News & Awards

3rd Nov 2022

Limited edition Double Gloucester & apple scones, created in partnership with our local community.

A brand-new bakery product created by six participants from the GEM Project is now on sale in our Farmshops, thanks to a unique collaboration between Gloucester Services, Hobbs House Bakery and Gloucestershire Gateway Trust.

The ‘Limited Edition’ project course, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund as part of the GEM Project, was delivered by local social enterprise The Engine Room and gave the participants the opportunity to learn new skills by undertaking product research, product development and teamwork, culminating in the pitch of three different product ideas to representatives from our Commercial team at Westmorland, and Hobbs House Bakery.

The ‘GEM Scones’ were chosen by the panel of judges as the winning product, celebrating local produce with their ingredients which include local apples and Double Gloucester cheese.

They were created by participant Rich, a former rugby player and coach who has been on the GEM Project since being diagnosed with health problems that affected his mental and physical health. 

“When I first started the course, I was very nervous and unsure what to expect. After four solid weeks of tutoring from Charlie Marwood of the Engine on various key business points and strategies I felt both me and the group all developed well in business and our confidence grew enough to produce a tasty item for sale at the services. Thank you for all the support GEM.” 

Thanks to Hobbs House Bakery, the product is now a reality and hit the shelves as a limited-edition product from Thursday 10 November. The GEM scones can be found in the section of packaged bakery goods inside the store and include a QR code on the packaging allowing customers to find out more about the unique product.

Charlie Marwood, Top Cog at The Engine which is based in Dursley, said:

“Facilitating and leading the course which involved everything from team work, skills analysis and idea generation through to production strategies, finance, marketing and presenting the final ideas, the participants journey showed they grew in confidence, understanding of the elements for success in business and took pride in contributing to the end product as a team. This was a rewarding experience for all those involved, and The Engine is grateful to have been invited to assist in the delivery and be part of the success which stretches beyond the classroom, individual and organisation creating an ongoing impact within our communities.”

Jason Dunsford, GEM Project Manager and Head of Employment and Skills at GGT said:

“In addition to reinvesting up to 3p in every £1 spent at Gloucester Services in our communities, we are passionate about connecting local people to the business through jobs, creative opportunities and as suppliers. This course was about improving business and marketing skills and raising confidence amongst people for whom starting their own business seems a long way off. It is fantastic to see their ideas come to life but perhaps we’ll see their business ideas come to fruition and they will become a supplier of the future in their own right!”