Category Archives: Business

Meet, eat and greet at ninth Business Breakfast event

Business BreakfastBusinesses in the Blaby District and Leicestershire are being invited to a free breakfast meeting next month to share ideas for boosting the local economy.

The networking event will be the ninth that the council has run over the last two years, with business news from Blaby District Council and partner organisations.

The Business Breakfast event will be held on Tuesday 1 March 2016 at the Hilton Hotel, Junction 21 Approach, Leicester LE19 1WQ.

Beginning at 7:45am with a free breakfast on arrival, representatives from the council will present the latest business news.

There will also be a presentation on cyber crime, and how businesses can best protect themselves against one of the biggest new threats to business.

The ever-popular speed networking session will also take place, giving businesses the chance to get to know other organisations quickly.

Councillor Tony Greenwood, portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development at Blaby District Council, said:

“We’re proud to offer the business breakfast and showcase the support available from the council and partner organisations to help local businesses achieve strong growth.

“The fact this is our ninth event emphasises that these are excellent networking opportunities, with businesses telling us how valuable attending has been.”

Places are limited so businesses/Individuals are being urged to book early by contacting A.k Khan, Planning Policy and Economic Development Officer, on 0116 272 7765, or email economic.development@blaby.gov.uk.

Grove Farm Restaurant re-opens following salmonella investigation

20151219_151054Local Enderby restaurant, the Grove Farm, which closed before Christmas cancelling all bookings over the festive period has just re-opened.

Local media reports that the establishment says it has re-opened after “intensive cleaning” and a variety of tests including a “negative result” for salmonella.

Amy Robertson, manager of the Greene King pub is reported as telling the Leicester Mercury:

“We are pleased to say that after extensive testing Grove Farm has now fully reopened and all test results have been found to be negative for salmonella.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority.

“Over the past couple of weeks, working with Environmental Health and Public Health England, all areas of the pub, including our kitchen, have been intensively cleaned and sanitised.

“We would like to stress that at no point were our food safety and kitchen hygiene standards called into question and extensive testing proved our food is safe. All of our food handlers – from kitchen porters to chefs – must be qualified to the level two Food Hygiene Certificate before being allowed to work in our kitchens and we are proud of our extremely strict hygiene regime.”

Ms Robertson told the newspaper that with the “full backing of Environmental Health, as well as one of the country’s leading experts in food safety and hygiene”, the venue was “able to reassure customers they can once again eat with confidence with us”.

The pub, in Barton Close, Enderby, was voluntarily shut by its owners Greene King in the middle of December while an investigation was carried out by Public Health England.

The health watchdog said it became aware of a potential problem at the venue in April, after several people went to their GPs with stomach bugs and were found to have salmonella poisoning.

Public Health England said some of those affected were diners at Grove Farm, but was unable to confirm how many.

A spokesman for Grove Farm said the restaurant was given a deep clean in the summer, but the disease resurfaced recently, with more people falling ill.

Ms Robertson said:

“We would like to sincerely apologise to any customers whose plans were disrupted by this unexpected closure and hope we can now welcome them back to the pub.”

A spokesman for Blaby District Council, whose environmental health officers carried out the tests at Grove Farm, said:

“We are happy for them to reopen at this stage.

“Environmental swabs came back as satisfactory.

“They’re reopening with our support.”

Source: Leicester Mercury

Photo: Enderby EYE

Original EYE news item: http://wp.me/p32ECU-2dj

Next blames warm weather for ‘disappointing’ sales

next shop frontHigh Street retailer Next, which has its headquarters in Enderby, has blamed the warm weather in the final few weeks of last year for a “disappointing” trading performance in the run-up to Christmas.

A news item on the BBC website reports the company also said trading at its Next Directory online and catalogue operation had been difficult, due in part to poor stock availability.

Between 26 October and 24 December, sales at its High Street shops fell 0.5%, but rose 2% at the Directory arm.

Next, whose shares closed down 4.6%, lowered its full-year profit estimate.

The company, which has more than 500 stores, says it now expects annual pre-tax profits to be about £817m. This is at the lower end of its previous guidance issued in October, when it predicted profits of between £810m and £845m.

The retailer, which did not take part in some of the heavy discounting sales events at the end of last year, said in a statement:

“We believe that the disappointing performance in the fourth quarter was mainly down to the unusually warm weather in November and December.”

