Bread: The Story of Greggs by Ian Gregg Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Bread: The Story of Greggs

When Ian Gregg was just a boy he joined his father at work selling pies from his van to miners’ wives around Newcastle. Now retired, he can look back on a business that began as a husband-and-wife team in the 1930s, and survived a world war and two major recessions to become our favourite bakery, beloved by everyone from children to office workers to soldiers overseas.

Ian

Ian Gregg led the family firm as it grew, employing generations of families from around Newcastle and then becoming a public company with bakeries in Scotland and across the North, and now with shops on every high street. This is a story of extraordinary success, but it is also a triumphant tale of how doing right by your people makes for great business. Bucking every trend, Greggs have always put their customers, employees and local communities before quick profits for directors and shareholders. Their astounding record of charitable works includes hardship grants, an environment fund, sponsorship of the North East Children’s Cancer run and over �1 million raised annually for Children in Need.

Ian Gregg will donate all of his royalties and Greggs plc will donate all its profits from the sale of this book to the Greggs Foundation to help fund more Breakfast Clubs for children.
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    Luke Nyland

    Not the most spell-binding read, but a nice glimpse into the history of a business with humble beginnings. I think the “Story of Greggs” might be a little bit of a stretch for the title, as the author admits he doesn’t actually know too much of the early days, but certainly the latter chapters!

    Nice to have a bit of history on the brain when tucking into a steak bake

    Stuart Hill

    Dec 07, 2014

    rated it
    really liked it

    Since this was written by a member of the family which founded the company, Ian Gregg, who headed the company for many years, I feared that it could be a bland account claiming a history of consistent success. Thankfully that isn’t the case as Gregg produced a narrative which skillfully combined autobiography, social history and corporate history.

    I enjoyed the opening chapters the most as it was interesting to see how a large corporation emerged from modest beginnings. Greggs catered to a mainly

    I enjoyed the opening chapters the most as it was interesting to see how a large corporation emerged from modest beginnings. Greggs catered to a mainly working class clientele from the start. Interestingly, Mondays were not a practical day on which to make deliveries as every family would have done their washing that day which was then draped across narrow terraced streets, preventing access to vehicles. Eventually the first store was acquired in the suburb of Gosforth which formed the foundation of the company we know today.

    The book goes on to explain how the company expanded into other cities beginning with Glasgow and Manchester by the acquisition of other bakeries which were failing businesses at the time. The history of the company is charted from the industrial unrest they faced in the 1970s to their current strategy in attempting to deal with a perfect storm of rising commodity prices, increased competition and falling incomes for their clients. Eventually the book becomes overly concerned with recounting who was appointed to the board and how the corporate structure was reorganised and the company rationalised to take on a single nationwide identity. I would have liked to have read more about how the company actually works in terms of how new products are launched, what an average day in one of their stores is like etc. There was also a degree of repetition which called out for better editing.

    The book concludes with a chapter critical of what Gregg sees as irresponsible capitalism including excessive executive pay unrelated to company performance. All very well, but since he doesn’t discuss executive salaries at Greggs at all it is difficult to come to a conclusion about whether they are different to the norm in this respect. He does stress that he believes employees at lower levels of the company should be well paid but offers no information on salary levels or how these compare with those offered by Greggs’ competitors. I also felt Gregg’s suggestion that voters can make a difference by voting for political parties which support green agendas, community issues and curbing excesses in the city naive. In the UK the three main political parties are all commited to neoliberalism and with a first past the post electoral system a vote for an alternative party is effectively a wasted vote.

    On the whole an interesting narrative which was well written, informative and at times amusing. Certainly worth a look if you would like to know more about Greggs.
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    Lisa Bennett

    Jun 23, 2013

    rated it
    did not like it

    Shelves:
    true-story

    OMG i can’t believe i spent a fiver on this book. its totally crap. a complete bore fest. i got so bored i had to close it a third of the way in and start something else. i was fooled into thinking it would be interesting and funny, but it was full of facts and figures. total yawn. my only consolation is that my money went to charity!