Monday, August 23, 2010

Gregg's Bakery

So my mum sent me an article about Gregg’s bakery. The English people reading this know exactly what Gregg’s is but for you Canadians I will take a minute to explain.
Greggs, or Gregg’s bakery is like a fast food bakery shop. You will find them everywhere in England and they sell cheap lardy food like sausage rolls in flaky pastry. They also specialize in all these different types of pasty and every donut or sweet treat you can even think of and for the older folk they sell fresh bread that we will cut there.  It was also where I had my very first job. I was 14 or 15 around that age, and I started at Gregg’s doing weekends to make a little bit of cash. 

Gregg’s take their stuff seriously, and I dreaded every second I had to spend there. In England sausage rolls are the perfect hangover, or drunken binge snack.  In fact I am sure all of you out there can appreciate how delicious a hot sausage roll would be after a heavy night out. What you can also understand is that being a 15 year old girl having to serve drunken lads sausage rolls at all hours of the night was far from an enjoyable experience.

I think I would still take drunken customers over preparing the food. There were always the fun jobs, like sugaring the donuts or icing the pastries where you could eat your wages in sweet treats, but I was also in charge of mixing the tuna mayonnaise, which has a surprisingly small amount of tuna in it, and scraping the burnt pork mince off the oven.

Those ovens. Not only did they make the back area of the store unbearably hot, they would beep two minutes before the pasties were ready, one minute before they were ready, and then every ten seconds until they were done. This was followed by one very long beep that persisted until you took the tray out the oven even if you did have a line of customers that you were serving. Sometimes I would hear the beeping in my dreams, just a sort of distant reminder that I would have to go back to work at some point.

On the plus side, Gregg’s Bakery treats their employees very well, even as a part timer I got a reasonable wage and an hour break. Plus the people were really nice. Management were kind of crazy though, they were just so into their jobs. In the article my mum sent they quoted an employee talking about Gregg’s recipe for Jam Donuts, and he replied 'We're re-evaluating it because we believe we can improve the mouth feel and flavor attached,’ It is weird isn’t it? Mouth feel, that does make me laugh.

I think everybody’s first job sucks, but it is an important milestone in becoming an adult. Unless you are babysitting, best job I ever had. You get paid lots of money to sit and watch television with someone else’s kids, in fact once I got a job looking after a dog.  Gregg’s was a typical first job, I learnt how to manage my time, how to run cash, how to talk to customers and how use a bread cutting machine without chopping off my fingers so all in all it was a great step for me and I look back on it fondly. Would I go back, never, but I would definitely stop in for a sausage roll.

Anyway, take a moment to read the article, it’s funny to see how serious they are about pleasing the customer and about what they feel the can improve. Hope all your Mondays go well!

Meryl xxx


  1. It's nice that franchises still take pride in their products. Typical English. Next time i'm there i'm gonna try one.

  2. It's a bit scary how into the company some of the employees are. What happens if there is downsizing? Will they become jaded ex-lovers? :P

    At least they seem concerned with improving their products and service. Most companies would rather just try to continuously lower their costs. (And keeping the savings to themselves)