Jonathan, the challenge was to find a way to ease the burden on Chinley Cheese’s cash flow without passing on any costs to his loyal customers.

Finding the right payment terms

Fortunately, such a solution presented itself to Jonathan while ordering stock online. Alongside payment methods like credit card and direct debit, Jonathan was offered the option to pay for his order in 30 or 60 days.

Despite being someone who avoids credit when he can, Jonathan understood the necessity of trade credit for a seasonal business in an uncertain economy. 

When assessing his payment options, Jonathan quickly realised further benefits of Hokodo’s payment solution.

“Of all the options out there, including credit cards or any sort of business loan, it makes a lot of sense to be paying with Hokodo,” he says, highlighting that the small print and high interest rates of credit cards cause unnecessary stress and can create serious cash flow problems. 

“Knowing that I have a duty to pay something on the horizon, knowing exactly what those terms are and knowing that it's a free credit facility, means it’s a great thing to have.”

Experimenting with stock, while minimising risks

Recent hikes in the price of stock, utility bills and the other costs of running a physical store have resulted in a tightening of the Chinley Cheese pursestrings.

“We couldn't afford to experiment like we could eight months ago. At the start of the year the budget was there and things were cheaper,” Jonathan adds.

However, an unexpected side effect of deferring payment – and thus improved cash flow – has been the ability to recommence experimentation with different stock and suppliers, which in turn supports small businesses and local economies. 

“We've got quite a lot of French products, but also some Italian and Spanish goodies, which has really broadened the horizons for us and our customers.”

If you run a business like Chinley Cheese which can be impacted by seasonal fluctuations and are looking for a deferred payment solution which incurs no interest or fees, Hokodo is the payment solution for you. Find out more about how it works today.

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