M&S - A British institution

Rebecca Hodges

Posted on November 23 2019

What does it take to inspire you nowadays? There are untold numbers of new brands, companies, product ranges and small businesses, and as a small business owner myself, I'm a massive supporter of these. However, I will always have a love for the British Institutions which I've grown up with - and none stand out more to me than Marks & Spencer. 

I'm honoured to have been given the chance to partner with M&S and their newly refurbished Hempstead Valley store and experience their brand new family focused shopping experience there. You know when it's M&S food, you know when it's M&S quality and M&S customer service - but what I wasn't expecting was the new M&S family vibe that they've created. I felt like I'd landed in the middle of an upmarket New York deli. Upmarket in terms of focus, freshness, architecture and reduced plastics - but entirely every day in terms of family value. 

Upon entering the store - you're greeted by a super friendly bakery assistant who's handing out samples from their new expansive bakery - which smells absolutely divine! 

But it's the array of fresh fruit and veg - with reduced plastic packaging which greets you after that and the extensive range under the super high vaulted ceilings which is akin to a Manhatten Deli of wonderful proportions. 

The newly spacious interiors - give way to mini me shoppers with their mini shopping trolleys who head straight for the egg section to listen to the sound of the rather large chicken situated next to the huge selection of individual eggs - the idea being that you can mix and match and select your own - whilst the children get to really understand where said eggs have come from.

As a busy Mum of three with a business from home, I've fallen in to the trap of ordering most things online - including our groceries. But at Hempstead Valley, my littles have accompanied me on many a visit and it's never the usual shopping chore - but almost like a Little Street experience for them. It's given my kitchen cupboards a new lease of life and we now have an array of new ingredients to play with!

The staff are always the most welcoming and friendly, but in addition to this there's now a real emphasis on knowledge - we sat and chatted to Tom who heads up their customer services team - about the best way to cook carrots and mix them up a bit! The vegetable isles are adjourned with recipe cards - added to by the lovely Chris Baber who helped me figure out exactly what I should be doing with the little known aubergine! 

As a family, we're making small changes to try to support the planet and our health where we can and the brand new plant based options offer a whole new range of exciting dinners! Add the M&S Cook With range and our weekly food menu is now much for exciting! 

It's safe to say that this new super market shopping experience is second to none and I won't be shopping anywhere else, anytime soon! 

Thank-you for having us M&S - I am truly honoured to have been invited to spend time with you and we'll be back, same time, next week! 


**AD this was a paid collaboration with M&S Marks & Spencer Hempstead Valley 

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