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Mary Whitehead's Member Story

Mary Whitehead is a member of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and has been for over seven years, she has benefited from our reliable advice and support. Mary is also the HR Director of Canapés Direct, a West-London based market leader in the supply of nibbles and tasty bites in both the UK and abroad.

“FSB is so helpful!” said Mary, when she called to enquire about a digital business course.  Mary takes up the story: “I started out as an accountant but now our business has grown and developed. Now I’m 67 and still learning. I need to keep up with the digital world; otherwise my staff will know more than I do. I’m off on any course I can find that would be useful – it would be rude not to!”

Mary is well-aware of the strains and burdens that Canapés Direct face, “Government legislation is so difficult; it affects us as much as the large companies. Being in the food industry, I have to do as much work as Tesco on research and administration.” 

“We employ 30 full time staff but the legislation affects us in the same way as it does large companies. Our canapés are all handmade, but we have to label them with nutritional values and ingredients. Law says labels have to be a certain size, which means that sometimes the labels are bigger than the box! For some events, we hand make 20,000 to 30,000 canapés. We have to show the ingredients so ingredient sheets are printed for guests and a copy is sent with the invoices.” 

FSB Health and Safety advice is an added bonus. It supplies Mary and the business with valuable information, including:  accident reporting, regulations, updates and policy advice written by health and safety experts. 

Access to FSB’s Legal Protection Scheme is also vitally important; the 24-hour legal advice line is available when they need it and the health and safety training videos allows Mary to carry on production with peace of mind. 

Mary continues “FSB is my lifeline; I use it for advice and talk to people in confidence. Plus, you are open at 8am which in catering is wonderful! A big company has professionals to support them, but small companies can’t do that. Thank you to all the staff for making things easier for me.”

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