Meet the BMS Lockdown Team
The Black Mountains Smokery team has a core staff of just 6 for most of the year, the team then doubles (or even triples!) in our busy autumn months!
As you can imagine, this year has been a little different... the imposing of lockdown meant that both Naomi and Corinne (essentially our entire production team) had to quarantine straight away. Leaving only three of us juggling many jobs, we commandeered our children, Hugh and Hetta to join the ranks and help keep up with an increased number of mail orders. Blyth moved in with our family for lockdown and together we formed one house and workforce so we knew we could be extra safe.
Thankfully, Corinne returned as soon as it was advisable to do so, and gradually Hugh and Hetta have been able to share more of their time between us and their usual responsibilities. Madeline, a family friend on furlough from her normal London life, has joined the packing team in place of Hetta who has been focusing on starting her new job remotely from home.
Sadly, Naomi has not been able to re-join our team and we have missed her sorely. Her Placement year with us ends with June and so starts another placement year. In Mid June we welcomed our new student from Harper Adams University and guess what? Her name is also Naomi! As soon as we are permitted to, we will be hosting socially distanced drinks to celebrate the crossover of Naomi's!
Here is an introduction to our current team:
Blyth is a close family friend and when lockdown started he became an honourary family member as he moved into our home. His roll has remained in the office manning the phone and developing our marketing, but busier times have meant that he's had stints in the packing room and helping to refurbish the shop and office. Being confident in different areas of the business, he's been invaluable of late.
Corinne has become our fabulous and resilient mainstay leading our production team. We welcomed her back after her quarantine with delight and her cool-headedness and proficiency in production came as a great relief! She is bright and bubbly, organised and calm and has brought many changes to streamline our processes.
Naomi (2) has joined us for her student placement year from Harper Adams University where she studies BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development. She replaces Naomi (1) and is currently in production but as she settles she will have a chance to try her hand in other areas of the business. She is bright, giggly and very conscientious and a hugely welcomed addition to the team.
Hugh, our son, has recently become a partner in a tent and marquee company yet he's sweetly balancing his time between two businesses. He normally only re-joins our team full time for the busy build-up to Christmas but has been with us for all of lockdown and has been an integral part of our running through the course of it. For a while at the beginning, he was manning all of our production practically on his own!
Our daughter Hetta had no plans to work with us this year, in fact, she probably thought she'd graduated from her time at the smokery entirely. Unfortunately, Covid-19 put a hold to her plans for the year and she was drafted in for some much-needed help! She's very good at getting things done quickly and efficiently and has an impressive knack of putting her parents in their place every now and then. Her skills will be greatly missed as she starts her new venture in finance.
Like Hetta, Madeleine did not expect to be working at the Smokery this year. However, these unpredictable times have brought us together and we're very lucky to have her. Maddie has an eye for detail and the packing room is running as smoothly as it ever has. Together with Jonathan, they are the packing dream team! She's also worked tirelessly to get our shop ready for reopening - what would we have done without her!?