Written by Will Lee, Wholly Gelato
“As small businesses, we often feel so stretched in terms of time, resource, energy, capability, often all at the same time. Though we go about our work with a passion and a determination to see our products thrive and sales soar, all too often it can result in us feeling as if we are in some sort of “bubble,” inadvertently exiled from anything “non-business” related. For our dairy farm business, we have come to the end of a busy summer season, straight into autumn calving and preparations for the opening of our new gelato bar in Gloucester Food Dock – probably about as much of a “bubble” as you can imagine.
Which is why our visit to some of Gloucestershire Gateway Trust’s community partners was exactly what we needed at exactly the right time. Spending the day hearing about some of the most inspiring and worthwhile causes in different communities across our city, and seeing just how much is happening, really propelled us from our day-to-day worries and opened our eyes to some of the most generously kind and hard-working people, striving to make lives better for those of all ages and stages, in times of great need and uncertainty. At multiple points throughout the day, Emily and I turned to each other and remarked how important we felt this day was to focus us away from our usual day to day concerns, and open our eyes to the far more legitimate concerns and needs of others – truly humbling.
Though we knew of the partnership Gloucester Services had with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust, we were not totally aware of just how deep and enduring that connection was. Growing up in Gloucester, we can recall the initial outcry when the services was first proposed – but to hear of the way in which the local community in Matson (and wider) really fought for the concept, and to see what the concept has transpired to be, shows the value of perseverance in the face of opposition.
We have always felt proud to be a Gloucester Services supplier. The values that the Westmorland Family promote are so tangible for all the many hundreds of businesses that are privileged enough to see their products and wares on the shelves – but to know of just how impactful the sales are for the partners that we visited and the people they support, makes us feel doubly proud of the relationship. As a Christian business, we have always tried to follow the mantra of “be blessed to bless others.” Yet there can be no clearer example than in that which we were privileged to see on the day we came out of our bubble.
We would so encourage other businesses (when given the opportunity) to visit these amazing teams and places – as businesses we can always learn from others around us, and the values with which they go about what they do. This is one of the most valuable and important things we have done this year – we wish all partners every success with all ongoing projects and initiatives.”
Wholly Gelato were also joined by several other Gloucester Services producers, including The Artisan Baker, Non Solo Pasta and Gloucester Biltong, along with colleagues from Gloucester Services and several members of the Westmorland Buying Team. Together, the group ventured around the city visiting a number of our brilliant community partners including The Ewe Space, GL Communities, Play Gloucestershire, Fair Shares and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, providing the opportunity for them to see first hand the direct impact selling their produce at Gloucester Services has on the local community.
Gloucestershire Gateway Trust receives up to 3p in every £1 of non-fuel sales from Gloucester Services to invest in our local communities.