Well, that was a year none of us will forget in a hurry wasn't it....?
Obviously Coronavirus has dominated everything this year, and has made life really unsettling and difficult for everyone. The obvious negatives aren't hard to see of course, but it's also possible to see a few changes that (even if they only turn out to be temporary) have been surprisingly positive for many people.
As we've retreated to our homes and immediate neighbourhoods, lots of us have 'rediscovered' our local areas and found simple pleasures in things that might have previously seemed a bit mundane. Being unable to travel or eat out has meant that cooking great food at home has become the highlight of the day for many. Creating something delicious from scratch, and having the time and energy to try something new has been something to look forward to every day, get excited about and enjoy both the process and (hopefully!) the end result.
The resultant boom in home-cooking has had a huge effect on the market as a whole, and we've certainly been lucky enough to gain thousands of new customers this year who'd never heard of us before. It's been incredibly hard work for everybody at the Spicery keeping up with all these sudden and unexpected changes, but seeing all your Wall of Fame photos and sensing how much joy and pleasure you've experienced from using our products has really inspired us and kept us all going here this year.
A few Spicery highlights from 2020:
• We welcomed over 60,000 new subscribers this year including over 5000 from the USA!
We've taken on 8 more full-time staff (including recipe and product developers so we'll be able to produce even more new recipes in the coming months)
•We increased our entry-level wages to 9.50/hour for all temps and under-25s in line with the real living wage (which we've always paid even before the official campaign started in 2011)
•ALL our spicestore ingredients are now packed in compostable woodpulp bags with resealable paper labels (although some very fine spice powders still seem to occasionally leak a bit in transit so an update to follow!)
• And although we didn't have much chance to work with our charity partner Bristol Refugee Rights this year (no outside visitors allowed in the building), we did donate hundreds of ingredients and recipes to both Bristol Food Union and Feeding Bristol to help with their projects
Even when things do go back to something more like 'normality' in 2021 (or maybe 2022....), we've still got plans for loads of exciting new products to make cooking at home even more fun and enjoyable- keep an eye on upcoming spicemails for details.
Thanks again for your ongoing support and for being so patient and understanding with all the challenges we've faced this year. Let's all hope for a successful, but slightly less dramatic 2021!
James (Spicery founder and owner)
Read our previous annual reports!