Spirituality mentorship – a quick Q&A with Paul Hargreaves

June 2, 2023

In a recent episode of the Inspiring Leadership Podcast, gunnercooke founder and host Darryl Cooke interviews businessman, philanthropist and speaker Paul Hargreaves. Darryl is joined by co-host Sir Peter Fahy, the former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.

Paul is the Founder and Chief Exec of Cotswold Fayre Ltd, a speciality & fine food wholesaler supplying nearly 2,000 retail outlets throughout the UK.  The business grew from the cellar of his house in London to become the leading wholesaler to farm shops and delicatessens in the UK.  The company’s ethos of working in partnership with its suppliers makes it the most sought-after wholesaler for many new brands launching in the sector.  Cotswold Fayre has been certified as a B Corporation since 2015

What does spirituality mean to you and the way you act in business?

For me, spirituality is all about connection. Connecting with yourself, others and nature. It’s about healing our fractured society. It’s all about reconnection.

What is the best advice that you would give to someone setting out today?

Find people better than you to work with. To do this, you need some level of self-awareness.

Do you have mentors that help you? Do you feel loneliness?

I’m quite lucky that I don’t feel that loneliness. But I do think that I could have benefited from mentoring earlier on in my career. I have two people that I go to now, one is an official coach and one isn’t. If I had a business coach when I was younger, I would perhaps be a better person than I am now. Definitely surround yourself by people who challenge you.

Did coming from a charitable background before founding Cotswold Fayre shape how you approach business?

It’s definitely formed who we are, and it’s embedded in our DNA. I started the company with someone else who came from the charitable industry, so we were both aligned in wanting to do good. Out of the first 5 employees, one was an ex-heroin addict, one was an ex-alcoholic and one had just come out of prison. I wanted to give people a second chance and do good, which is embedded in our business.

To listen to the full podcast or the rest of the series visit Spotify or Apple Podcasts.  

Previous guests of the Inspiring Leadership Podcast have included Vikas Shah, Hassan Damluji and Damian Hughes, who discuss how to have integrity in business, the balance of process and innovation, and how CSR drives a business forward.  

Darryl is welcoming inspiring leaders who are making a difference in their business or community to join him for future episodes. Get in touch here to recommend a guest.