The secret elixir of success cannot be copied cheaply
Last week I spent a lot of time with a local hero. Brecht says every hero becomes a bore at last. But I was never bored by the still boyish John Field who, for over 40 years, has run the famous Field's of Skibbereen.
Field's is famous for four things: its Supervalu store, which keeps winning Checkout awards; its coffee shop, delicatessen and bakery; the pride its long- serving staff take in their local store; and the loyalty of its long-time customers.
John Field is a legend in the retail sector. This is the second toughest business in town – only marginally less competitive than the newspaper trade, currently under pressure from the internet. Both sectors have seen three revolutions in 30 years.