A Look Back at 2015 – Budgens of Aylsham & Holt

Posted on Jan 7, 2016

A Look Back at 2015 – Budgens of Aylsham & Holt

2015 is a year that will live long in the memory as one of success and achievement for both C T Baker Budgens of Aylsham and Holt. Budgens of Holt began the year with an exclusive collaboration with the town’s Thurlow Nunn car dealership through which customers were provided a considerable saving on their fuel. Shoppers spending a minimum of £50 in-store were provided with a voucher that deducted 15p per litre on fuel purchased at the Thurlow Nunn forecourt. In so doing, our customers benefitted from a low-cost fuel price of 99.9p per litre — the UK’s cheapest BP fuel at that time! Such was the popularity of this promotion that the Holt store was featured on BBC Look East. In February, the time arrived for Budgens of Holt to present its cheque to its chosen charity organisation of the year for 2014 — the East Anglian Air Ambulance. A cheque for £7,423.70 was presented to East Anglian Air Ambulance, thanks to a fantastic effort from the store staff who organised raffles, tombolas and cake sales to achieve its total throughout that year.In March, a cheque was also presented by C T Baker Budgens of Aylsham to its chosen charity for 2014, Girl Guiding, Aylsham Branch. The store raised a total of £5,297.49, which was handed to District Commissioner, Rachel Sidell, by Jane Gurney-Read, Director of C T Baker Group and Shane Woolston, Budgens Aylsham Store Manager. Much like Budgens of Holt, the Aylsham store worked tirelessly to raise its record breaking total through tombolas, raffles, cake sales, bag packing, customer contributions and different fundraising initiatives that took place almost every week. For 2015, the store chose Squirrels Residential Breaks for Children — an Aylsham based organisation that provides residential short breaks within a homely environment for children with complex health needs. Similarly, Budgens of Holt selected Dogs for the Disabled as its charitable cause for 2015. Also in March, Budgens of Holt was privileged to be announced as a finalist at the Musgrave Store of the Year awards. Both Holt and Aylsham stores were also shortlisted as finalists within the Community Store of the Year category. The month of May was one of awards and recognition for Budgens of Holt’s local suppliers thanks to the store’s annual Local Supplier ceremony at the Feathers Hotel. Prior to taking over Budgens of Holt in 2007, the store stocked only a few locally produced goods. Yet, by May 2015, Budgens of Holt had supported around 39 local suppliers, spending over £792,000 to buy in such produce for its customers. The winner of the Local Supplier award was announced by Managing director, Michael Baker, as Comerways Nursery of Wissington, a business that continues to supply the store with a variety of tomatoes. A raffle was also held during the evening with proceeds going towards Budgens of Holt’s 2015 charity. The fundraising continued into the summer as Budgens of Aylsham held a charity car wash in its customer car park, raising £122.50 on the day. A hark back to Britain at war was on the agenda as the Holt Salute the Forties...

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Local Suppliers at the Holt Lights 2015

Posted on Nov 26, 2015

It was a combination of fireworks, music and parades as Holt marked the beginning of the festive season with its Christmas lights switch on this 25th of November. At Budgens of Holt we invited our customers to try a selection from our suppliers near and far who provided tastes and samples of the very best products we have in-store. On show was Norfolk Brewhouse, run by Rachel and David Holliday. The Fakenham-based brewer produces high-quality beers and lagers using East Anglian malting barley and hops. Also on show was Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales whose Tinsel Toes sweet ruby ale proves particularly popular at this time of year. For that touch of festive fizz, our customers could sample the delights of Freixenet Spanish cava. For those desiring an alternative to alcoholic beverages, Hunstanton’s Drove Orchards was on-hand with samplings of its apple juices fresh from its orchards where over 150 varieties of apples, pears and plums are grown. Also on show was Fincham-based Mr Hugh’s 100% British rapeseed oil — perfect for Christmas baking — and Yare Valley Rapeseed Oils. Grown and pressed on its Norfolk farm, the Yare Valley company sources only the most local of ingredients to produce a range that includes oak smoked, chilli and honey & mustard oil varieties. Christmas is a time of taste and indulgence and our Holt Lights evening certainly didn’t disappoint. Candi’s Chutney provided samplings of its popular varieties. As a multi award-winning company, Candi’s Chutney recently attained the Kettle Chips Business Mentoring Prize — a company that also attended the evening. The local theme continued with Broadland Hams — traditional curers and distributors of bacon sausages and hams since 1979 — and M&M Rutland with its luxury homemade haggis, a Norfolk twist on the Scottish favourite. A selection of dairy produce was also on show from Pointens Dairy of Melton Constable — producer of milk, butter, churned buttermilk, cream, live yoghurts and ice cream. We were also pleased to welcome Chocy Yoggy and Tooty Fruity snacks, as well as Bolsius candles and Harry Brand Harissa sauce. Budgens of Holt would like to thank all suppliers and customers for their welcome attendance and custom at this year’s Holt Lights event, an occasion that showcased our local suppliers and those further...

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Local Supplier of the Year 2015

Posted on May 22, 2015

Budgens of Holt, Local Supplier of the Year, 14/5/2015 CT Baker Budgens main points of difference from the national chains are service, variety of offerings and most importantly local produce.  Local is not just a case of offering locally grown or produced items to the general public it is a case of keeping the money that we take through the tills in the local economy. If we were a truly national branch all our stock would come from a central distribution centre and all our takings would go, less wages, to a Head Office somewhere.  However, now with 39 local suppliers last year we spent £792,000 locally which stayed in the local economy.  Whilst tonight’s awards are for suppliers to Budgens of Holt it would be remiss of me not to mention C T Baker Budgens of Aylsham who also follow the same ethics of working with local producers.  Over the last year we have supported 31 local suppliers with a spend of £252,000.  For those mathematicians amongst us this equates to in excess of £1m going back into our local economy.  In addition to this the majority of our other spending – maintenance, cleaning, new buildings etc are given to local firms. On top of the Community Retailer of the Year Award last year, we are again finalist in Store of the Year for Holt and in the frame for both Aylsham and Holt for the Community Retailer of the Year award.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed until September when we will find out if we have been successful. This years winner of Supplier of the year 2015 is Cornerways Nurseries. 3 years ago we stumbled upon the largest greenhouse in the UK, heated by waste heat from the sugar beet factory nearby.  Over the last 3 years Cornerways Nurseries have become a major feature of our local fresh food offering.  Always offering a promotion to equal the nationals, sometimes better, has enabled us to replace average Spanish tomatoes with good Norfolk ones 9 months of the year. Our two runners up are Read Nurseries, and Drove Orchards Supporting our ever growing and profitable horticultural department Read Nurseries continue to provide us with an excellent range of plants from their base in Dereham. A few years ago I visited an orchard which had many varieties of apples, some very old varieties, but the strange thing was most of the apples appeared to be rotting on the ground.  In response to the obvious question I was told that their main line was apple juice.  So we contracted to take the surplus – the price was good, they were happy.  Of course if there isn’t any surplus we don’t get any apples.  So we have also developed a year round sale of Drove Orchards apple, pear and quince juices.  We just hope for bumper crops and apples too. The raffle on the night raised a total of £180 for Dogs for the Disabled and 59 people booked for the event. MJM Baker  ...

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