Isn’t it just a brilliant time to reflect and look forward at the same time?! Since I was pregnant with my first I have made myself a little ritual on New Years Eve. I take pen to paper and write myself a little summary of everything significant that’s happened within our family, month by month, over the past year. Trips we’ve been on, life changes that have happened, new lives within our family and friends, developments in the business, if it’s significant enough to remember at the end of the year I write it all down. I finish it off with a page or 2 with our plans and hopes for the next year. It always focuses around ‘I’d like a little more family time’, but yet we load ourselves up with more jobs to do!! Then I don’t look at the folder until next New Year’s Eve. And when that day gets here I read back over the last year, and what my hopes and dreams had been and assess how many of them became a reality. Then I write the next instalment.
So this year I decided I’d do a little version of this for our business to include upon my blog. I won’t go into the nitty gritty of month by month but more use it as a reflection of another crazy 12 months and then think forward to what we hope to achieve in 2018! So here goes…
It’s easy to forget that this happened in 2017 because it was back in January! The move from Chesterton Rd to Victoria Ave was not far in distance but a big step for our business. It gave us the chance to have a smarter, more purposefully designed premises that showed off what we do a lot more. We were very happy with the new store but we were more than a little nervous. We have been very happy in our old home, and being the sentimental so and so that I am I didn’t like to say goodbye. You never really know what a new store holds for you until you do it. Truth be told we were still nervous until we had done a Christmas there. We need so much storage space at Christmas, and space we do not have. However, with huge thanks to our lovely new neighbours at the Waterman, who lent us some space, it all went well and now we feel a little more at ease. (If you haven’t eaten at the Waterman yet, I advise you try it, it’s been a godsend for us for lunches with the boys over this busy spell)!
I broke my ankle
Yes, although I may not want to remember it, it was significant! At the end of June I fractured 2 bones in my ankle which had me on crutches, in a boot and unable to drive for 6 weeks! We always used to joke about ‘imaging if one of us broke our leg’, as a sort of ‘what the hell would we do with all our responsibilities with one of us out of the game’? Well then it happened. Ben was brilliant at stepping into the breach and picking up a lot of my responsibilities, as was Karen, the amazing baker that works with me in the bakery. And do you know what?! We got through it. Nothing fell apart. We’re all still here. So it’s quite empowering really. That thing we always joked about happened and we dealt with it. It also allowed my time to reflect and…
I Started a Blog
I really miss the interaction I have with a lot of our customers and friends now that I’m more home based. Breaking my ankle gave me some time to think, and I decided to have a go at writing a blog! I’ve really enjoyed it, and the connection it’s given me back from people I don’t see that often anymore. People keep telling me they are reading it, which I’m thrilled to bits about!
We Said a Final Farewell
In September we sadly said goodbye to our friend, Brian King. Brian was the man that taught Ben everything he knows about butchery and had been with us since the beginning. Brian used to run his own butchers shop business in the 70’s and was always there for us with a kind nod of encouragement or knowing words of condolence when things went wrong. Brian was 80 when he passed away, but had still been coming to work until 3 weeks before so it was a shock to us all.
Brian will never be forgotten for the things he’s taught us in the business and for the lovely man we all got know as a friend, and all the advice and wise words he passed on.
We Welcomed New Team Members
Our team is bigger than ever with now 12 people, not including me and Ben (who mostly just get in the way!). The business we are runs on the array of characters that make it a welcoming and positive place. We are lucky to have them all to look after our customers and make delicious food!
We have our mini Commercial Free Range Egg Unit set up
Yep, there’s now chickens clucking outside my front door. This project took a lot longer to set up than we thought and was about 8 months behind schedule when we got it started in August. But better later than never. We now have 250 commercial free rangers supplying the bakery and shop!
We got to the Finals
Yes we got voted by our customers into the top 3 in the farm shop and deli category of the Cambridge food and drink awards, for the 3rd year running! But we didn’t win, for the 3rd year running! It seems our customers love us but the judges don’t. That’s the way I’d prefer to have it! I like the sound of 2018 anyway!!
We got to your doorsteps even more
In November we launched our new and improved online store, and it helped us get out to more people’s doorsteps than ever before. We have been working really hard to get more and more of our offerings online and to offer the best and most convenient service out there! We’re really proud of the start we’ve made…but watch this space!
On to 2018…
So what’s on the cards for next year?
To make the online store the best and most convenient way to buy food! We want to host the products of all the local and independent businesses we find on our site, and deliver it out to people’s kitchens. There’s some great small food producers out there and we want to get all their offerings together in one place for the most awesome independent shopping experience. So we have lots of adding and improving to keep doing.
To start a recipe hub. We have this idea of making video recipes for YouTube that people can cook along with. We would also like to make videos with our producers showcasing the awesome stuff we sell and giving tips about how to use and cook with it. This will be housed on our website to make it an even more complete service.
We want to fill the shop with even more great products! We can still squeeze a bit in!
We want to deliver even more days a week!
To keep making the best food around!
So 2017, there’s been blood sweat and tears, and the odd broken bone. There’s also been laughter, pride, good friends, a great team and awesome customers. Our little family has grown up a bit more! But now 2018 we are ready for you!