Case Study: Pophams Bakery

11 November 2019  |  Laurent Guyot

We recently sat down with Ollie Gold, the founding director of Pophams Bakery and user of Qwil Messenger. Pophams Bakery opened in June 2017 taking over from a derelict chemist in Islington and rapidly became the “go to” venue for bread, pastries and maple bacon croissants. It has received many accolades including being named top 9 bakery in London 2019 by Time out. 

With his hands-on approach to business, Ollie Gold, MD of Pophams grew the business from this one location and 4 employees to 3 sites with over 40 employees, the latest opening in Centrepoint on Tottenham court road in July 2019. Pophams deployed our secure chat platform Qwil Messenger to all staff in October 2019. 

You grew very quickly. Was there a turning point on how you managed the company?

Managing Pophams with 10 people is very different to 40. We created very close relationships and mutual understanding as we built the business together. We were together all the time. The turning point was when we jumped to 25 and then a month later to 40 across 3 locations and despite wanting to be continue in the same way, that was simply no longer possible. 

What aspects were you concerned most about? 

GDPR and data privacy were top of the list. Our growth meant hiring many more people and being responsible for more and more personal details. We knew we had to put the tools in place so as to not put our business at risk. But what? And how? At the same time, most of our internal communications were conducted on WhatsApp and that needed to change. It was out of our control, we could not monitor it and therefore not compliant. We had “Popham” email accounts for managers but that wasn’t appropriate for our staff or how we ran the day to day business. This is where Qwil Messenger came in. 

What impact did the secure chat platform Qwil Messenger have on your business?

It just took immediately the weight off my shoulders and removed the risks on the business. Providing a secure and compliant chat tool to our employees which was not only intuitive to use (like WhatsApp) but one we controlled meant we could focus on our core business. Making some of the best bread, pastries and pasta in London.

Can you give a few examples of how you are using the tool?

Qwil Messenger allows us not only to chat and share files internally, but also invite external parties which is a key differentiator for us. Payroll details are now securely sent to our accountant by Qwil Messenger which was previously done by email (which was not secure). We also on-board new employees by inviting them on Qwil Messenger, receiving passport details as well as collecting all the necessary information through automated forms. This has greatly improved the speed of the process. And of course, we have transitioned off email and previous group chats to our branded space on Qwil. 

What would you say to other companies like yours that would like to use Qwil Messenger?

Sometimes you don’t know you need something until you have it. That is Qwil Messenger. There is no point of running unnecessary compliance and legal risks if you can have a tool ticking those boxes. Especially one which is so easy to use, deployed in a few minutes and branded in your own companies’ colours. 

What feature or aspect of the platform do you like the most?

It is a single app but for all companies. So you can easily imagine being a client of one business and an employee of another and simply switching from one to another. 

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