Cranstons’ Penrith shop team have said farewell to a team member after more than 30 years with the business.
Cynthia Holmes, known as Cyn, is retiring having served customers in the traditional butchers shop on King Street Penrith for over three decades.
Deputy managing director Martin Jones expressed his thanks for the huge contribution she has made to the shop.
“Cyn has been a wonderful part of the Penrith shop team and I know our King Street customers will miss her bright and friendly manner,” he said.
“On behalf of everyone at Cranstons I would like to thank her for her hard work and dedication throughout the years and to wish her a very happy retirement.”
Cyn started at Penrith King Street in the summer of 1989.
Back then Cranstons food halls had not been conceived and the company consisted of the King Street shop, the original shop in Kirkoswald and two delivery vans.
Brothers Philip and Roger Cranston both ran the business but their parents Jimmy and Bunty were still active in the business popping in to say hello and see how things were running.
Cyn reflects that things were a little different.
“At that point there was no sophisticated till system, you had to know all the prices by heart and tally up people’s shopping on a bit of paper — you had to be really sharp with your maths!
“There was no food hall on Ullswater Road so Christmases were staggeringly busy, I remember one year when the queue for order collection stretched all the way down King Street to the zebra crossing.
“You couldn’t move in the big fridge at the back of the shop which was packed full of stacks of turkeys.
“The product range was completely different too, we sold all the simple cuts for people to cook from scratch at home and the range was much smaller — a far cry from all the barbecue products and delicatessen products people now associate with Cranstons.”
When the Cumbrian Food Hall opened in 2003 some of the team relocated to work in the bigger site on Ullswater Road, but Cyn chose to stay at King Street.
“I love the traditional nature of our shop on King Street and the rapport the smaller environment allows you to build up with customers.
“I have been serving some of these faces their whole lifetime.
“They would come in with their mothers as kids for a shop and now they are coming in with their own little ones. It’s lovely to have that continuity.”
When asked what she will miss most Cyn said: “The camaraderie in the shop and the customers, I am a people person and love serving people, we have had many a giggle and shared stories you couldn’t print!
“I’d like to express my gratitude to Robert (Henderson) in particular — he’s been a great deal more than a boss and I know I will remain close with him, his partner Coral and their lovely family.”
Shop manager and master butcher Robert Henderson said: “The whole team will really miss Cyn, she has been a wonderful colleague throughout the years and a great friend.
“We look forward to welcoming her on the other side of the counter as a customer and to hearing about her retirement.
“I have no doubt she will keep herself busy and enjoy the extra time with her husband, daughters and grandchildren.”