Words

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Problem With Brownbread

In Tenterden every Friday there is a market, with stalls lining one side of the street from Oxfam to Woolpack, and stalls behind the Olde Cellars (now Savannah) in the new "Market Square" area. Among these is a large stall selling baked goods, which are uniformly excellent. Really nice artisan breads, cakes, sausage rolls, cheese straws, pies, focaccias, etc. Cannot fault them on their variety and their quality. I just want to make that very clear from the get-go. Love their stuff. But...

I have some issues with this company, who go by the name of "Brownbread".

The first is that as I am an eco-friendly sort of chap (see my blog about Transition Town Tenterden) I am very into the idea that we should strengthen our local economy by supporting locally owned businesses, thereby keeping the money we spend on goods within the local area and not to some supermarket fatcat's offshore bank account, etc. The more you patronise your locally owned bakeries and your farm shops and purchase items that were made, sourced, and/or grown locally, the better a position you are going to be in when the shit finally hits the fan and the oil becomes cost-prohibitive to even bother drilling out of the ground and the petrol pumps dry up and suddenly we can't buy pineapples or coffee anymore because nobody can transport it. If your local farmer/butcher/baker stays in business then at least you'll be able to buy food when Tesco can no longer supply you with Fuji apples.

So when I learn that Brownbread is based in Chelmsford, Essex which is in fact between 55 and 60 miles away, depending on your route, on the other side of the Thames Estuary, and takes an average hour and a half to drive, I am frankly gobsmacked, particularly when I know that there are other very fine bakers in the local area who have stalls at other local Farmer's Markets.

So let's get this straight. I talked to the people at Brownbread and they are hitting the road at something like 5 am to get down to Tenterden in time to unpack their gear and set it all up by 8am. And since it's all fresh it means they've probably been up all night baking the stuff. Which is crazy.

The other issue I have is their van. Oh, I'm sure it's an excellent van for their purposes. But when I see it I just want to whip out my red pen. Yes, that's right, it has something written on it which makes my inner pedant want to jump out and correct glaring errors all over the place.

What does it say on the side of the van? Well, I'm glad you asked.


More specifically, here's the bit I am referring to.


THATS IT.!

Firstly... we need an apostrophe. Lots of people make the mistake of putting an apostrophe where it is not needed. These people go the opposite way and omit one where it is essential.

They then put a full stop after the word IT and then add an exclamation mark. As if there was a tiny pause before the exclamation. Which doesn't work. Of course it should read THAT'S IT!

There is a lesson here. Obviously this is a professionally-made van signwriting job, done with the proper equipment. But not proofread, at least not by anyone with any idea of the English Language.

Or was it? Perhaps the signwriter was so convinced of his accuracy he did not feel the need to have it checked, and by the time it was noticed it was too late to change it.

I'm sorry to be so picky, folks at Brownbread. I love your bread and all, but seriously? These things just jump out at me and it's like a moth to a flame. And I noticed it months ago, but have held my tongue till now. I am so glad to have finally gotten what may seem like something small and inconsequential off my chest. But holding these things in just bottles up the stress, which is unhealthy.

If you are a business and want to be taken seriously, at least proofread your ads.

All right, I've had my say. Ta-ta till next time.

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