The end of the (financial) year in March 2022 sees us finally removing our masks, taking a deep breath and trying to adjust to whatever this new post-Covid reality might be…
Obviously it’s been a really tough time for everyone, but as a business we’ve been very lucky to have benefited from the changes in behaviour caused by the pandemic. Perhaps things will revert back to ‘normal' very soon, but it seems to us that the increased importance of cooking delicious, exciting food at home is one post-pandemic change that should stick!
Sales have grown to over £2.5 million so we’re scaling up plans for the future with lots of exciting new products on the way. Our growth also meant we didn’t take any government funding (bounceback loans or furlough payments), and in fact have speeded up supplier payments to less than 20 days on average now.
We increased entry-level wages in line with the Real Living Wage to £9.90/hour, and were thrilled to get a Highly Commended certificate at the BASE Awards (for providing work opportunities for people with disabilities).
We also celebrated Chris being the first Spicerer to hit a (hard to believe!) 10 years with us. He started as a p/t student packing ingredients and assembling kits, then ran the packing machines for years and eventually became our in-house website and tech expert. Congratulations Chris, thanks for all your hard work! It’s been fantastic to see you develop and improve so much over the years and here’s to the next 10 years! We also celebrated the 8 year anniversary of our in-house comedian, Adam!
The big new product this year was the Mezze Legend kit with 4 new spice blends and 80+ recipes stretching from Morocco to Iran (nearly 8000 copies sold already!). In a Covid-free world, we’d normally travel and research all the relevant countries and local food, but we were still able to use memories of previous trips and of guest cooks coming into the Spicery kitchen through our partnership with Bristol Refugee Rights and Refugee Action (to whom we donated another £5000 as a thanks for their previous input which helped so much with this project). We’re all really pleased with the final result - hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed making it!
The other big event this year was the switch to using recyclable plastic film for ALL our sachets. It’s been a long and winding road (as readers of our record-breakingly long packaging blog will have seen…), but now it means that we’re nearly there in terms of making ALL our packaging either reusable or recyclable.
Other Spicery highlights from 2021/22
- We donated thousands of recipe kits to help Feeding Bristol get kids cooking in the summer holidays
- Jobswap 21 saw a spectacular Moroccan-themed office revamp, and a colourful staff lounge area (with lending library AND biscuit tin!)
- Sunglasses on for our annual canoe around the harbour in blazing sunshine thanks to Adventurous Activities Bristol
- Staff are loving their new Spicery Hoodies - maybe on sale to the public soon?
- We all enjoyed tasting Rob’s homemade Kingston Black cider vs some of the Best in the West (and Rob won the staff vote!)
Thanks so much for all your support, and the helpful comments and suggestions which are always widely read and discussed internally. We’ve loved seeing your photos and reading about how much cooking and sharing our recipes meant to you last year, so we hope you’ll stick with us this year as there’s a lot more to come!
James (Spicery founder and owner)
Read our previous annual reports!