Keep up to date with the latest news and adventures of Carrs Pasties – from new shops to coverage of the brilliant events we attend.
Julie Gorse joined Carrs Pasties on 11th July 1977 aged 15, it was meant to be just a summer job but fast forward 40 fabulous years and she’s now our brilliant retail shop manager.
What was your first role at Carrs Pasties?
I started off in the bakery full time for 6 weeks and I worked on Saturdays at Halliwell Road too. Originally, I wanted to go to college to be a PE teacher, but in those days, you either worked or went to college and I decided to stay at work so I could pay my way at home.
Has your role as retail shop manager changed much over the years?
Yes, it’s changed so much – as the business has grown I’ve had to grow too as it’s much busier now. I’ve had experience of every part of the company, I worked in the bakery, in the office, in the shops – I even did the vans once.
How has the company changed since you first started?
When I first started there was only 3 of us packing the orders and serving in the shop – now the company has got over 70 people! We used to just sell pasties, whist pies and meat pies, we didn’t even do peas back then and there were no evening deliveries. I find it hard to get my head around how far we’ve come sometimes but there have been so many changes.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Having such a fantastic team and being able to pass my knowledge on to them. I feel confident enough to leave them alone if I need to and I know they will still continue to give that fast, efficient and friendly service. I’m quite proud of how I’ve trained them all and I’ve got a brilliant team now, I’m proud of them all. I worked with Margaret and Ann when I first started and a lot of my skills are down to them – they passed their knowledge on to me and now I can pass it on to my team.
The new bakery shop is due to open soon – what are you most excited about?
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it, I’ve been asking for years and years, and I wasn’t going to forget about it!
It’s so important for our staff and our customers, our staff need a bigger shop to work in and our customers sometimes queue in the rain which isn’t fair, they’ll love the new shop. I’m excited to just get it up and running and to get everyone involved.
What’s it been like to work at Carrs Pasties for 40 years?
It’s my home away from home and it’s a huge part of my life. I’ve seen a lot of people grow, get married and have babies and I’ve seen John’s children grow up and be more involved in the business too. There have been a lot of laughs over the years and I feel like I’m a part of the family.
What’s been your favourite memory?
I really enjoyed the Bolton Food and Drink Festival and the Bolton Beer Festival as we’d never done that before – I’m a people person, I love giving a good service and seeing a satisfied customer – if they’re happy, I’m happy. One day I looked out and all 6 of our vans were on the car park, so I grabbed Joe and said “Who’d have thought it, eh? Look how far we’ve come”. That was a really nice moment.
We celebrated Julie’s special day by surprising her with banners, balloons, flowers, an amazing cake (thank you Occasion Cakes) and some gifts we knew she’d love – we look forward to many more years with Julie!
This year we’re sponsoring Rich Smith – also known as – Challenge Rich as he embarks on his journey from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland in less than 5 days. But Rich isn’t making the journey in a conventional way…he’s riding on a penny-farthing (if you’re too young to know what one of those is there are pictures below). Rich is trying to raise at least 10 thousand pounds for Children in Need but the journey is also a World Record Attempt!
We thought we’d ask Rich a few questions about his challenge to find out what he’s nervous about, what he’ll eat throughout his journey and how he plans to celebrate.
- What are you most nervous about for your challenge?
Probably the cycling at night, but really I’m just nervous about how I’m going to keeping going for 20 hours a day. I get 4 hours’ rest time every day but it’s likely that only two of those hours will be spent sleeping.
- Is this the toughest challenge you’ve done as of yet?
I’d say so yeah, I thought running 250 miles in 7 days was going to be hard to beat, but I think this one is going to be difficult. It’s just the length of time that I have to keep going for and the lack of sleep. I used to be in the royal marines and I spent a lot of time with very little sleep, I think the longest I went without sleep was about 4 days with no sleep – it doesn’t make you used to it, I don’t think you ever get used to not sleeping.
- Why did you choose Children in Need as the charity to fundraise for?
I like to change charities when I do a new challenge. I don’t have any affiliation with one specific charity and I like to choose a charity that I think is going to be worthwhile and really make a difference, I try to raise as much money as possible for the charity I choose.
- What’s your training regime like and how long do you have to train for a challenge like this?
I just try to train as often as I can, I still work full-time and I manage a running club which takes up about 8-10 hours of my training a week. For a lot of my challenges I choose not to train too hard, I want to show people that you can complete challenges like this without it consuming your life. For me personally, the challenges are only 10% physical, the rest of being to complete it is 90% mental. It’s not about what you can do, it’s about whether you can keep yourself going mentally.
- What do you do to prepare?
