Foodie heaven with online presence

The business: Fine food and drink store mmm… and glug… is heaven for foodies, selling delicious food and drink from the North East and around the world. Owner Simone Clarkin started mmm…in 2008, and branched out into glug…in 2013.

Where mmm… and glug.. are based: Grainger Arcade in Newcastle City Centre. The website is - and Twitter @mmm_newcastle.

What Simone says: “The trend for quality food is continuing to grow, and although people outside this region may think we’re up with it, our suppliers around the country can’t believe the range we stock.

“Our website helps people know where we are and what we do, but we use Social Media and Twitter in particular to keep in contact with our customers, letting them see new products and informing them about events.”

Doing business online: “We have a good business model, but if we hadn’t been on the internet I think it would have taken us a lot longer to touch the audience we’ve reached – we have 15,000 followers on Twitter and over 1,000 friends on Facebook - and it would cost a huge amount to contact that many people by traditional marketing methods.

“We’ve found new customers and suppliers, and suppliers have found us. Being online also helps us with managing the back office – we use the Cloud and Dropbox to store and access our paperwork, so we don’t need to have a big server.”

Simone’s advice to other businesses: “I don’t think you have to spend a lot to get connected to Broadband and I believe it is an essential tool for all businesses and a great aid to business growth and efficiency. It is also a great tool for any small businesses wishing to increase their profile - using Facebook and Twitter is free apart from your time and helps you build up your customer base – it’s the modern version of word of mouth.”