Family Values At Easter
People enjoy Easter in many different ways. For some it’s the thrilling competition of an Easter Egg hunt while for others it’s all about tucking into a tender lamb joint with mint sauce and all the trimmings. However you celebrate Easter, one thing is clear: family is central to all that we do and the importance of togetherness at Easter should not be underestimated.
Founders, John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury founded their first store in 1869 with a clear vision: to make quality food affordable to every family. As a family run business that saw all six of John James and Mary Ann’s sons play a crucial role in the development of the business, Sainsbury’s never underestimated the importance of family values. To this day, family is still as important as ever to Sainsbury’s and we’re immensely proud of the 157,000 colleagues we employ. And, in the run up to Easter, we were able to catch up with a selection of our colleagues to discuss what Easter means to them.
Jenny Gaunt, 46, is the HR Manager at our Castle Boulevard store in Nottingham and mother of two girls aged 11 and 18. Jenny has worked for Sainsbury’s for nearly 26 years.
“Twenty six years is a long time but it doesn’t feel like it”, says Jenny, “I’ve worked at twenty stores during my time with Sainsbury’s, in a number of different roles. Currently I look after three stores in the local area and each one has its own unique look and feel, especially during Easter. I love the fact that every day is different - one day I’m looking at colleague wellbeing in-store and the next could be organising a celebration event in a different store.”
In her illustrious Sainsbury’s career, Jenny remembered one particularly colourful Easter, 14 years ago:
“We were hosting an Easter Egg competition in the local store I worked at, at the time”, Jenny recalls, “As part of our commitment to community projects I visited several local junior schools to collect the kids’ Easter Egg competition submissions and deliver some chocolate eggs. It goes without saying that I was dressed as the Easter Bunny!”
When it came to the importance of family at Easter, Jenny was unwavering in her views:
“Family is very important to me at Easter”, says Jenny, “not just my immediate family but also my extended family, friends and neighbours. I do an Easter Egg hunt every year, not just because the kids love it, but because it means we can get everybody on our close involved. While the kids are busy finding the eggs, the adults get together and enjoy a glass of bubbly - there’s a real sense of community and I think that’s what Easter is all about”.
Kelly Dawkins, 34, is Clothing Manger at our Leicester North Store and has two girls aged 10 and 13. Kelly has been with us for eight-and-a-half years.
“I’m really proud to work for a company like Sainsbury’s”, Kelly says, - “with our 20/20 vision project and everything that stands for I think we do some amazing things from an environmental point of view as well as a host of great Easter-related initiatives which really sets us apart from other retailers.”
Kelly went on to talk about her involvement in some past Sainsbury’s Easter initiatives.
“Last year we organised an Easter Egg hunt in store for kids, taking them on a journey through all the aisles”, Kelly recollects. “We also help out on the change over (where other departments lend a hand to ensure stock gets out during the busy Easter period) which gives a great sense of togetherness within the store.
With food high on the agenda for most people at Easter, Kelly reveals her unique Easter dish:
“In our household we’ve come up with a new take on a classic dish”, Kelly says. “We take a normal bread and butter pudding recipe but replace the bread and butter with hot cross buns. Add some marmalade, custard and sprinkle some chocolate on top - trust me, it’s delicious!”
Nicky Thornley, 36, works on the Customer Service Desk at our Fosse Park store, Leicester. She’s worked for Sainsbury’s for nine-and-a-half years and has a son aged 14 and a daughter aged 10.
“Working on the Customer Service Desk means I’m in constant contact with people, which I love”, says Nicky. “At Easter time we’ll always do something a little special like colouring in competitions for the little ones and raffles for the bigger kids.
When it comes to keeping the kids active and entertained over Easter, Nicky has a few hints and tips:
“I always prepare the Easter Egg hunt on the Saturday night”, says Nicky. “I have to find increasingly difficult hiding places each year, not only because the kids are getting better but we’ve got a dog that’s capable of sniffing them all out before the hunt even begins! My kids also love cycling so if the weather is OK we try to get on our bikes as much as possible. Easter is also a great opportunity to do some family baking with some really quick, easy and tasty recipes.”
To family matters and Nicky was just as passionate:
“Family is the most important thing to me at Easter, above anything else”, Nicky says. “We have the family over every year to catch up, although we’re all very close anyway and try to see each other as often as possible. Easter is a great excuse!”
Sally Skinner, 36, is an HR Clerk at our Castle Marina store, Nottingham and has been a Sainsbury’s colleague for 16 years. She has a son, aged nine and a daughter aged 4.
“I work in a great team here at Sainsbury’s” says Sally, "It’s at times like Easter that Sainsbury’s really comes into its own as a great place to work with a number of really fun initiatives and projects that benefit the wider community.”
Sally continued: “I love how excited the kids get around Easter and even though I’m not sure they fully understand what Easter is all about, it’s still a really special family time. It’s a real opportunity to spend quality time together and we’ll always do some baking with Rice Krispies and Mini Eggs. If the weather is reasonable we’ll grab the bikes and go for a ride together.”
We hope you’ve been inspired by some of the things our colleagues get up to over Easter. If you’re looking for some extra special ideas, we’ve put some of our own together in the slideshow below. They include some great ways to keep the kids entertained as well as some delicious recipes to keep everyone smiling over Easter.