A fond farewell to Linda!
Cumbrian food champions Cranstons said a fond farewell to long-standing team member Linda Bellas this week as she retired after 26 years service.
Linda joined Cranstons back in 1996 as payroll assistant, brothers Roger and Philip Cranston had just built a new production unit and head office on Ullswater Rd to service their expanding retail brand and were looking to strengthen their central team. At the time Cranstons still operated the original village butcher’s shop in Kirkoswald along with two delivery vans and high street shops in Carlisle and Penrith, in total 60 people were employed.
Linda said ‘’When I started there was just one computer in the whole business for payroll and accounts! most of the ordering and invoicing was still done by hand in big triplicate books. It’s amazing to think how much has changed over the years I have been here, I have seen huge changes in HR practice, big technological advancements and the launch of Cranstons local produce food halls. My role grew with the business and alongside payroll I enjoyed looking after credit control, HR and being part of the senior operations team’’
When asked why she stayed at Cranstons for so long Linda said ‘’It’s been a real pleasure to be part of this great business over the years, watching the company grow whilst staying true to its values of championing great locally produced food. On a personal level I have really loved working with the Cranstons family and the rest of the team – it has been a real pleasure to work with so many lovely people and there has been plenty of joy and laughter throughout the years’’
During her 26 years working as a key part of the head office team Linda saw the opening of shops in Brampton and Hexham, the building and launch of both the Cumbrian Food Hall and Orton Grange Food Hall’s and the growth of Cranstons online shop. The number of people employed is now 190 across the central production site, central office, 4 food hall’s and 2 traditional high street butcher’s shops.
Philip Cranston said ‘Linda has been a highly valued member of our team throughout the years, helping Roger and I evolve the business and develop our central office. Her straightforward, hard-working approach has been a huge asset and we will miss both her sharp wit and her kindness. She is much loved by her colleagues throughout the business and I know they will all join me in wishing her every happiness in her retirement.’’
Linda is looking forward to holidays to Italy and to spending more time with her grandchildren Molly, Sophie, Annie and Theo ‘’who I know will keep me on my toes!’’