Wild West Quick Draw: Sarah Copas of Copas Traditional Turkeys

Our Quick Draw sees us spend 60 seconds with a Wild West friend, be it one of our clients, a journalist or blogger, and find out what motivates them, what they love about their job, and the challenges their sector is facing.

We’ve worked with Copas Traditional Turkeys for two years, overseeing Christmas food PR campaigns for the artisan producer. Sarah Copas, 38, runs the family business, near Cookham, Berkshire, with her brother Tom, 31. Their father started the business aged 18 after inheriting a flock of 150 turkeys in 1957. The firm now produces 40,000 birds a year.

Copas Traditional Turkeys

Questions with Sarah Copas: 

  • What gets you up in the morning?  My boys! I haven’t used an alarm clock since my first son was born 4.5 years ago!
  • What do you love best about your job?  Selling and marketing a product that doesn’t need to be sold. I just love that all we need to do is get someone to try our turkey and they won’t turn back.
  • What do you like least?  The worry about the time pressure in December. Whatever happens we know that Christmas Day won’t move so we have to make sure that all the planning we do for 11 months of the year is seen through properly for the one month of December to get our turkeys out the door perfectly prepared for Christmas.
  • What keeps you motivated?  Balancing my children and work means I have a strong motivation to use my time as efficiently as possible, not dwell on issues, and to make good clear decisions for us all to action. I had no idea that working part-time as a Mum would make me the most efficient I have ever been!
  • What are the challenges ahead for your sector?  Operating in a luxury market and supporting the independent grocery sector we are affected by the economy. Brexit and the changing economic environment will cause us some challenges in the coming months, however our product, provenance, and consumer desire to source meat from a reliable farm is still very much on trend. As a small business we need to ensure our availability (sales distribution) and delivery is able to keep up with consumer expectations as they continue to change. In our farming, we are always concerned about the spread of bird flu: we operate the highest bio-security measures possible, but having such free ranging birds we are naturally susceptible to anything that wild birds are carrying.
  • What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?  Be confident, try new things whenever you are given the opportunity because you never know where they will lead you, and listen to anyone who is willing to give you time and advice, even if you don’t agree with it at the time!
  • Where do you want to be in 10 years time?  I want our poultry business to be flourishing by being relevant to consumers for their choice of meat sourcing and having adapted to the current challenges in the economy.