We’ll pack up the motor home in Bolton on the Saturday before the journey, then we travel to Land’s End on the Sunday. The main thing is to rest and eat as much as we can, and to keep hydrated. It’s important to save as much energy as possible for the challenge. During my challenge I eat as much real food as possible, Carrs Pasties, homemade cakes and flapjacks, pasta and all that sort of food. I need to make sure I get plenty of protein too so I’ll eat a lot of eggs and dairy products. To keep me hydrated I drink homemade glucose energy drinks and water.
- What made you choose to ride a Penny Farthing?
I was cycling through Covent Garden in London on a Boris bike and this man on a penny farthing just came absolutely flying round the corner and at the time I was trying to think of my next challenge. So I went to the pub, had a pint and started googling how to buy a penny farthing, how to ride a penny farthing – and within an hour or so I’d come up with my next challenge.
- Had you been on a penny farthing before you decided to do this challenge – if not how long did it take to learn how to ride?
I’d never been on one before, I was a bit nervous but it was easier than I thought it was going to be. I’ve done a lot of cycling before anyway, so getting on the bike was okay, but getting off the bike took a bit of getting used to.
- What will you do to celebrate finishing your challenge?
I’ve planned the challenge so that I can finish at midday on Saturday, then I can have a nap and a bath and get to the pub in the evening. So that’s my immediate celebration, but we’re also going to be having a big party which will be part of the fundraising and will be a few weeks after the event.
- Can you give us a quick run-down of your journey plan?
The exact route hasn’t been finalised yet but were leaving Land’s End at 6pm on Monday 3rd July. Our first stop is going to be 4pm on Tuesday 4th in Taunton which is around 179 miles away. Then from Taunton we arrive in Knutsford which is 224 miles away. We leave Knutsford at 8pm on Wednesday 5th and then arrive at small village called Abington in Scotland which is about 200 miles away at 4pm the following day. At 8pm on the Thursday we leave Abington to arrive in Inverness on the Friday which is about 200 miles away. Then we go from Inverness to John O’Groats.
- How can people keep up to date with your journey?
During the journey I’ve got a live tracker so I can be seen at all times on a map, I’ll post the link on my social media pages. The best way to keep up to date with my journey is on Facebook, but we’re also active on Twitter and Instagram too and will be posting on all three throughout the 5 days on the road.
If you’d like to help Rich raise 10 thousand pounds for Children in Need you can donate via the Challenge Rich Just Giving Page.
Boosting workplace morale and getting staff to be enthusiastic about their work is often overlooked by companies. For us, our fantastic staff are the reason that we’re able to produce our delicious products and run our shops, so when we decided to move our staffroom it was essential that we created a place where our staff could relax, catch up and enjoy their break.
We enlisted the help of Whitespace who helped us create a space that was bright and comfortable, a place that promotes positivity in the workplace. Whitespace worked with us to design an inspiring environment – they installed new office furniture, soft seating to form a breakout area, a fully functioning kitchen and refurbished washroom facilities. We combined this with newly painted walls, flooring, and lighting to further enhance our working environment.
A well-planned workspace is said to boost morale by a whopping 60 per cent, so it was something we were really keen to get right, and with the help of Whitespace we believe we’ve created somewhere that our staff can really enjoy.
We can’t believe how fast this year is going – it’s Easter already! Whether you’re having an Easter gathering or you just fancy a pasty – below you’ll find the opening times for our 4 shops over the Easter period. If you’d like to place an order please call our bakery on 01204 387 117 and our customer service team will be happy to help.
We hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend!
Can you believe that it’s the end of the year already? We don’t know where the time has gone!
2016 has been a very big year for us at Carrs Pasties; we’ve made more pasties than we’ve ever made before, we’ve taken part in two festivals – and of course we’ve opened our fantastic new shop. So, we thought we’d take a look back at some of our best bits!
Supporting local charities
Taking part in the Midnight Memories walk was a highlight for us, not only did some of our team complete the walk – we also gave out pasties at the finish line. To find out how much we raised you can read our blog post here: http://www.carrspasties.co.uk/blog/raised-1000-bolton-hospice/
Of course, we can’t forget about the amazing Yellow and Blue Day for Bolton Lads and Girls Club or the opening of the new Hacken Lane facility. Two great events that helped make a difference to young people in Bolton.
Bolton Food Festival
What a weekend that was! It was our first ever food festival and we loved every minute. Our stall was so well received we even ran out of pasties at one point (don’t worry, we had more on the way so we didn’t run out for long!) and we loved meeting so many of you. We also got to try the delicious food on offer too!
Bolton Beer Festival
It was such a privilege to be a part of the famous Bolton Beer Festival. We had a great four nights at the Macron and it was lovely to see you all enjoying your pasty and peas (or a pasty barm) after trying all of the delicious beers available.
