Source: La Creperie
To some people the idea of running your own business while balancing your degree, a social life and extracurricular activities would be enough to make them run for the hills. However, after sitting down with La Creperie owners, Sam Howard and Milly Butters, and hearing their experiences of owning and running a student business, it has completely changed my perspective.
La Creperie was established in 2014. Sam joined the business during his second year here at St Andrews. Sam saw the previous owners advertising for help on social media so he reached out to them, and they asked if he would be interested in taking over the business!
Milly and Sam had been great friends since 1st year so when the opportunity arose, Sam was quick to ask Milly to become his business partner, and the rest is history! They bought the business off the previous owners and have never looked back. Sam and Milly are now third generation owners and as they power through their final semester at St Andrews, they are now looking for the next generation of La Creperie owners!
Source: Ampersand Media
Of course, one of my first questions for them was what balancing your own business alongside your studies was like and they both assured me it is a lot simpler than you would initially think. They explained that the amazing thing about owning your own business is that you have total control of how much work you take on and how much time you want to invest into it. You are your own boss hence running La Creperie has been much easier than expected for them both. Their close friendship has also made a world of difference. Sam and Milly are constantly helping each other when time gets tight, allowing the business to remain operating smoothly. After 3 years of creating event connections and hard work, the La Creperie name has become very well known around St Andrews which has made securing spots at events a lot easier!
For other student run business, the key thing Milly and Sam both make clear is the benefits of being proactive. In the beginning of their tenure as owners they were consistently reaching out to events in and around St Andrews to get their name out there. Now, three years later, their hard work has paid off. They are more established, have a larger following and have events reaching out to them personally. What makes La Creperie stand out from other businesses is their eagerness to participate in the aims and visions of each event they work for. They regularly donate to the charitable partners of each event they work with and have delivered various deals for different events based on their outlook and budget! Sam and Milly have put all this work into building such a great reputation in the hopes that future owners won’t have to invest as much time as they did.
I was keen to know some of the highlights and challenges that they have faced over their three years as owners of La Creperie. Unsurprisingly both Milly and Sam had a few to share!
Last semester was a highlight for them both, having attended 19 events and getting to work at new events they hadn’t had the opportunity to attend before. When running a business like La Creperie you get a great insider perspective on how these major St Andrews events run and in some cases are offered a free ticket so you can enjoy the event after a few hours of work (I agree that sounds like such a great bonus). In terms of challenges, as expected, running a business does take some thought and planning but thankfully there have been no major disasters at any events! Working at balls can be quite intense with the late finishes but both Sam and Milly said that it was always a laugh working together and meeting some very entertaining drunk customers (some of which occasionally buy them both a drink).
Owning La Creperie has been a highlight of both Milly and Sam’s University experience and its clear to see why. To be able to say you have run a successful business, La Creperie sold £8000 worth of crepes last semester alone, is a unique and impressive addition to anyone’s CV, let alone full- time students! To top it all off they have got to run a business with one of their best friends. Safe to say it’s been an irreplaceable experience!
Source: La Creperie
Both Sam and Milly are graduating this summer so are now on the lookout for new owners to take over. There is no experience required and Milly and Sam are both very flexible. They are happy to keep a small stake in the business if a student is feeling overwhelmed about taking over the whole business off the bat but are also open to the idea of a student team buying it outright.
You can find them on Facebook (La Creperie – St Andrews) or email them if you are interested (@[email protected]). For what some would perceive to be a stressful experience, Sam and Milly have shown that it is easily manageable and extremely worth it! If you are interested or have any questions do reach out to them.