The statement also pointed to “mistakes and challenges” faced by the business.

“Specifically, we believe that Next Directory’s disappointing sales were compounded by poor stock availability from October onwards.”

In addition, Next said that online retailing was becoming tougher as competition intensified.
Nevertheless, the company said full-price sales for the year-to-date were 3.7% ahead of last year, just below the bottom end of Next’s previous guidance of a 4%-6% rise.

Tough market
Analysts said the figures, the first winter trading update from one of the big retailers, suggested other High Street firms may have struggled.

Neil Saunders, from retail analysts Conlumino, tweeted:

“Next’s lacklustre results do not bode well for the rest of the High Street; warm weather was the main source of its woes.”

Maureen Hinton from retail consultancy Verdict told the BBC that the results indicated a “very tough” market.

However, Phil Dorrell, a director at Retail Remedy, told the BBC that the figures were “pretty positive” for Next.

He told BBC 5 live that after other retailers have released their Christmas sales figures, the view could be: “Wow, Next did really well.”

The BBC also reported Mr. Dorrell also said he expects other high street giants like Marks and Spencer to report a decline in sales for the Christmas period when figures are released later this week

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35230418

Photo: BBC

NEXT

Christmas dinner chaos as Enderby restaurant unexpectedly announces Christmas closure

20151219_151054A popular Enderby restaurant has thrown some patrons’ Christmas plans into chaos after it announced closure following an investigation by health experts into an outbreak of salmonella poisoning.

The Grove Farm, which is normally jam-packed with patrons, some travelling a fair distance, will be shut until after the Christmas celebrations and all bookings over the period have been cancelled.

The first some people knew of the closure was via the restaurant’s Facebook page, which posted a message on Saturday 12th December saying:

“We have taken the decision to close Grove Farm until after Christmas and apologise sincerely to all our customers for the inevitable disruption to their plans that this will cause. Customers with bookings over the Christmas period will be contacted by my team personally and we will do our utmost to help them make alternative arrangements and compensate them for their lost booking.”

Public Health England said it first became aware of a problem at the venue in April after several people went to their GPs with stomach bugs and were found to have salmonella poisoning.

It said some of those affected were diners at Grove Farm, but was unable to confirm how many.

A spokesman said the restaurant was given a “deep clean” in the summer because of concerns, but the disease resurfaced recently, with more people falling ill.

This week, the restaurant’s owners, Greene King, voluntarily closed the premises, in Barton Close, Enderby.

Manager Amy Robertson said:

“The decision to close has not been taken lightly.

“We have been working tirelessly with Environmental Health and Public Health England to try to identify if Grove Farm is associated with a cluster of salmonella cases in Leicestershire.

While a number of those reporting sickness have not eaten with us, we are trying to understand if our pub could have played any part in illnesses reported by a very small number of our customers.

“We have closed the pub to go beyond our usual extremely strict hygiene regime and are dismantling parts of the very fabric of the building in order to clean inaccessible areas and ensure that every inch of the pub has been thoroughly sanitised.

“Once completed, we will be undertaking further tests. We expect the results from the laboratory could take up to two weeks and are not prepared to reopen the pub before those results have been received.

“Customers with bookings during the Christmas period will be contacted by my team personally and we will do our utmost to help them make alternative arrangements and compensate them for their lost booking.”

Dr Philip Monk, a consultant in communicable disease control at Public Health England, told local media that everyone who had contracted salmonella was either recovering or had fully recovered.

He said:

“Salmonella is a common cause of food poisoning and most people recover from the bug in four to seven days without requiring any treatment other than rest and plenty of liquid.”

The Leicester Mercury, in a report filed 19th December reported that Colin Whetton of Beaumont Leys had been planning to have lunch with his wife and daughter at the restaurant on Christmas Day.

Mr. Whetton said:

“It’s annoying for us because we had to find another place to eat and we’ve had to pay quite a bit more.”

The newspaper item also said customer Chris Hill had booked for a party of 15 to eat at the restaurant on Christmas Day and said 

“This has left us with a week to make alternative arrangements. I went there to gain information and wasn’t even allowed on site.”

A number of disgruntled patrons took to commenting on Facebook saying how they were disappointed at only finding out about the closure by social media, leaving them unable to successfully re-book elsewhere.

