Success stories

Friends launch their own business

Paula Hergest business owner

When it comes to dream jobs it’s a bit of an unusual one – and it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

But for Paula Hergest it is just perfect and she couldn’t be happier after launching a new business with her husband and two friends just before Christmas.

The business is a funeral directors, which was an ideal move for Paula, having worked in the funeral industry for the past 22 years. On top of that her husband Peter has been a funeral director for the past 15 years, their friend Tony Cavell has been a funeral director for the past nine years and his wife Sharon has been a funeral arranger for five years.

All four were tired of working for someone else and were eager to offer a more personal and caring service. Over a couple of glasses of wine during a night out in the summer a plan was hatched, soon afterwards the business was registered, they worked hard to convert a former shop and in December they opened their new funeral home!

Their company is Hergest and Cavell Funeral Directors which is based in Gravesend, Kent. They offer a complete funeral service, organising everything a family might need including a burial or cremation, a coffin, flowers, a hearse and a newspaper notice, as well as offering memorials and renovations, funeral plans and more.

Paula said: “I’ve worked in the funeral industry for more than 20 years. I started off as a receptionist in a funeral home, 20 hours a week while my children were small. I worked my way up, went into management and looked after several funeral homes. It’s a career where you very quickly find out if it’s for you or not and I loved it from day one.

“I’ve been taking stock over the past four years. I was eager to leave the rat race and to set up a business of my own. I liked my management role but I also enjoy spending time with families, helping them at a difficult time and making a real difference and this has allowed me to be back in the frontline. I like providing the personal and caring side of the industry and this can be very rewarding, knowing that you’ve helped and made a difference.

“Funerals can be a very sad time, but they can also be a celebration of someone’s life. We understand it’s a tough time as we have all suffered loss, so we know what’s it’s like and we understand.

“I’m now working with my husband and my best friends, I’m running my own business and I’m doing something I love and so for me, this is my dream job.

“We only launched the business at the beginning of December, so it’s early days, but so far it’s going really well.”



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