Normally August is a slightly quieter month in Rex, with lots of local residents & workers out of town and the family dragging the Rex Baker away for his summer holiday.  Not this year.  In 2020, we all continue to roll with the punches.

Seeing really no easy or fast end to the pandemic on the horizon, we took the decision to refit the bakery in favour of a high end retail experience, to bring the space up in line with the award-winning quality of the #realfood we make.  This has meant beautiful new display units, layout and improved presentation all delivered just in time for shops moving to 1 metre plus guidelines.    There’s more to come in both product range & merchandising solutions but we’re already delighted with how it looks, how it’s easier for you to see all the products available from bread to pastries to groceries to coffee – and how much more hygienic it feels to serve you.  We’re relieved by the many, very positive comments from our loyal customers.

We’re all getting used to wearing masks in the new shop.  Our staff have the choice of 3-layer & 2 -layer bespoke made fabric masks, visors, traditional paper masks and are still searching for a favourite in terms of breathability, comfort, communication!  Most customers are complying with mask-wearing, avoiding crowding into the shop and keeping back from the staff area featuring the bread behind the counter… although there’s always one lol.

Unfortunately given the space required for distanced shopping, there just isn’t the room for indoor tables and stools like we used to feature.  We have preserved & resited the side bar and our perching stools for customers who feel comfortable to sit in with us for their coffee and baked eats, you remain very welcome indeed to do so.  Given our award-winning HUGE Sourdough Toasties take 4 minutes to make, customers quite often pause at the coffee bar whilst they are waiting.  We have brought back some outdoor seating to enjoy the glorious weather that’s been getting us through the lockdown (although soaring temperatures do present huge challenges to baking consistency), and will shortly extend this and create a new cafe barrier area at the front.  In Bucks we have to seek permission for this from Bucks County Council, which we did a few years back.  The obligation is to pay quite a fee, keep reasonable room for pedestrians etc and abide by local community restrictions.  You may have noticed more catering business tables & chairs in Little Chalfont than normal, this has been encouraged by the Government and gratifyingly, our local Parish Council has also said that they will not object to any sensible summertime proposals made to BCC.  We did wonder about siting more tables and chairs under the trees on the verge opposite & have asked the county council, but don’t really feel able to watch out for them out there.

We were puzzling over all sit-down facilities partly because some loyal customers have missed out on this for months, partly because we know how popular comfortable al fresco dining will be at this time and partly because of Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the innovative Eat out to Help out scheme.  We are excited to join in , and looking at who is offering it locally have realised that in amongst the chains and chips options which have come in for quite a slating from Health commentators, we provide a rare real clean food alternative for all the foodies out there.

As most of the shop sales are retail, and for all eat-in we need to pay VAT due, we established the 3 deals as the best way to administrate the scheme through the till whilst keeping the retail queue flowing through.  It provides complete flexibility in terms of which drink or pastry or toastie or sweet baked item you choose from daily stock, but the offer price remains the same so that it is up to a 50% deal discount depending on which product from each category that you choose.  The simplest way to think about it is that the additional item(s) in the offer will barely cost you anything, the government will kindly fund those for you.  There’s a maximum discount of £10 per person per sitting, which it seems unlikely would be reached in Rex!  We think you’ll be provided with a huge amount of value because as you know, we hand make everything ourselves on the premises, we only use organic flour, we use the best quality ingredients like Monmouth coffee and Lescure butter and our baked items are award winning and delicious.

New products in Rex this past month have included

  • A welcome back to our authentic Portugese custard tarts
  • New Cruffins, both Blackcurrant Cheesecake and Nutella