Judith Bonné is the founder and owner of Lovely Bit of Crumpet, an artisan crumpet company based in Buckinghamshire, England. Previously, Judith trained with Sidley from 2011 — 2013 and practiced as an associate with the Antitrust and Competition practice in Sidley’s London office from 2013 — 2015. We recently spoke with her about how the skills she gained at Sidley helped prepare her to run her own business.
How did the idea to open a crumpet business come about?
The idea was hatched a few years ago following a tête-à-tête about the virtues and versatility of the crumpet. Crumpets are arguably the ultimate comfort food in Britain and can not only be a snack or breakfast dish, but also a brunch, lunch, main meal, or dessert. It is possible to put a crumpet-y twist on so many classic recipes, such as eggs Benedict, French toast, quesadillas, or bread and butter pudding; but equally, you can create wonderful new dishes like crumpets topped with beef short rib and a mustard hollandaise. It is fantastic to see the response to our creations on social media and how our customers replicate our recipes or come up with their own ideas.
How did the skills you learned at Sidley transfer to running your own business?
The most important skill that I learned at Sidley was project management. As a competition lawyer, you are typically working on multiple demanding projects at any one time, which involve very different markets, such as pharmaceuticals, telecoms, and financial services. It is extremely important to be on top of the details for each of these matters and to be able to move from one project to another seamlessly, while ensuring that each client is given the appropriate level of priority. Running my own business, I am the head of marketing, product development, finance, and operations simultaneously. I need to be able to move from one role to another with ease, while also managing and prioritizing my task load effectively. I am better equipped to juggle these different roles and requirements as a result of my legal training and my time at Sidley working on diverse and complicated legal matters.
What challenges have you faced in starting your business, and how have you overcome them? What has been most surprising?
Starting my own business has presented a number of challenges, including moving from working in a large legal team to effectively operating as a solo entrepreneur. To help address this, I joined a women’s business community — the EstablisHer Circle — which was incredibly beneficial in the creation of my brand, providing advice and support from the start-up phase to this very day, and helping to banish imposter syndrome. The community is incredibly supportive, and each member has the opportunity to join weekly calls and grow in confidence through bespoke training and networking events. Perhaps most significantly for a business owner, it helps keep members accountable through goal-setting and weekly co-working sessions.
Which of your crumpet flavors is your favorite?
I love both sweet and savory crumpets, but at the moment my favorite is our double chocolate crumpet — an indulgent treat that can form the base for a delicious brunch dish or dessert, but equally wonderful with butter and a steaming cup of tea. You’ve got to try it!
Published November 2023
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