From butchery apprentice to Deputy MD at Cranstons

Cumbrian butchers and makers Cranstons have recently announced the promotion of Martin Jones to the role of Deputy Managing Director. In his new role Martin will direct day to day operations overseeing Cranstons four local produce food halls, two traditional shops and busy production along with shaping the future strategy of the business.

Philip Cranston commented: “We are thrilled to announce Martin’s promotion to the Deputy Managing Director role. With over 30 years’ experience at Cranstons he brings a wealth of knowledge to the role and an unwavering enthusiasm for developing our team, products and shops. Martin has been instrumental in developing our local produce Food Hall’s since the millennium and is well respected by our loyal and long serving team.”

Martin career is one of longevity, having joined Cranstons in 1983 as a butchery apprentice. At that time Cranstons was predominantly a travelling butchers van with a small shop in the Eden Valley village of Kirkoswald.

Martin said: ‘’I saw in the paper that Cranstons was opening a new shop in Penrith and needed a job so wrote in, I never imagined that I would spend my whole working life at Cranstons but 36 years later I am still enjoying it.’’

Martin was taken on as an apprentice when he left school and his role developed over the years as Cranstons expanded. Martin managed Carlisle and then Penrith town centre shops in the 80’s and 90’s was promoted to oversee the flagship Cumbrian Food Hall when it opened in 2003. He was made retail director over-seeing the whole of the retail side of the business in 2011.

The UK grocery market has changed a great deal in the last 30 years with the decline of the high street and the arrival of the supermarkets and Cranstons has changed its business model in response evolving from a traditional butchers to modern butchery food halls championing a wider range of local produce. Along with its own butchery, delicatessen and hot and cold food to go ranges Cranstons sells produce from over 50 Cumbrian food and drink suppliers.

Martin said: ‘’My best moment at Cranstons to date has to be managing the Cumbrian Food Hall opening back in 2003. It seemed like a huge space in comparison to the smaller traditional town centre shops we operated at the time and a gamble but from day one we realised it was going to work well, we knew within the first week that we hadn’t in fact built it big enough, hence the subsequent extension in 2009 ! Since then we have successfully opened two further Food Hall’s and converted our Carlisle city centre shop to a Food Hall.’’

Asked what excites him about the future Martin added: ‘’Cranstons is successful because of the hard work and dedication of our team, many of whom are long serving. I plan to build on that expertise and passion, developing our people and making sure we continue our strong history of evolving the business model to meet new customer expectations, right now we are focused on further developing our food to go ranges with people consuming more and more food out of the home. I am keen to build on the success of our local produce food halls, if the right site came up that would mean a fifth food hall.”

PHOTO: Cranstons Directors Philip Cranston, Roger-Cranston and Martin Jones