Keep up to date with the latest news and adventures of Carrs Pasties – from new shops to coverage of the brilliant events we attend.
It was our second year at the famous Bolton Beer Festival and as expected – it was fantastic.
The event is held at the premier suite at the Macron Stadium and has over 200 beers and ciders available in addition to wines, gins and plenty of fizz. We sold our famous meat and potato pasties, cheese pasties and steak pasties, as well as our new cheese and jalapeño pasties, pasty barms and pasty and peas. All perfect with a pint!
We were there every day from Wednesday to Saturday and every day our pasties were met with such a brilliant response, with people genuinely happy to see us there and excited to eat our products. We’re hoping it wasn’t the beer talking…
We enjoy doing events like this because it means that we get to speak to lots of you and we get to hear your feedback which is useful to us. It’s important to us to hear which of our products is your favourite and what you would improve about each of them. Our new cheese and jalapeño pasties went down a treat at the Bolton Beer Festival and pasty barms were a firm favourite. We love seeing people who aren’t from Bolton try a pasty barm for the first time – it might sound like a weird combo if you’re not a Boltonian but it’s definitely delicious and always goes down well.
Wednesday was launch night and Sponsor’s Hour from 6-7, although there was beer tasting and judging from 10am so lots of people were in need of a pasty by 6pm – so much so that we had people queuing before the pasties even arrived!
Thursday was fairly quiet – the England game was on and people were saving themselves for the weekend but we still sold out of pasties and it was still a great atmosphere.
Friday and Saturday were chock-a-block with people enjoying themselves, trying different beers and ciders (some were as high as 11%, so there were probably some sore heads). The bands were brilliant too, getting everyone up dancing and playing songs that we all know and love. Silk Group’s #silkybeerselfie gave people the opportunity to take some fab pictures and to be in with a chance of winning a phone case (unfortunately we didn’t win).
Although the Bolton Beer Festival is full of fun and we love doing it there’s also an important reason behind the event. All profits made from the event go to Bolton Lad’s and Girls Club, a fantastic club in Bolton that does so much to help young people aged 8-19. The funds will help to keep Bolton Lads and Girls Club open for the young people who can take part in activities, sports and have a safe place to go. We’re patrons of the club and we couldn’t be prouder.
We can’t wait to see you all at next year’s festival!
Did you go to the Bolton Beer Festival this year? What was your favourite drink on offer?
On Friday 22 September 2017 we opened our brand new bakery shop. It took a lot of planning and preparation (as you can imagine) but we are so pleased with the end results.
Our bakery shop hasn’t been refurbished since it opened in 1975. So after 42 years, we decided that it needed to be bigger, brighter and it deserved a modern makeover.
When the car wash next door to our bakery went up for sale, we immediately saw an opportunity – it was the perfect place for our new shop – the right size and located next to our bakery.
We enlisted the help of local Bolton companies to work on the shop – there’s so much talent within Bolton that there was no need for us to look elsewhere. We would like to thank all our project partners for their hard work on the shop – it’s been a pleasure working with such talented and enthusiastic people.
We wanted the new shop to be big enough so that customers wouldn’t have to queue outside (sometimes people even queued in the rain). We wanted to have enough room to display our products in the shop too so that customers can see what delicious products we sell.
After months of hard work we opened the doors to our new bakery shop on Friday 22 at 10am. It was humbling to see customers queuing up early for the opening. The shop was opened by the chairman, John Carr and our longest serving member of staff, Julie Gorse.
How did we celebrate?
To celebrate our opening we gave our first 250 customers a free pasty voucher on both Friday and Saturday which went down a treat. We also had a brilliant band – The King Brasstards play on Friday which made everyone who walked past smile and it created a great atmosphere on Manchester Road throughout the day!
Thank you to everyone who came down for the opening weekend and to everyone who has wished us well on social media – we hope you’re as pleased with the new shop as we are.
If you do have any feedback on our products or our shops please let us know, it’s important for us to hear what our customers think.
Carrs Pasties Available on Match Days at the Macron Stadium
We are very excited to announce that as sponsors of Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Carrs Pasties will now be available in the Macron Stadium on match days.
A limited amount of our original meat and potato pasty will be sold at selected outlets in the lower tiers of the ground – the Carrs Pasties North Stand, Bolton Kier West Stand and the Nat Lofthouse (East) stand – they’ll sell out fat so get there quickly!
We are proud to sponsor the town’s football team, and to sell pasties in the ground is amazing too.
Those in the family stand will also have the opportunity to enter the Goals=Pasties competition where you can write your name, row and seat number in the minute you think there will be a goal, if the first goal of the game is in your minute you’ll win a prize.
You may also spot Lofty Junior in a Carrs Pasties coat…
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!