Location:
Community Blog

Celebrating a 50-year milestone with a local producer

16 November 2018

By Ell Hopton, Marketing Officer

It’s not every day you celebrate a 50th Anniversary. And it’s certainly not every day you can celebrate growing and supplying local produce for 50 years.

Since 1968, local growers Lloyd and Grace Le Gresley have been supplying our stores with radishes, beetroots, and onions.

Lloyd Le Gresley stringing onions by hand

You may recognise the Le Gresley’s onions from our Jersey stores – they are distinctive for being hand-strung by Lloyd.

We thought this fantastic achievement needed to be celebrated.  

So ever since Grace bumped into our CEO, Colin Macleod, at Jersey’s West Show in the summer, we’ve been planning a surprise celebration of this half-century partnership.

On Wednesday the 31 October, we invited Lloyd to our offices to view some photographs for our Belonging is Everything campaign.

Unbeknownst to Lloyd, we had in fact decked out our board room for a surprise party!

Grace and Lloyd Le Gresley arrive at the surprise party with Colin Macleod

Lloyd and Grace were greeted by all the smiling faces of their family (some of whom had flown in especially from London), and a bespoke cake depicting Lloyd and Grace harvesting produce in their fields.

The Le Gresley's celebration cake, by Ceri's Cakes

The cake was made by local business, Ceri’s Cakes.

During the celebrations, Lloyd, Grace and Co-op colleagues shared stories of the last 50 years.

Colin Macleod said, “I can remember Lloyd delivering to stores 28 years ago when I had just started, and now they are familiar faces to our colleagues and customers.”

Lloyd said, “It doesn’t seem like 50 years! I remember my first deliveries to the Co-op – it was always a challenge to find out where to deliver to, as each store was different.”

Lloyd and Grace pose for a photo with Co-op CEO Colin Macleod

It was also a privilege to talk to Grace about how the business started from a hobby. She had always had an interest in gardening, so one year Lloyd bought her a gardening book. From there, Grace started growing produce and supplying local hotels.

Gradually the business expanded into what it is today – a full time career for both wife and husband!

We’re proud to work closely with many local producers in Jersey and Guernsey, like the Le Gresleys. We know that buying local supports our economy and helps care for our environment, which is why we actively look to stock our shelves with local products.

The Le Gresley family at the 50-year celebration with the Co-op

To celebrate this astounding milestone with Lloyd, Grace and two generations of their family was truly inspiring.

Their passion for what they do, and their dedication to protecting the local environment is infectious. We hope to celebrate many more 50-year partnerships with local suppliers in the future!

 

Photo credit: Callum Thorne Film and Photography