WHEN bakers, Goodfellow and Steven, received an email from a local mum, asking for help, staff stepped in.
Mum, Louise, wrote: “This may seem rather trivial during the current climate but it is very important to my son. He is ten years-old and has ADHD and autism. Every Friday, I go to my local Montrose store and buy him a Belgian biscuit (cinnamon biscuit) as a treat.
“He is now panicking as we might not be able to get one this week. Do you, by any chance, know of a recipe similar to your biscuits that we can try and make until we can get back into the shop?”
Rob Sinclair, production director of Goodfellows, takes up the story: “Rather than just send her the recipe, we made a very small batch of his favourite treat and now we send her two Belgian Biscuits to the shop each week so that he can continue with his routine.
“It’s important, during these difficult times, that we must not forget that, for some people, it’s the very small things that matter and if we can help a ten year-old boy who may not be fully aware of what is going on in the world today and to keep a little bit of normality in his life, then it’s a win for everyone.”
Said Louise: “We cannot thank you all enough for helping to keep this little bit of routine going. I look forward to my Friday trip to collect the Belgian Biscuits and have a wee blether with Helen. Once again, thank you all so much for doing this for us, it is very much appreciated.”
A brilliant baker
Founded by David Goodfellow & Margaret Steven in the centre of Broughty Ferry in 1897, Goodfellow & Steven is one of Scotland’s longest-established bakers.
From early in the company’s history, it gained a reputation for very high standards in both the taste and decoration of its celebration cakes but these unprecedented times have led to some swift changes in recent weeks.
Rob continued: “Right at the outset, I felt that, not only did we have to make our staff feel safe, but it was equally important that they felt they were contributing something to ensure people got the high-quality bakery products they needed each and every day.
Taking care of the team
“My team soon realised that not only do we provide an essential service to our own retail shops but equally importantly we supply Scotmid and Coop stores that are located in housing areas where many people may not be able to get to the big supermarkets and so they rely on getting their essentials from the smaller retailer so it was vital we kept on going.
“When it came to the safety of our staff, I felt that we had to keep them involved through every stage and breaking down why we were making changes to our business practices to ensure they were all safe and they all bought into it.
“Right at the very start of the outbreak, I put systems in place; with regards to washing hands, for example, all departments would stop what they were doing at a specific time on the hour to go and wash their hands and sanitise them. I installed sanitising units at all door entrances i.e. changing areas, canteen and office; I limited the space in the canteen to specific people at specific times and removed seats leaving the remaining seats in a marked position in order to keep the 2m rule; I also stopped all visitors to our site until further notice in order to prevent anyone potentially bringing in the virus.
“the rule is for only one person to be at the main hand wash sink at the entrance to the production area at any one time; limiting changing areas to only four people at any one time; ensuring the two meter space was adhered to during production processes. We have recently installed fixed clear Perspex barriers into certain areas in production in order to keep producing; and we are also currently working on creating mobile Perspex walls that can be moved in and out of position when required to ensure our people are safe.
“I also reviewed our delivery/dispatch processes. As a result, we now only have two vans at any one time loading /unloading to ensure when loading and unloading the 2m rule can be adhered to.
“All drivers also completely sanitise the interior of the van before and after every journey as well as giving each driver their own sanitising gel that they are to use after each delivery.
“All these procedures are under review daily and I will change as and when required to ensure we are all safe.”
So the team can take care of customers
“Where possible, we have also tried to go that extra step for our customers. We took an early decision to drop some of our product lines to ensure that we kept our people safe. Being able to help the boy and his mum is just one example.”
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