Since June of this year, the bakery has been a hive of activity with a multitude of contractors and tradesmen on site all working towards the same goal - the completion of our bakery extension. After three months, the building works were finally complete and the new section of the bakery was ready for moving day! With such a spectacular building now on display, our Directors thought that we needed a grand reveal and what better way to do that than with an official opening day with the help of a Royal guest. So, on Thursday 10th September HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO formally opened our new extension with the help of a pupil from Badocks Wood primary school, witnessed by a handful of our loyal customers, suppliers, contractors, friends and families.
Pictured above: Chris Smith, HRH The Countess of Wessex, Paul White, Lynne White and Ben White.
Before the big day, there were lots of preparations to be made! Staff started practising their curtseys and bows - although we didn't need them. All hands were on deck to make sure the bakery was ready and the evening staff, lead by Ann, made sure it looked perfect, ready for our esteemed guests.
On the day, the Countess arrived by helicopter waved in by children from four local primary schools - Wick, Marshfield, Longwell Green and Badocks Wood (Southmead). She was then introduced to the company's four Directors before getting dressed in protective clothing (something that was picked up on by the Mail Online) and taken on a tour of the bakery by our Production Manager, Gloria Gale.
Pictured above top: HRH The Countess of Wessex and Production Manager, Gloria Gale; bottom: Kay Ralph and HRH The Countess of Wessex
On her tour of the bakery, the Countess met with some of the production staff and our two young apprentices, Chloe and Becky, along with their families and their tutor Louise West. She also took part in a workshop for Feeding Britain's Future lead by our New Product Development technologist, Rosy Allan and representatives from IGD (Geraldine Huse & Joanne Denney-Finch). The Countess was asked some gruelling questions by the young attendees from the local Yate Job Centre but she remained calm under the spotlight!
Pictured Above: Rosy Allan, HRH The Countess of Wessex and attendees from Yate Job Centre
On the final part of her tour, the Countess was escorted to the new stores section of the bakery where all guests were eagerly awaiting her arrival. Director, Chris Smith, gave a short speech to thank everyone for their support and to thank Her Royal Highness for her attendance. The Countess of Wessex, her lady in waiting and the Chair of South Gloucestershire Council were handed flowers by representatives from the primary schools after unveiling the commemorative plaque.
Pictured above: HRH The Countess of Wessex and a pupil from Longwell Green Primary School.
Afterwards, HRH The Countess of Wessex was whisked away for a number of other engagements throughout the West Country including local visits to Dyrham Park and the Jessie May Trust.
All photographs are courtesy of Tom Parkes Photography.