You may know that I never set up WEST to get rich, but rather to make my dad proud and prove a point that brewing German beers in the East End of Glasgow wasn’t as stupid an idea as the dragons on Dragon’s Den made out back in 2004!
In the 13 years since its inception, the growth of WEST has been staggering. We’ve gone from being a self-contained beerhall, brewing beer only to serve in our own bar, to producing 25,000 hectolitres a year to serve over 3000 bars, restaurants, hotels, shops and supermarkets across Scotland and beyond. Now that I’ve well and truly proved my point (and my dad has said that we make pretty good beer), I have decided that instead of retiring to lie on a beach for the rest of my days, I would like to share the success of WEST with the people who worked with me to make it one!
We announced this month that we have started an Employee Ownership journey, with 10% of my personal shares being placed into an Employee Ownership trust. WESTies who have worked with us for 12 consecutive months – regardless of hours worked – will get £3600 worth of shares each year. I estimate that the company will be fully employee-owned within the next 25 years.
Why? I’ve always considered WEST to be a team effort rather than me acting like some benevolent dictator. I have a nice life, live in a nice house, drive a nice car, go on nice holidays. I don’t need more. To me, it’s much more important to have a purpose than to have cash.
For more information about Employee Ownership and to see how it could benefit your business, visit www.coownershipsolutions.co.uk.
All the best from the wild WEST,
Petra (now co-owner of WEST)