This week at Calido Logs & Stoves we appeared in the Alloa Advertiser as a featured local business.

We were approached by the paper to be featured in their business section which promotes local businesses in the area and we jumped at the opportunity – an advertisement for free, yes please! It seems to be going down well too as we’ve had a number of enquiries through from people who have said they have seen it.

You can see a copy of the advert in the picture (above) as well as below if your eyesight isn’t too good!! Or if you live locally you still have a couple of days to go out and buy your own.

“Log company is heating up

Cold, wet weather may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for John Farrell the current winter weather has helped his sales soar.

With a background in Forestry, the 32-year-old, based in Sauchie, launched Calido Logs & Stoves in September 2014, having always wanted to start his own firewood business.

Using over 10 years’ experience working in biomass and renewables, the timber buyer set out to source properly dried wood that would not only burn well but would give off more heat and deliver better value to users.

Now, with a quality product, and having secured funding from Business Gateway Clackmannanshire to re-design his website, www.calidologs.com, John is looking to grow consumer sales further and attract larger orders from commercial businesses throughout the UK.

He said: “Calido means ‘hot’ in Latin, and currently the business supplies premium quality firewood products at very competitive prices to customers living as far north as Aberdeen and south as Cornwall. The vast majority of people return to buy from us because they cannot find another supplier who can match our quality. One customer has even left feedback saying we sold her ‘logs of her dreams’!

“Our wood is delivered in attractive crates directly to customers’ doorsteps. I personally deliver locally while a distribution company takes product further afield with postage priced according to distance rather than at a flat rate.

“All these things combined helped me double my turnover before the end of last year, and I am now on schedule to triple it by the end of this season, around April when typically the cold weather stops. Because sales have increased so much my partner is now joining me to help with the day-to-day running of the business as I also hold down a full-time job.”

He added: “Because sales are seasonal and the business had just come through its first winter, I went to Business Gateway in July. My adviser was a breath of fresh air. She helped with general business advice, marketing, HR and she gave specific help regarding taking on an employee. She also helped me secure funding to refresh my website which has made it more professional and functional.”

Alison Davidson, Business Gateway, said: “John came to us looking for advice on how to push the business forward. As Calido Logs & Stoves relies on online sales our help accessing funds through our Business Gateway Plus service, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, meant his website could be re-designed and is now more user friendly. Marketing advice has also helped him reach a wider customer base.”

Having just introduced a loyalty and referral scheme in December, John is now looking to take on larger premises and start a recurring order service which would help spread the cost of purchases throughout the year.

He said: “There’s science to why I sell the wood I do – the drier the wood the better it burns because the log is using less energy to burn off moisture. My Kiln dried wood has circa 15% moisture which means it doesn’t need to be burned with coal, burns hotter, it doesn’t blacken the stove glass as much and cleaning your chimney once a year is enough. I personally burn what I sell and some customers have left to buy elsewhere then come back to say nowhere else sells the quality I do.

“Word of mouth and social media has really helped me spread the word but having a quality product isn’t enough. There are a lot of other similar businesses out there so by introducing an incentive scheme it not only makes Calido Logs & Stoves more attractive it allows me to thank my customers for their continued business.”

For more information on Calido Logs & Stoves visit www.calidologs.com

To find out how Business Gateway Clackmannanshire can help your business visit its local page www.bgateway.com/clackmannanshire or call 01259 208426.”