Happy New Year from Geraldo's, Largs!

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After a much needed break for our team over the New Year it's with a little hesitation that I say here's to 2021!  Who would've thought that when we were all wishing one another Happy New Year at the start of 2020 we would be facing a worldwide pandemic within a matter of months? It has tested us all in ways we never thought possible.

As I look back over last year we've come a long way and have been incredibly fortunate in the face of adversity.  Whilst many of us were being forced to stay in our homes it was a nightmare for some and a break from life's every day hectic stresses for others. 

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Many took to the countryside and found hidden gems right on our doorstep.  It was so easy to appreciate the little things in life and cherish what we had rather than wish for what we didn't have and the good spell of weather made it even more enjoyable. 

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Sweet Caroline (Mama Mia) stayed safely hidden away from the ice cream making equipment and enjoyed lazy days in the sunshine, finally having time to catch up with friends over long telephone calls, taking a nostalgic look back at the past.  It did her the world of good and for that alone I was extremely thankful.

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Meanwhile, our small team worked tirelessly to introduce and promote new services during lockdown. Our ice cream box deals became the new celebration cake with the launch of our free local delivery service and Largs and the surrounding area suddenly became aware of all the other products we had too.  Our phone rang constantly as chocolates, wine, fizz, sweet treats and savoury snacks were all added to your telephone orders as our shop floor became a pop up packing station for local and UK wide website orders.

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After only a few months, it became clear we had to expand in order to manage the growth the business was having and, with the appointment of our new Manager Katrina in September, we now have a home right next door for packing hampers and processing website orders. 

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We've continued to grow and took delivery of our new van just in time for the launch of our Halloween Ice Cream Box Deals.  Children squeeled with delight when our very own monster made them a special delivery to celebrate Halloween at home.

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As Christmas approached we finally managed to launch our own Private Cask Whisky in collaboration with Arran Distillery to celebrate what would have been our 20th year in business just after we went into lockdown.  What a year it's been!  Mr David Allardice, a much loved customer and loyal whisky club member quickly came into the shop and made the very first purchase and many of you have been snapping it up since and giving it rave reviews.

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As I look back to when we rebranded the business in 2016 in memory of my dad Gerald with the launch of a gin festival, it somehow seems fitting to end with this image of Isle of Cumbrae Distiller's 'Nostalgin.'  If ever there was a year to feel nostalgic about anything it was 2020.  Perhaps that's why Nostalgin quickly became our fastest selling gin of all time with 10 cases being sold every week right up to Christmas.

It seems it took a pandemic to make us stop and really think about what we have, however small.  We became kinder and more considerate to each other, we checked on the elderly and made sure no one was lonely, we had time for our families and took time out to make that telephone call to people we hadn't spoken to in ages. 

Our gift hamper sales soared and customers from far and wide contacted us to make sure loved ones received a little something to cheer them up to make sure they knew they were loved and missed. We even included a new pair of slippers for someone's Granny in a hamper! 

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We learned to live with less, make home cooked meals and actually sit round the table as a family and talk and appreciate the time together. Simple pleasures!

Many people have had the most difficult time and some families have lost so much but whatever lesson or message can be gained from last year I genuinely hope we can all somehow move forward into 2021 with a kind heart and a kind word for others no matter what this year brings us.

Wishing all of you a very safe, happy, healthy 2021!

Toni & the Geraldo's Team

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