Advantages Sandwiches, and sausage rolls from heaven!
Disadvantages Sometimes the donuts are a bit small.
|Value for money|
|Layout & presentation|
|Selection & range|
|In store customer service|
Gregg's was founded as a family bakery business on Tyneside in the 1930's by John Gregg. But it was only when John Gregg passed away during 1964, that under the careful supervision of Ian Gregg, the son of the deceased, the business truly began to flourish and develop. He embarked on an ambitious expansion plan, which would see multiple stores opening - first in the north east, and then finally the entire country. Carrying on with the family tradition the business ensured that all produce was baked fresh, and it line with that particular part of the countries heritage (such as stotties in the north east.)It was 1972 when Gregg's first expanded abroad, with Gregg's of Rutherglen opening in Scotland. And by 1984, with each individual shop based on the principle of good, freshly baked food, there were a total of 261 shops across four divisions and Gregg's, now an internationally recognized icon, finally made the decision to float onto the stock exchange.
Growth continued over the next 10 years, with further shops opening in both already well established divisions of England and the additional acquisition of new regions. By 1994 the company had grown to have seven regional divisions operating more than 500 shops. The acquisition of the retail bakery interests of Allied Bakeries Ltd enabled them to venture into new geographic markets and the conversion of 90 of these shops in South and West London created their eighth regional division - Gregg's of Twickenham (which was recently merged with Gregg's of Enfield to create Gregg's south east.) The final piece of the Gregg's jigsaw was the purchase of Birketts, a family bakery business in the Lake District, to create Gregg's of Cumbria.Since then Gregg's has developed into the most widely known, best established, value for money bakery to ever bless out streets, with over 1000 stores nationwide. Thank god for John Gregg or I would never have had the pleasure of tasting 'The Gregg's Sausage Roll.'
Back to the year 2006 and in particular Eastcote high street, where I live, and where there happens to be a rather conveniently placed Gregg's. There is of course also a Gregg's in Ruislip, Ruislip manor, Uxbridge (all places near where I am situated,) in fact there seems to be a Gregg's hiding on every street known to man. However the Gregg's in question I pass every morning on the way to school, and what would I do without it? I must know the menu better than the hospitals (anyone who gets to know me will quickly learn what I mean by that.) And I have come to love the authentic British taste that oozes out of every aspect of Gregg's.When passing I will often pop in for a steak melt, or a sausage roll or a sandwich. In fact, it is very rarely that I will purchase something sweet. Unlike the majority of modern bakeries, Gregg's business is at least 2/3 based on savories.
Before my long awaited and expected hormonal teenage diet, the customer service at Gregg's was impeccable. My regular visits initiated a friendly, almost mother to daughter like relationship with the woman - Grace I think her name was, who worked the morning shift on weekdays. We would exchange a quick chat about exams or whatever was on my mind, and I never had a problem with incorrect change or anything formal like that. The customer service was almost part of the Gregg's experience. Then, after the diet, and the realization that I could eat cr*p as long as it wasn't a regular thing I returned, only to be greeted with the knowledge that Grace had been fired. I still do not know why, but it wasn't so much loosing the old staff that irritated me, although obviously it upset me slightly, it was meeting the new staff. God what a b*tch, from the moment I met her it was blatantly obvious that she had a problem with me, and although I managed to act politely around her, it took all my willpower not to do something very vindictive, and very evil, which I will not explain as there may be small children reading this review. I spoke to friends and a few people who I know shop at Gregg's and they complained of the same problem, so after she had been working there for less than 6 months, she disappeared mysteriously, this may or may not have had something to do with my chat to the manager about her less than friendly service. But im happy to say her replacement was fine and I have had no problems since.Gregg's stock a wide range of sandwiches, ranging from the more conventional tuna mayo, chicken salad and BLT to somewhat stranger combinations. I think I have even seen a chicken tika and cheese once! Not only do they sell a wide range of fillings, but also of breads. Crescent shaped whole meal sandwiches, triangular white (perfect for fussy children,) French bread sandwiches. You name, Gregg's will stock it and more. I am certain about the freshness of these as I have watched them being made individually by members of staff in the morning. Their freshness guaranties their absolute delectable taste. Almost definitely among the best I have eaten, and I'm a sandwich freak so that really is a compliment. They also cater for people who would like to not just pick up a sandwich off the shelf, but choose exactly what they want in it, including whether or not they want butter/mayo. There is no extra cost for this which I think is fantastic. The only complaint I would have is that I once or twice have found a bone in my chicken sandwiches, although this is not a major problem, I found it considerately annoying. Prices range from roughly £1.15 - £2.00, although I know this will vary in different stores nationwide, all though this may not be perceived as amazing at first, when you are aware that a soggy equivalent from budgens costs generally 40% higher, it suddenly becomes a lot more favorable.