Our new shop
An excellent way to end the year was by opening our new shop. Located just outside of the Market Place Shopping Centre, it’s in the perfect location for lunch if you work in town or if you’re feeling peckish while shopping. We’re so proud of its transformation, it was an empty shell with a hole in the wall but now it looks shiny and smart! Our new team have settled in perfectly too.
Branching out of Bolton
Customers can now get Carrs Pasties outside of Bolton, in Ashton Market (Bunz), Worsley(Ogden’s Sweet Emporium), Arnside (Rambler’s Café), Blackpool (Pie’s the Limit), Bury Market (Gelatos) and we’re sure we’re going to be available in more areas across the North West in 2017 too.
We started working on our video content
This year we’ve had some very exciting meetings with Sitcom Soldiers – the company who produced our pasty video. We’ve had so much fun coming up with ideas for videos and we can’t wait for you all to see them. We hope you liked our first pasty video too (if you’ve not seen it yet, you can find it here). You can be sure to expect some more videos from us in 2017. Watch this space.
We’ve made a lot of pasties…
We’ve supplied pasties to people all over Bolton throughout 2016 – including hospitals, schools, health centres, churches, parties, weddings, meetings, training days and charity events. It’s been busier than ever. This year we’ve made around 66,000 products a week – that’s nearly 3.5 million products throughout the year. So, it’s been a pretty busy year for us. We’re predicting that 2017 is going to be even busier!
We just want to say a massive thank you to all of you for your support this year. For commenting, liking and sharing our posts on social media, for visiting our shops and queueing for your pasties (sometimes in the rain) and for generally just being great!
We hope you all have a fantastic New Year and we wish you all the best for 2017.
‘Tis the season to be jolly!
Here’s when you can get yourself a Carrs Pasty over the Christmas period. We’ve listed the Christmas opening times for each of our shops below. If you’d like to collect a dozen or more pasties please call us on 01204 387 117 and we’ll have them ready for you when you arrive at your chosen shop. Perfect for Christmas party food!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!
If you live in Swinton, Worsley or Salford and you’re a fan of Carrs Pasties then you’re in for a treat – family-run business, Ogden’s Sweet Emporium is now selling our meat and potato, cheese and onion and steak pasties and our sausage rolls.
Andrew and Vicki Ogden opened the shop in May 2013 and have been selling sweets, ice creams, Slush Puppies and hot drinks to the community for nearly 4 years. They’re now adding to their services and will be baking off our products fresh on the premises!
Andrew and Vicki decided to open the sweet shop to offer people in the community a place to go to get sweets that aren’t available in the supermarkets.
Vicki said: “There were three sweet shops when I was younger and unfortunately none of them are here anymore. There aren’t many traditional sweet shops around now and most people just go to the supermarket, we’ve got four children and so we wanted to bring the magic of a sweet shop back to allow them and everyone else in the community to experience a traditional sweet shop.”
You might wonder why a successful sweet shop would want to sell pasties. With so much on offer already, including Frederick’s Ice Cream flavours that are perfect for the summer months, Andrew and Vicki wanted to offer customers something warm to eat in the winter months too. They had heard a lot of good things about Carrs Pasties before, although never tried one themselves but once they tasted the products they knew it was right for their business.
Keith, our ‘Customer Service Guy’ visited the shop to show Andrew and Vicki how to bake our frozen products the same way that we do – the Carr’s way. Ogden’s Sweet Emporium has an outside seating area and is currently filled with Halloween decorations that look brilliant. Andrew and Vicki have said we can expect the same festive efforts for Christmas too. We can’t wait!
For the first time ever, we took part in the famous Bolton Beer Festival – and what a weekend it was! This year it took place in a new location, the Premier Suite at the Macron Stadium and we were more than excited to be a part of it. With over 200 beers, ciders and wines available, live music and delicious food on offer (including pasties, hot dogs, pulled pork and curry) it was sure to be a good weekend.
We sold pasties on all four evenings from Wednesday – Saturday and each day people were happy to see us which was great. Pasty and a pint is the perfect combination, right?
Before we could even sell any pasties and talk to you all, we had to set up first and it’s not as easy as it looks! It took us at least two days to fully set up the stall– from setting up the pop up stand and moving tables to ensuring sure we had enough room for our pie warmers and making sure the stall looked the part!
We kicked off our first time at the Bolton Beer Festival on Wednesday 12th October and it was great to see so many of you welcome us. People came from all over the UK – some from Essex, London and even New Zealand and enjoyed a drink (or five) after work (we’re sure there were some sore heads on Thursday morning). It was great to see people who had never tried a pasty before taste one for the first time – and of course, the pasty barms went down a treat!
Overall we sold over 1,500 pasties and lots of mushy peas, and £1 of every purchase will be donated to the fantastic Bolton Lads and Girls Club.
We had a brilliant weekend at the Bolton Beer Festival and we hope you all did too! Let us know what your favourite drink was in the comments below.