The restaurant’s Facebook page responded to the comments with a ‘standard’ statement, individually addressed, but stating the same text:

“Our team are working hard to contact all of our customers who had bookings with us over Christmas so hopefully you will have been contacted already. If you are still waiting to be contacted please private message us with the details of your booking, including the date, time, number in your party and the name it was booked under and we will pass this onto the team to contact you. Many thanks.”

The Food Standards Authority, who administer the rating system, awarded the Grove Farm Restaurant 1 Star (out of a possible 5) in June 1915.

In response to the June 1915 assessment, the business responded:

We are disappointed at this change in rating, as we have always been very proud of our food hygiene rating of 5.

This latest visit came during one weekend of unexpected change for the pub during which we were experiencing some short-term staffing difficulties, and inspectors felt that supervision from the senior team in place at the time was not adequate.

With a new, highly experienced, management team now installed, we are confident that our usual high standards have been re-established and will continue to monitor this as part of our goal to deliver the highest standards of food hygiene and customer satisfaction.

Placing the closure of Grove Farm in some sort of context; Cini restaurant, the highly respected and select dining establishment on High Street, Enderby, also received a 1 Star rating in March 2015. The business did not post a response on the FSA website and remains open during the current festive season.

Similarly, Aspects at the Plough received a 1 Star rating a little over a year ago and did not post a response at the time. Aspects is a highly popular dining establishment and has been taking bookings for the 2015 festive season.

Several people commenting on the story in the Leicester Mercury complained that, after learning about the closure on social media, they contacted the restaurant and were told the closure was due to a ‘gas leak’ and in another case, a ‘water leak’.

Note:  The food hygiene rating or inspection result given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection or visit by the local authority.

The food hygiene rating is not a guide to food quality.

The information provided on businesses is held on behalf of local authorities participating in the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England.

Supporting sources:
Food Standards Agency
Leicester Mercury (News item 19th Dec 2015)

[Photo: Enderby EYE]

 

 

Sealing products supplier moves to new £1.8 million Enderby facility

edcosealandsupplyA sealing products supplier has quadrupled the size of its headquarters by moving to a new £1.8 million facility in Enderby, creating two jobs.

Edco Seal and Supply bought the centre outright and aims to use it as a distribution centre to complement its technical centre in Knutsford, near Manchester.

More jobs may be added in the future and the firm is planning to launch an apprenticeship programme in the new year.

Craig Eddas
Craig Eddas

Edco owner and managing director Craig Eddas said:

“Our new location is one of the best in the country – close to the M1 and M69 and therefore close to the M6. So it is great logistically and also close to operations of the global carriers such as UPS and FedEx.”

The 20,000 square feet of space at Quartz Close, off Warren Park Way, is four times the size of Edco’s former home in Whetstone.

The extra space, equipped with electronically controlled storage systems, means the business has plenty of room for growth, said Craig.

“We were bursting at the seams at the old place. We can store more products now and in a highly efficient way,” he said.

“It’s a new building, very secure and really does reflect the professionalism that has enabled us to grow.

“This takes us to another level. Owning it gives us really firm roots in Leicestershire and we will never have to move again.

“This is now our permanent home and we want to work with more manufacturers locally which require products such as ours.

“There’s an open invitation for them to come in and see what we do, talk to us about what they need and together create a strong local supply link.

“Coupled with our technical centre we can service industrial markets and manufacturers to supply high-end products for markets such as aerospace, space, oil and gas, rail, military and marine.”

Craig and Edco were advised by Leicester chartered accountants Mark J Rees.

Andy Turner, the Mark J Rees partner who works closely with Edco, said:

“Craig really wanted Edco to move within Leicestershire and looked long and hard for the right premises.

“They are significantly bigger than the previous premises, which the business rented, so they have space to grow into.

“We advised on how to structure the purchase and on the financing, plus we helped with VAT and capital allowances.

The end result is pleasing and a huge plus to know they are in their own building.”

Craig, who was 26 when he set up the business, said:

“Andy and the team at Mark J Rees have assisted us over a long period of time, so we could be financially secure and able to afford to buy our own premises.

“We couldn’t have done it without Andy and the team. Andy always gives excellent advice and helped revolutionise our business while bringing financial stability.

“This new building is a massive investment for Edco and we have only been able to do it thanks to the advice they have given across all aspects of business.”

News item sourced from http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/New-jobs-seal-pound-1-8-million-HQ/story-28020667-detail/story.html#ixzz3pDb0FbiE