Bagshot resident, Sophie Laithwaite, has unveiled a new supermarket today after writing to ask if it would be possible to open the branch as it fell on her eighth birthday.
Beginning her letter ‘Dear Mr Waitrose’, it arrived with Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, who asked the team at the new Waitrose in Bagshot to help make Sophie’s birthday wish come true.
Sophie was joined by Michael Gove MP, The Mayor of Surrey Heath, Joanne Potter, and branch manager, Gary Collyer, in welcoming the first customers to the new London Road shop at 8am this morning (20th August) before being given a cake to mark her special day.
The new London Road branch follows a £14m investment which has resulted in 200 new jobs being created ranging from supermarket sales assistants through to specialist positions and management. Waitrose worked closely with the local Jobcentre Plus to help recruit for the roles, helping a number of unemployed people get back into work.
Waitrose has launched a number of initiatives to support the local community. The retailer’s Community Matters ‘green token’ scheme will see £1,000 donated to local charities every month. The first causes to benefit will be The Children with Special Needs Foundation, Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, and Bagshot Care. Customers can nominate different charities each month, resulting in a total of £12,000 donated annually.
Gary Collyer, Waitrose Bagshot branch manager said: “It’s fantastic to not only celebrate opening a new Waitrose, but to help mark Sophie’s big day.
“We are grateful for the support of the Mayor, our local MP, Mr Gove, who joined us today. We have made a major investment believing we can make a positive contribution to the area, through the quality on offer at the branch, our community initiatives and the 200 people we will employ.”
Waitrose Bagshot will include meat, fish, deli and cheese counters, an extensive wine department, a bakery with an eat-in area and parking for 338 cars.