Two weeks ago today marked 9 months since we opened our doors. It wasn’t quite the celebratory mood for us, with growing uncertainty around Covid-19 and social distancing coming into place.
Luckily, we’ve been inundated with the most wonderful messages of support and thanks and, with the mornings a little brighter and blossoms beginning to burst, we’re feeling pretty positive about the future.
Our team whatsapp chat is more active then it’s ever been but I know some of you will be missing our gang. And shamefully, we’ve never properly introduced you to them since we opened (slap my wrist)…
So this is me putting that right – say hello to The Chopping Block family!
Our Founder and Head Chopper.
Chris lives just outside Penrith with his wife Ruth, four young boys and Tess the dog. Originally from the North East and a Shearer lover for life (up the Toon), his favourite drink in the entire world is a well pulled pint of beer, supped next to a roaring fire. Add a bag of crisps and he’s in heaven! His oldest drew this picture to celebrate our 6 month anniversary back in December. I particularly enjoy how much our logo is featured – very on brand!
The Mother Hen and hater of goats’ cheese.
Jackie is our Deli Queen and the kindest woman you’ll meet. She’s worked in Penrith her entire life and if she’s not in the shop, you’ll find her hanging out with her family or bricking it over the imminent arrival of twin Grandchildren.
Wine is her poison and if she had a super power, she’d love to read people’s minds… I’ll let you take from that what you will.
Our Chef and DIY extraordinaire.
Scott moved up to the Lakes last year to restore a beautiful farmhouse. When he’s not whipping up delicious seasonal treats in our kitchen, he’s hanging out with his wife and baby son, taking the dog on a long walk or plastering yet another room in the house. You’ll often hear his eclectic music coming from the café kitchen – who listens to Fleetwood Mac followed by something usually heard in Berlin techno clubs?!
The Butcher and our resident neat-freak.
Jonny lives with his wife and baby daughter just south of Penrith and is the newest addition to our team – we’re incredibly lucky to have him. His butchery skills are absolutely phenomenal (check out his Instagram feed, it’s a feast for the eyes) but god forbid one of us moves things around in his meat chiller… life wouldn’t be worth living. He has a completely irrational hatred of cheese scones and his first panic buy was Tunnock’s Teacakes.
The one with the laugh.
You’ll know when Katie is in the shop – her laugh is utterly infectious and totally filthy. Hailing from Shap, you’ll often find her cooing over little babies (honestly, she’ll sniff them out and won’t leave you alone until she’s had a peek) or drinking tea so strong it makes my eyes water. You could stand a spoon up in it… disgusting.
Another hater of goats’ cheese and a fancy-dress master.
I would quite confidently say that Diane has the best stocked fancy-dress box in Cumbria. Fact. Any excuse to throw a wig on and she’s there! Friday is the best night in her house – the hubby cooks dinner and chips are always involved.
The gobby one.
Cassie juggles working with us and studying to be a paramedic. She has a heart of gold and I’ve witnessed her eat a steak quicker than anyone else I know – she basically inhaled it. A lover a Disney and the biggest windup in the team. Saturday close downs will always see her and Chris driving each other to distraction.
The youngest member of our gang and the best baker of biscuits around.
Little Robyn is one of the hardest working people I know – she doesn’t stop from the moment she comes in until we force her to leave. She often brings in delicious treats so if you see us ducking behind the counter with crumbs on our lips, you have her to blame!
Bethan joined our gang earlier this year and I’m just not sure how we used to get through Saturday afternoons without her! Hugely talented at football and taller than everyone else her age, her favourite animals are Giraffes because “they are clumsy and tall which I can definitely relate to”.
General dogsbody and hater of fake plants.
Brought up in the Midlands (don’t judge) she’s the one who’s always cold. When she’s not stocking shelves you’ll find her drinking copious amounts of red wine and desperately trying to persuade her partner to buy a puppy.
The one thing she couldn’t live without – “Yorkshire Tea. Long day? Have some tea. Just woken up? Have some tea. Can’t get warm at work… tea!”
Our resident charmer.
After a little break in Liverpool, he’s back with us until he disappears off to Uni in September. If you dare Ethan to do something, I can guarantee he’ll do it. Literally anything. He’s super fashionable, super charming and loves Pom Bears more than anyone I know.
The shop genius.Katie sadly isn’t around much since she started studying in Sheffield last year. She’s incredibly intelligent and has the most beautiful hair. Truly, if I could buy a wig that looks like her hair I’d have several knocking around the house!