I have never actually purchased a loaf of bread from Gregg's, being a supermarket shopper, but I can clearly see from behind the counter that they offer a superb variety. And from word of mouth it certainly receives an at least decent rating.Gregg's are the proud founders of so many original ideas for sweet treats, updating some of the old cakes, and selling the ones we love best at exceptional quality. They concentrate mainly on donuts, and through the years I have seen at least 15 to 20 different forms of donuts be born, and eventually gain a respected place in bakery through the Gregg's name. First there is the traditional jam donut. Not only do they sell these individually, but they also sell them in packs of 5, and in packs of 20 (mini donuts.) I think when I was a lot younger I tried these, and from memory they were as good as any other common brand name donut or even small bakery businesses. They also sell ring donuts in the form of chocolate, pink icing, white icing, chocolate drops, sprinkled… you get the idea. And then just to add the icing to the cake (yes that was corny) they also sell caramel donuts, which is basically a jam donut but with a caramel filling and caramel icing covering the top. I don't usually like caramel, but these, like so much of Gregg's produce, were just special. One thing I strongly disagree with is the lack of chocolate donut (I get very angry when these aren't sold lol,) and although I can easily purchase them elsewhere, it is annoying having to alternate shops. Gregg does also sell all the other cakes you would expect, gingerbread men, chocolate éclairs and a whole range of other gorgeous cakes. Although they are indeed gorgeous, cakes were not what made Gregg's famous, and it shows. Because there are other places out there that sell much better quality sweet food. (Try 66 bakery is Ruislip manor if you're in town.)
And now we come to what is my eyes is Gregg's ultimate selling point, the savories. I'm deadly serious that if you have not tried a Gregg's sausage roll then you have not tasted real proper English grub, no, scrub that, you have not lived. Crunchy, yet still soft and succulent golden flakey crust, covering a tender, spicy (not sure why but it works well) juicy sausage. (OMG THAT SOUNDS WRONG!) I used to be addicted to these, it is worse than alcohol, it is worse than nicotine, I am surprised there are not yet Gregg's sausage roll support groups. Anyone who has had the privilege of tasting one will agree with me, I will bet my ipod nano on that. They also sell bakes. Steak bakes are by far the most popular, although I have never tasted one. And chicken bakes are my favourite, although cheese is following close behind. For the vegetarians out there vegetable bakes are also available, although you wouldn't get me eating one. And it wasn't until I walked through the door of Gregg's for the first time that I realized someone would be insane enough to conjure up and sausage and baked bean bake. I must admit I haven't been brave enough to try one, but It certainly sounds… interesting. Cornish pasties are also a firm favourite. The entire savory range is at the very least, heaven on earth.Gregg's also sell a SMALL range of crisps and chocolate, and drinks such as water and coke which are chilled to perfection. But if that's what you are looking for I wouldn't come here.
Gregg's really isn't for the health conscious, as apart from the breads and a few of the healthier sandwiches, they don't cater very well for people watching the carbs/calories. My only real concern with Gregg's is how quickly things tend to sell out. My mid day (I'm often very late for school,) all the sausage rolls are gone, and be 3:30 so are the bakes. But I guess that's just the living reminder of how popular Gregg's are, and always will be. I've said it before and I'll say it again, all praise the Gregg's Bakery.For more information on the history of Gregg's and their ethics and beliefs visit www.greggs.co.uk
xXx© aestro 2006
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