Every little helps! Tesco celebrates a decade in Beccles
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Customers and staff came together for celebrations at Tesco in Beccles on Tuesday to mark the store’s tenth anniversary.
Among those joining in the occasion were some of the 60-plus staff members who have been with the store since its first day of opening.
A cake, made be former member of staff Lee Russell, took pride of place and was cut by Beccles mayor Hugh Taylor before being sampled by customers and employees.
Also attending were some of the long-standing customers, organisations and schools which the store has worked with since opening in the town.
The store, which is on the site of the former William Clowes printing works, employs some 220 people.
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Chrissie Chaplin, who has worked at the branch for 10 years, said: “I started working here on September 5, 2005, and I love it.
“Lots of people who were against it at first are now coming in to the store.
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“It has change people’s perspectives and I think they see a lot more of the work we do outside for the community. I hope I’ll be here for another 10 years.”
Marjorie Milbank, who was in the store shopping, said: “I think it serves the community very well. I would be at a loss if it wasn’t here.
“They sell all my lacto-free goods which can be difficult to get - they sell everything that is available.”
Mr Taylor said the store had been a huge success for the town.
“Although there were understandable reservations about Tesco coming into the middle of town, it has been a life saver for this town because of the agreement that visitors can park for three hours free of charge,” he said.
“It’s a big local employer and has been a huge supporter of the local community, helping various groups to raise funds.
“This is very much part of the community.”
Jon Whittaker has managed the store for the past four years before leaving in recent weeks to take over the running of the Harford Bridge branch in Norwich.
He said: ”It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the Beccles community.
“I think the partnership between the community and the business works very well, especially considering the location we have and I think it’s been successful for the local businesses as well as for us.
“I think with the right set up it works very well.”
The store is well known for its work in the community and Natalie Clement has the role of community champion for the Beccles branch and outlined some of what her job involves.
She said: “I do everything from answering letters to organising raffle prizes and helping out with coffee mornings.
“There’s an alzheimer’s group which I go to every month and take them tea and coffee and serve them and we have a chat.
“If you write me a letter and I can do it and have the time, I will do it.”
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