Celebrating 15 years at Welbeck Farm Shop
24 September 2021
This October marks 15 years since Welbeck Farm Shop opened its doors. In honour of the occasion, we've caught up with General Manager Oliver Stubbins to discuss life behind the scenes, as well as hosting a special in-store celebration from Friday 15th - Sunday 17th October 2021.
Oliver joined the team in 2015, and over the six years, he has set about quite a few changes, including taking on the role of General Manager at The Harley Café.
Continue reading to discover more about life at the Farm Shop and how you can join in this year's celebrations!
What does a typical workday include?
I am blessed to have a strong and passionate team. My day starts with checking in with every colleague in the shop and café and understanding the needs and demands of the day. Days can be spent looking for new suppliers, checking compliance, analysing the latest food trends and strategies… Or my favourite part, trying out new products and menu suggestions. There is a lot of eating involved in my role!
What’s the best thing about working at Welbeck?
Welbeck is a lovely community. After joining from a very diverse role and never having two days the same, I enjoy the broad nature of Welbeck, chatting to brewers, bakers, cheesemakers and great people from a variety of backgrounds.
And the best thing about working at the Farm Shop?
It’s the people. The food is obviously great and plentiful. However, we have some wonderful characters in the shop. Everyone can be themselves and let their personalities shine. I firmly believe our team bring back as many repeat customers as the food itself.
What have been your highlights so far?
We are on the back of a really tough 18 months, however, the pandemic has brought the best out of people, and we were delighted that our teams were happy to continue working and serving our community, including our Café team who worked throughout 2020, aiding the extra demand in the shop. We managed to serve takeaway coffee, arrange for fantastic takeaway pizzas in the courtyard and maintain excellent availability and service in the shop throughout, which shows the strength of character of the team here and the local community we are proud to be a part of.
What are the most significant changes you’ve seen at the shop since joining?
Over the six years I have been here, we have become much busier, and more so since the start of the pandemic. The most significant change, however, was in 2018 when we became the licensee for The Harley Café. This added a whole new team and a very different but complementary side to the business. It has been fantastic throughout.
Can you reveal any new developments at the Farm Shop?
We work in a very fast-paced industry and are always looking for ways to develop, improve and bring new tastes and experiences to our customers. We have recruited an excellent Baker, and the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed new patisserie products making their way into our counters and on our social media. We are looking to further increase our ‘Made at Welbeck’ range, having even more control of our products, including the sourcing of raw ingredients and the impacts on the environment.
We have also begun to offer a delivery service with local small business Roots delivery. Many of our customers come and visit us for the experience as well as the food, we know there are times when time and convenience can impact our choices, so have introduced a more convenient way to shop from home, meaning in such circumstances the quality of food doesn’t need to be compromised.
How are you planning on marking this special occasion?
From Friday 15th until Sunday 17th October, we will host a special in-store celebration with a prize draw for all existing and new Welbeck Loyalty Cardholders. We’d love our customers to come along and mark this special occasion with us, and maybe they’ll even be lucky enough to win a prize too.
We will also be holding a Charity Coffee Morning in The Harley Café on the 18th of October, raising funds for our Charity Of The Year – Bassetlaw Food Bank. You can come along to The Harley Café between 9:30 am-12:30 pm for a hot drink at our usual prices, and 100% of the sale will go to direct to the charity, helping those currently in need across Bassetlaw.