One of the most satisfying parts of what I do is meeting other business owners as my guests, that have developed their own enterprises from nothing too. One of my longest standing and loyal guests is Sarah Hall Hopcroft. Sarah and hubby Neil first came to stay in one of my holiday cottages some years ago and they keep coming back for more! Other than loving to see them and their mad dog Alice every time, their visits are eagerly anticipated by the team here as Sarah always brings delicious gingerbread from her company Image on Food
I’ve been hard at work for the last 6 years or so renovating, converting and building my holiday cottage business here in sunny Suffolk but Sarah has been hard at work for around thirty years building her business! I don’t she needed planning permission for her first gingerbead house though!
Sarah and Neil first stayed in the Granary Barn and loved it so much they keep coming back. It’s really rewarding getting to meet so many people when they choose to stay in my holiday cottages and the lovely thing about my business is that I meet people who are in a great mood and ready to chill out and enjoy themselves. I see shoulders drop and smiles appear as they arrive to escape from rigours of normal work and business routine. Sarah and Neil were no exception and I remember very clearly chatting in the garden of the Granary with them that summer when they ventured to stay here with us in Suffolk for the first time
They have been back so many times since and have stayed in most of my holiday cottages now I think, with the Granary being their favourite. It’s been great getting to know them and since that first holiday they have added Alice to the family, not to mention having stayed with extended family in Woodfarm when Sarah’s daughter Gemma was expecting and now they are grandparents!
This is Alice enjoying the heritage coast on her first holiday here
She’s grown a bit since then!
Image on Food is a really encouraging success story, having been started as a little sideline in Sarah’s bakery in the late eighties and now the brand has developed hugely. Based in Shropshire, their first big break came when they started to supply the Ironbridge Gorge Museum. Before that it had been a novelty sold within the bakery. Since then they have developed and expanded their range, winning awards along the way such as the Marks & Spencer’s Better Made in Britain Award and being short-listed for a BBC enterprise award!
They have developed their customer base considerably too and have subsequently supplied BHS, Heals, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and also high volume supplies to John Lewis and Waitrose! They seem to be going from strength to strength and now, in the pinnacle of their acheivements Sarah has despatched a box of Easter chicks to Suffolk for our holiday cottage guests to enjoy! Now they can relax!
We had our photogrpaher Carl Lamb here during their last short-break the other week so I got him to shoot some of this months gifts! Having enjoyed Image on Foods gingerbead for a number of years now, it was nice to see them being photographed in my holiday cottages. A fitting setting I think!
Here the chick was joined by some other countryside friends
Not only can you enjoy their wares with a cuppa in Waitrose, they supply loads of independent retail outlets and coffee shops and deli’s. I always smile when I see them in the smaller places
In addition to the range across the country they also offer a personalised gift service via their website so why not like them on Facebook and check out what they have on the Image on Food website. There are gifts for him and her, babies, kids, mums and dads, wedding gifts and also to the corporate market
Looking forward to their next visit. The gingerbread has nothing to do with it!