Q&A Kennerleigh Village Stores

The Heart of our Company Blog

Sonnie at Kennerleigh Community Shop spared some time to answer our Q&A questions, a busy little Village store based in Kennerleigh near Crediton.

Kennerleigh Community Shop has been a Customer of ours since 2017, we acquired them as a Customer when we bought Crediton Chilled Foods who were selling up as their business had come to a natural end and the Owners were wanting to move onto pastures new.

We really hope that all of the local small community and village shops continue to thrive and Customers remain supporting them as life starts to return to a small bit of normality, the local shops really need our continued support.

Q: How long has Kennerleigh Community Shop been running?

A: There has been a shop here for many years but the community took it over in 2014. 

Q: What do you like the most and least about working in the food industry?

A: I don’t really feel like we work in the ‘food’ industry, we work with a wider range of products than just food and are focussed on providing a service to our community. I think that all the staff and volunteers would say that the most rewarding part of the work is serving the community and especially doing the little ‘extra bits’ that only a community shop could do – like deliveries to customers who are unwell and of course during the COVID pandemic we have also made regular deliveries to customers who are isolating. Putting effort into making the shop look appealing with regularly changing window displays and stocking new products is also rewarding. The only downside is perhaps getting the shop open on a wet, cold wintery morning, but that doesn’t happen for too long before the spring comes! 

Q: If you were putting together a Cheese board what would be your top 3 Cheeses?

A: Because I am Dutch I would first of all choose Gouda but from the Cornish Gouda Cheese Company. I would also choose other local cheeses, Devon blue and Cheddar.

Q: Have you seen an increase in people shopping locally since the Pandemic?

A: Customer numbers have definitely increased during the pandemic and although they have recently fallen slightly, we’ve managed to keep the majority with us.

Q: How long have you been a Customer of Isca?

A: Around 4 years, I have been managing since 2019.

Q: What are some of your best-selling products?

A: Have these changed during the past year? The customers like the selection of cheeses, Chinn’s sausages, chipolatas and bacon. During the last year smoked mackerel and smoked salmon also sold well.

Q: Do you regularly look for new stock? Are there any products we don’t currently sell that you you’d like to see available? 

A: I try to order different items to introduce to our customers and to keep an open mind for new ideas. One thing the customers are missing is the olives from Olive Stall. 
The new Westcountry Olives packaging is now in circulation which we are much happier with, hopefully you would be willing to give the olives a try with your Customers. We are always working on getting the flavours right, so welcome any feedback.

Q: Where is your favourite place to eat locally?

A: I do like to eat in pubs, the food they can serve is usually amazingly good. I really like the English culture, especially in this region, of going to the pub together with friends. I think no where else in the world the pub is so nice as it is in England.

Q: What is your favourite meal to cook?

A: I like to cook “chicken in the hat”. Now you will ask me what that is….its a very secret recipe giving by my mother…its contains chicken, cherries and filo pastry….more I won’t reveal.

Q: As a very valued Customer is there anything, we can do better to improve the service you are receiving from us?

Isca has a very good range of produce and our shop is benefiting from this. The employees are extremely friendly and helpful. I have built a lovely working relationship with Bethany, Lochie and Jamie the delivery man. I just ask you to continue with this high quality of service which I am very grateful for.

As always please get in touch if you would like to take part in our Heart of our Company blog series, we are after some more willing Customers to take part so we can continue this blog we are really enjoying to run.

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Vegetarian week – Supplier Q&A with Olive’s Kitchen

In the first of our Supplier blogs we spoke to Charlie at Olive’s Kitchen who spared some time to answer some questions for us. 

A small family run business based in Dorset with a real passion for preparing, cooking and supplying great quality hearty food.
We stock a range of their meals which are frozen quality ready meals – they use local products and ingredients and that really shows in the taste. 

As we are promoting Vegetarian week he told us about their most popular vegetarian meals. 

As part of Vegetarian week our ‘Orchardlea Weekly offer’ this week is 10% off the Olive’s Kitchen Vegetarian meals we stock, checkout our facebook post from yesterday for details of the code. 

Q: How long has Olive’s Kitchen been running?

A: 5 years

Q: What do you like the most and least about working in the food industry?

A: Most – We love the journey from sourcing the ingredients to cooking our delicious meals. Creating something people can enjoy! 

Least – Like all business, of course we have our bad days, but generally speaking it’s a great industry to be a part of.

Q: You ran a Deli before Olive’s Kitchen came about, what was it that made you decide to launch Olive’s Kitchen?

A: We were already producing Olive’s Kitchen whilst in the deli as a small line for our customers.
The demand grew to such an extent that we decided to follow this path. 5 years on, demand is still growing!

Q: Have you seen an increase in your sales during the pandemic?

A: Yes – Significant increase in all areas.  

Q: How have you adapted your business during this past year?

A: We haven’t needed to adapt really, as we were perfectly placed in the market. All it has meant is we need to cook more!

Q: We are promoting Vegetarian week the w/c 10th May, which is your bestselling vegetarian meal?

A: They all sell in quite equal volume. However, the Butternut Squash Lasagne and the Macaroni Cheese are probably just in front.

Q: Have you got any new recipes/products in the pipeline?

Yes – Roasted Vegetable Lasagne, Chicken Korma, Roasted Vegetable Penne Pasta and a Chicken and Mushroom Pie.

Q: Where is your favourite place to eat locally?

A: We love our local pub! Proper pub grub with a really friendly service. Its great to see them back open (and others!)

Q: Is there anything you have learnt from running your own business?

A: Don’t worry about making mistakes, they will happen. Just learn from them and don’t make them again!

Q: Last question, social media is so huge these days and most businesses have some form of Social Media we just wondered out of interest why you don’t currently use Facebook/Instagram etc?

A: Social media is an area of our business that we need to look into and develop. That said, we are not sure that we follow the general perception that social media is essential to survive We do incredibly well from word of mouth and our own personable approach.

If you haven’t tried stocking any of the Olive’s Kitchen range then now is a great time to try – order yours today when placing your order with us.

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