Sam Bagge | www.walsingham.co
Sam Bagge is the general manager of Walsingham Farms Shop in North Norfolk and talks us through his rather busy day!
The first thing to say is that I’m very fortunate to have a job and position that is varied and interesting. No two days are ever the same, especially in Walsingham! This year has obviously been very different, and in turn brought its challenges, but a challenge is what we enjoy up in North Norfolk and I think our team has outperformed even my high expectations.
So our current day to day is rather different to this time last year. Again, I’m very lucky and massively thankful to have a team of employees, colleagues and friends that work very hard to essentially make day to day rather easy, even in the testing times that we have seen this year. I have a great team that can self-motivate, use common sense, and preempt situations.
Our day would normally start around 8-8:30am where we open the shop. This means adding our wonderful fresh, seasonal, local fruit and vegetables to our ever changing outside display. We sign into our tills and start working our way through our online orders and any customer orders that we may have received overnight.
Our butchers and deli staff will open their counters and start preparing their counter displays, ready for the day. After all this is done the doors open and the day is underway! With the added complications of COVID and social distancing, our staff use our pretty revolutionary traffic light system to control the flow of customers in the shop, therefore making the whole shopping experience more enjoyable for all. Constant sanitising also occurs throughout the day.
I consider myself pretty hands on, so when I say my job can be varied I guess it’s because I prefer to help out around the shop, whether it be in the deli kitchens, pie production, stocking the shelves, assisting the butchers, doing the odd delivery or managing the stock and orders plus much, much more. Like most people, admin isn’t my most enjoyable part of the day but clearly it is crucial to the smooth running of the business.
I’m extremely fortunate that, alongside me, I have brilliant people who also take some of the strain. Be it financial admin, ordering or stock management, we all muck in as a team. We all pride ourselves on the quality of our products, our butchery and our cooking, and I think it comes across to our customers that all our team really cares about their day to day job.
Having spent a lot of time over the last three or four years visiting other farm shops and delis across Britain, stealing ideas, checking out new ways of working or simply admiring another shops’ fabrications, I’d happily consider our shop to be up there with some of the best in the UK and certainly in Norfolk. We may be small, but we consider ourselves mighty, and we hope one day you will come and see us doing what we love to do!
Walsingham Farms Shop is in Little Walsingham and they also have a stall on Norwich Market.