Staff Profile: Val Baker
Val Baker is loving her new role as Senior Sales Assistant at the SCCC Shop, which opened it’s doors for the first time last weekend and is proving to be very popular.
“It’s just brilliant and I’m loving it,” she said. “It’s really exciting to be part of this brand new venture. I’ll be helped by Jordan Lee who is joining me as my assistant and I’m really looking forward to the challenge that it is going to be.”
Val talked about some of the items that are available in the new Shop.
“We’ve got a lovely range of leisure garments on the shelves, including our Legend range that features Marcus Trescothick and James Hildreth. The Legend range also includes Oxford shirts, polo shirts and sweaters.
“The leisurewear range includes Christmas jumpers, bobble hats, “One Short”, “Wide” and “Drinks Break” t-shirts, SCCC hoodies and sweatshirts. There is also the children’s Wyvern range and women’s SCCC t-shirts.
“In addition there are smaller items such as mugs and pictures plus some smaller items like pens and pencils that would be an ideal stocking filler at this time of year.
“We also have collapsible/re-usable mugs in SCCC colours. With these you will get 25p off your cup of coffee from Stragglers Coffee House.
“We are also an environmentally aware shop. All the furniture was reclaimed, we will not be using any plastics, where possible our clothing uses organic cotton and our collapsible coffee cups are also eco-friendly. It’s absolutely vital that we are environmentally aware.
“The feedback that we’ve had since we first opened has been very positive indeed and people are loving it. I’ve had a lot of enquiries via email from people wanting to purchase, so there’s been a tremendous response to our opening from everyone.”
Val first started working at Somerset CCC about three years ago and since then has been involved with the marketing and sales side of things and recently fronted the reception in the Andrew Caddick Pavilion where she shared the duties with Nicky Hockey.
“My new job is different to being on the front desk,” she said. “I’m still the first point of contact and meeting people all the time though. At the end of the day it’s all for Somerset County Cricket Club and we are all under the same umbrella.
“I enjoy meeting the customers, chatting and getting to know people, so over the years I have got to know quite a lot of supporters.”
The new SCCC Shop is situated at the front of the Indoor School in the premises that were previously occupied by Print Guy.
Val talked about the logistics of getting the shop ready for opening.
“The new Shop came together very quickly in the end and the fact that it was ready to open on Friday evening is down to the ability of everyone at the Club to pull together.
“We’ve got an amazing staff group here and we all rallied together to enable this to happen. Everyone got in here early in the morning at the crack of dawn and stayed on until quite late, and it’s quite phenomenal what has been achieved.
“The teamwork and the support you get from everybody at the Club is second to none and thanks to everyone who helped we were able to open on time. All of our suppliers have also been beavering away and supplying what we have wanted, and Scott Nelmes, the guy who was responsible for the interior fittings, has done a really great job and was polishing the tops right up until the last minute!”
Reflecting on the first few days of business Val said: “We had a good number of sales over our first weekend and we are going to be open here until the Saturday before Christmas and then reopening again on January 4th.
“2019 is going to be a big year for us so we are expecting to be very busy once the season gets going and then we have got the World Cup coming to Taunton.
“It made a lot of sense for us to be open just before Christmas so we could establish the range and get the feel for what people want. We have had a lovely lot of suggestions and feedback from people coming in.”
It’s the feeling of unity and togetherness that exists within Somerset CCC that Val likes so much.
“The Members and supporters at the Club all feel so much part of the big family that is Somerset,” she said. “They all want to share their thoughts, which is really helpful. We are always interested in listening to people and hearing about what people want and how we can expand the range we have on the shelves.
“I didn’t realize just how much of a family feel that there would be at Somerset before I came to join, but that is what really comes through. The way that the Club is run you really do feel like you are part of big family which is fantastic.
“The support everybody gave to helping get the shop together wouldn’t normally happen. People here just rally and support. It’s amazing that people are prepared to drop everything when they see there is a need.
“It just goes to show that everybody is wanting to achieve the same at the Club. We want to have the best on offer, to offer the best customer service and best experience for people, which is really what it is all about because that is what we are all wanting to achieve here.”
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