Thanks a bunch, Freshchoice

On the subject of local champions – why is Richard Jacobsen in today’s News?

Richard Jacobsen

Freshchoice stores in Te Awamutu and Cambridge came to the support of the Cancer Society in its time of need.

When Lockdown conditions scuppered the annual Daffodil Day appeal last week Richard and wife Jane Jacobsen at Leamington Freshchoice decided to step in.

“We noticed in the paper a story about the Cancer Society not being able to sell their daffs for their annual fundraiser,” Richard said. “We both know how much they do to support people with cancer and wondered how we could help.”

The result was the two stores promoting the appeal.

“We discussed it, I phoned Ian at Clandon Daffodils, he put us onto the Shay of the Cancer Society who gave us the go ahead. I spoke to the Police to make sure they were happy with us doing it, and they gave the all clear.”

Richard visited growers and picked up as many bunches of Daffs as he could fit into the delivery van.

James Clark

James Clark

“That is when I learned that not only would the Cancer Society not get any funds for selling their daffs, but also they would also make a big loss as they had already paid for the daffodils – so a double loss,” he said.

Richard dropped off daffodils to James Clark, owner-operator at Freshchoice Te Awamutu, and brought the rest back to his Leamington store.

He set a target of trying to raise $10,000, and opened the fundraising by buying a bunch for each for his 64 staff “so they would have some sunshine at home while they are working so hard”.

By Monday sales had not just reached $10,000 – they had topped the $15,000 mark.

“The teams on checkout and around the store really got behind it and of course Cambridge News put it on line for us so everybody knew what was happening. The subsequent support both stores received from our local communities has been fantastic.

“I think that being smaller locally owned community stores rather than a large corporate makes it a lot easier for us get the support from our local customers, we know most of them and they trust us,” Richard said.

“We have really enjoyed doing this for such a good cause and would jump at the chance again next year if there is a similar problem.”

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