This weekend has been super busy for us, in addition to delivering over 3,000 pasties to events all over Bolton on Friday and Saturday, we also attended a fancy awards ceremony and a colourful fundraising event.
The Bolton Active Sports Awards 2016
Friday 16th September
What a fantastic night we had! We were lucky enough to be asked to sponsor the Coach of the Year category and although all the candidates were fantastic, it was Jemma Entwistle that really stood out to us, so well done Jemma on all your hard work this year – what an amazing achievement.
We’d also like to say a huge well done to all the nominees and winners at the Bolton Active Sports Awards, you all make such a difference to the community and should be really proud of what you do – keep up the good work. Also, a big thank you to Sport in Bolton who organised an incredible event.
The Bolton Hospice Bubble Rush 2016
Sunday 18th September 2016
Sunday saw Bolton’s Queens Park fill with nearly 1,000 people all raising money for Bolton Hospice by running 5k through different coloured bubble stations. Families, friends and individuals of all ages took part in the event and were happy to be covered in blue, green, yellow and pink coloured foam. We set up early on Sunday morning ready to sell pasties to fundraisers and supporters from 10am. We’ll be donating some of the money raised from the pasties to Bolton Hospice too. The weather was beautiful and everyone enjoyed themselves, it was a great atmosphere.
Keith O’Hara (you may also know him as Frank…) said: “We had a brilliant weekend; it was a privilege to be a part of two fantastic events in Bolton. The atmosphere was amazing and everyone was in high spirits at both events.”
Did you attend the Bolton Active Sports Awards? Or maybe you took part in the Bolton Hospice Bubble Rush? Let us know what you thought of the events in the comments below.
This year we took part in our first ever food festival, but it wasn’t any old food festival – it was the famous Bolton Food and Drink Festival. Festival organisers hoped for 200,000 people, but this year it welcomed a whopping 250,000 visitors to the town centre where there are stalls, activities and entertainment available over the course of the August bank holiday weekend. And it was fantastic!
While the actual event is the fun part, it takes months of planning to take part in a food festival, from choosing which products to sell, to finding staff that want to take part – there’s a lot to think about.
Then of course, there’s the set-up process. We went down to our stall on Thursday afternoon where it took a few hours to set up our equipment, ensuring that everything was sparkling clean and in the right place ready for the start of the festival on Friday.
Keith O’Hara, also known as Frank the Pasty Man, also known as Festival Manager was on the stall every day ensuring everything was running smoothly and of course, taking time to pose for the occasional picture…
Friday was our first day, we had Sue and Linzi serving and we didn’t know what to expect from the day, but the weather was beautiful and the atmosphere kicked off the festival perfectly. It was definitely busier than we expected, and with so much fantastic food available – such as paella, burgers and cakes, it was great to see that people still wanted to eat our pasties. We sold our first pasty at 10am on the dot! Of course, it wouldn’t be right to attend such a famous food festival without trying some of the food on offer, would it? We had some delicious churros which were covered in melted chocolate, fresh whipped cream and strawberries. We also met celebrity TV chef Michael Caines MBE which was very exciting!
Saturday was a fantastic day, with Joe and Joanna serving on the stall it was busy from the very start and we didn’t stop serving pasties all day. The atmosphere was great with plenty of entertainment throughout the day – Joe even got involved in some dancing. It rained a little in the afternoon but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, we still had a great time.
After two excellent days, Sunday didn’t disappoint, we had Helen, Katie and Vanessa on the stall, Helen’s daughter Poppy helped out too and what a star she was! We also got some fancy new bunting which we loved – although as you can see from the pictures it didn’t exactly stay in place.
Bank holiday Monday was brilliant. We had Julie (who’s worked for Carrs Pasties for nearly 40 years), Nicole and Laura on the stall and we sold more pasties than any other day so it was super busy. We also had some tasty pizza from Stateside Foods and some Ferrero Roche Flavour ice cream from Holden’s Ice Cream to cool us down.
We handed out tastings on each day which all went down a treat with festival visitors and it was good to see what people who’d never tried our pasties thought of our products.
So what did we think?
We had a fantastic four days, it couldn’t have gone better for us. We loved every minute of it and we’re so sad that it’s over now.
Our best bits?
Meeting the talented celebrity TV chef Michael Caines MBE, dancing with the fabulous waiters of Mark Mark Productions and of course, seeing all of you!
Will we do it again?
Absolutely, we’d love to do it next year, bigger and better.
Our busiest day?
All four days were busier than we expected them to be but Monday was by far the busiest. We had sold out of pasties and sausage rolls at the end of the day!
Overall, we had an amazing four days and we want to say thank you to everyone that visited our stall. We hope you all enjoyed the weekend as much as we did!
Did you attend this year’s food and drink festival? What was your favourite part?