The last year has passed so quickly and it seems like yesterday when I was writing the Blog for ‘Three Years Old’. I did achieve my objective of increasing the range of stock and equipment but failed miserably in taking more time off. Perhaps that will happen this year.
In the last year, I am going to be honest, retailing has become harder. More shops are closing which does have an impact in the high street, and especially on independent traders. Luckily, the shop has its own niche with staff who understand the products and how to use them. We still work on the principle of giving help and advice, and have no inclination to go online. There are so many large traders who already offer an online service benefitting from economies of scale, it would be silly to try and compete.
The Cake School has continued to grow in terms of course diversity and we were pleased to welcome Helen of Cake Fest and Sarah of The Chocolate Strawberry as guest tutors this year. All courses have proven popular and we feel students are offered value for money compared with other cake school venues. Thornbury does benefit from all-day free parking which is another plus.
The establishment of the Sugar Crew by a group of local cake decorators has brought together a group of people who have an interest in sugar crafting and decorating. As this continues to grow, the diversity of speakers and range of trips should increase.
Recently, we have been heavily involved with a Easter ‘Thornbunny’ Fortnight in Thornbury and this has brought retailers and other organisations together, to provide free educational entertainment for families. It has increased awareness of the town and what it has to offer, and we hope to continue this initiative as well as becoming involved with other community projects.
Ultimately, it is the customers who make a shop, and we are blessed with lovely, loyal customers who have in many cases, become friends. Dee, Jackie and myself love to help with cake designs, overcome problems, celebrate successes etc and it is that which enables the shop to remain sustainable in this harsh economic climate. Your custom is really, really appreciated and valued.