The owner of a small village sandwich shop says business is good again after a poor food hygiene report took a big bite out of his earnings.
John Tompkins had only recently taken over the running of Hanslope News in Gold Street when the shop, under its previous owners, was handed a rating of one star out of five by Milton Keynes Council’s food hygiene inspectors.
However, since acquiring the business in May, John has managed to turn the reputation of the popular shop around and was recently given a much improved four-star rating when he invited the inspectors to return.
John says he lost about one third of his business following the Citizen’s report which highlighted the city restaurants with the poorest food hygiene records.
Red Hot World Buffet in the Theatre District and Sid’s Snack Bar in Newport Pagnell were given the lowest possible rating of zero back in May, while 34 restaurants, including Hanslope News, received one star.
“We’ve changed an awful lot in the last few months and things are a lot better now,” said John, who regularly works 14-hour days with the help of a handful of staff, including partner Lucy.
“Not only is the shop very, very clean, but we’ve also changed where we supply our food from to make sure we get the best local produce. The response from customers has been excellent and business is really good. They particularly like our ham baguettes and coffees!
“I must have had 60 or 70 people come in and comment about the story which mentioned the shop only getting one star, but I was not around when the inspection was carried out.
“We try to keep it as clean as possible now. I’m the sort of person who loves having a clean home and it is the same with my business.”