In one of those co-incidences, I arrived at the airport lounge yesterday and smiled and said hello to someone I recognised. Nothing unusual in that, I’m used to seeing people all the time on the NYC flight – there was usually at least one person from Diageo on the flight. This time though it turned out to be one of the people who catch the same train as me every morning – so he looked at me very weirdly as I greeted him as though I knew him.

But this post is not about that kind of localisation, where the world is getting smaller (or is that globalisation), it’s more about the kind of localisation that puts an independently owned motorway service station at the top of a Which Poll (I can’t find a decent link to the story this morning). Many services in the UK are owned by chains, they’re dull, plastic, too expensive for what you get but Westmorland has always provided something different. Started by the landowner when the motorway was built across his land, the services foucs on providing local produce and employment for locals. People go out of their way to visit the farm shop and restaurant, it does not jsut rely on passing trade.

So here you have an occasion where staying true to initial values and focusing on excellence provides a service that consistently comes out top in polls such as this.

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