Today at The Secluded Tea Party, I have a guest blog post from the Chief Scone maker at The English Cream Tea Company, Jane Malyon.
Based in Saffron Walden, Jane posts out her fabulous Afternoon Tea Packages to your office or home for any occasion.
I have loved every photo she has posted on Facebook & Twitter throughout the summer, especially of her customers enjoying their afternoon tea at the races and on civilised picnics across the country. It's such a fabulous idea and Jane's passion shines through, giving afternoon tea and the home made tea the justice it deserves.
She has even broken a world record, hosting the largest cream tea which will be featured in the 2013 Guinness World Records, I love her work!
Of all the gifts in the world, the exciting, beautifully wrapped arrival at your door of a perfect afternoon tea hamper, must surely rate amongst the best! For a start, who’s expecting that? Yes, we’ve all seen ‘normal’ hampers - but how many people have opened up a courier-delivered box to find chilled, ready-to-eat goodies plus some charming items to keep too? Well, we’ve been preparing and sending out hampers that are so unique, delicious and n-i-c-e, people sometimes CRY on opening it! Good cry that is, not bad cry. In fact, our hampers are described as a hug in a box. And that’s why we think every company should be sending these boxes out to their clients (and hey, why not to their staff too) - not to make them cry, but to show how treasured they are instead! In these challenging times, there’s nothing more important than showing clients and staff they’re special. We’re not talking the price of a cruise. We’re talking about giving a gift that represents a hug! How irresistible is that.
Think about it. Sending chocolates? It’s not the same. Flowers - not really unisex gifts. Bottles aren’t always ideal either (though they can form a nice addition to afternoon tea!). Nope. It has to be one of The English Cream Tea Hamper Boxes to show you care!
Actually, I’m not really being tongue in cheek. I wrote a blog called English Cream Tea Could Save The World - and I mean that too! It’s all about spending quality time in rapport with people...and sharing afternoon tea does just that. It’s the perfect vehicle for listening, smiling and creating memories.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of ‘old-fashioned’ behaviour in business either. I’ve written a book: Play Nicely! Best Behaviour in Business - and it’s all about returning to the ‘rules‘ or values we were taught as children. You know - all those things Mummies and Aunties etc drummed into us: share, play nicely, don’t tell lies, say you’re sorry etc. Well, recently I did a survey of the qualities we want to see in others with whom we do business...and not one person mentioned ‘cheap goods’. Everyone said words like Honesty, Integrity, Trustworthy-ness, Decency, Kindness and so on. It’s a big fat No to greed-based cheating and a giant Yes to nice-ness.
I also mention in the book that I still remember a meeting hubby and I went to over 25 years ago - memorable because it was so charming. It must have cost the business hosts all of £1 - yet what did they do that was THAT nice, it makes me smile to this day? They brought out piles of hot buttered toast with mugs of tea to share around a table together before getting on with business. Whilst they had me at ‘toast’, the actual key word there is ‘sharing’. It was a completely bonding experience and told us everything we needed to know about that company’s values. Awesome. And that’s one of the best thing about afternoon tea: it’s a sharing experience. Lunch, dinner - not the same. You get your plate of food and it’s just that, your plate of food. But afternoon tea hampers (ooh, and we make picnics too)....now you’re talking - literally! They require offering, smiling, sharing, eye contact, listening, chatting and being in rapport. And cakes and scones are all about treats! Who doesn’t want to be sent a treat that’s says ‘we care about you’?!
Indeed, if your business hasn’t handled something quite as well as you or your customer might have wished... then these hampers are the perfect ‘we’re sorry’. Really: perfect. The We’re Sorry Hampers can even come with a sweet little History of Sorry (can you name 10 songs with sorry in the title?!) that will make the recipient smile too. No-one can stay mad over fresh plump scones, clotted cream, jam, tasty sandwiches, cakes and pastries! And when they put the kettle on and sample the premium tea leaves we include (thanks to the two lovely lasses from Kandula Tea)...the world will be put to rights again.
So how are we helping businesses to say sorry, thank you, Happy Christmas, get well soon, welcome to England or just plain - we love you? Well, if they buy blocks of hampers from us at a time, then we’re branding the hamper boxes specifically to represent the sender’s company. No, they don’t have to send a block of hampers all at once...but just commit to buying the block - and in exchange, we’ll liaise with the business to brand each box with their corporate colours, logo and essence with tags, silky ribbon, images and even the colour of the teapot that’s included, if you wish!
Think of it as a joint venture. Well be delighted to work in partnership with any business that thinks it’s a good thing to show their clients they treasure them. Yes, we can get our boxes to all mainland UK...but let’s especially make this part of East Anglia the nicest place of all to do business. It will be our privilege.
(Chief Scone Gnome)
T. 01279 876661
NB - This is not an advertisement or paid blog post, it's purely support and love for fellow bloggers and business people that I allow them to post a "Guest Blog" post onto The Secluded Tea Party Blog. I love the diversity it brings and allows my lovely friends and followers to see and meet other passionate people who have the same love of tea, cake, blogging and business that I do.
Should you wish to submit a blog post, so long as it's fitting, I would be delighted to chat, just email Miss Sue Flay at firstname.lastname@example.org for a natter.
Please note, no sales-like emails will be tolerated or replied to, only interested & engaging parties welcome.