Cranstons unveils new look Carlisle city centre shop
Cranstons has cut the ribbon - of sausage - at its latest food hall following a £200,000 revamp which has transformed it from a traditional butchers shop.
The firm has given its Carlisle city centre store, on Fisher Street, a makeover, its first for almost 20 years.
This shop - which is now similar to its existing food halls in Orton Grange and Brampton - retains its butchery and delicatessen and has expanded on the ready-to-eat food available. It also features a breakfast and lunch takeaway area and more local produce, including lines popular in the company's other stores.
The event was celebrated today with staff handing out glasses of prosecco and free samples of produce.
It will showcase products from more than 30 local suppliers and is also licensed to sell wine and ale from Cumbrian breweries.
The firm has introduced a special mark which simply says 'I'm Cumbrian' where produce from the county is sold.
Barry Pearson, the store manager, who has worked there for 30 years, said: "This is wonderful, it is really, really nice. It is spacious and fresh and I have had great feedback from customers.
"We have lots of new things. It was quite old-fashioned before and now we are up to date."
The shop employs 30 full and part-time staff. It has remained open over the last five weeks and Mr Pearson praised his team for keeping going during the refit.
He added: "If customer needs change, we change with them, we do not sit still."
Charles Watt, the company's finance director, said: "I think this looks fantastic. It was a worthwhile investment."
Several of the firm's suppliers - old and new - were at the opening.
David Dickinson, a farmer from Canonbie who has supplied Cranstons with beef for 30 year, said: "They always keep up to date with everything."
Mel Dixon, meanwhile, runs the Gingerbread Bakery in Currock, Carlisle and has been supplying the shop for three weeks.
She said: "I only set up my business in November. The shop is great, I like the fact that is full of things from local suppliers."
Justine Carruthers, who runs cake firm Traybakes in Penrith, added: "I have been supplying Cranstons for years and this refit is fantastic."