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Helen Hackett of Hackett’s to Go, Witney tells us about the take away!

September 15, 2011

Q:  How long have you been managing Hackett’s to Go?

A: Since we opened in 2009, December.

Q:  Was adding a sandwich deli to the Hackett’s brand your idea?

A:  No, it was Dave’s idea, and as we had no one else to drive it forward, it fell to me!

Q:  How would you describe Hackett’s to Go to a customer?

A:  We are a posh sandwich shop selling great coffee at reasonable prices, and we can make anything you want.

Q:  Are you a good cook?

A:  Probably more enthusiastic than expert!  My pastry is really good, but my cakes and scones are rubbish!  Still Its the opposite for Jane, H2G Cook, so it works out quite well really.

A: Which item is your best seller?

Q:  Probably Panini, of every description.  It depends on the day, sometimes Bacon and Brie is the best seller, sometimes Tuna Melt or Cheese and Ham.

Q:  Does being in Marriott’s Walk help your business?

A:  Well I think it will once the other units are let.

Q:  Who are your favourite suppliers?

A:  We like to try and use local and independent as much as possible, but we do have to keep an eye on the bottom line.  Cool Cuisine provide some of our staples like Panini bread, and Blue Basil are our new unbelievable brownie suppliers.  We love Samuelsons for their homemade lemonade, and Winstones Ices for the proper Cotswold ice cream.

Q:  It’s a take away so why offer seating?

A:  We wanted to offer seating so that if it is raining, people have somewhere to sit to eat their lunch, rather than hunched over their desks.  We have Wi Fi as well, and  it is always more inviting to see people sitting in a place if you are not sure of where to perch.  We especially value our breakfast bars which attracts anyone who loves people watching over a steaming cappuccino

Q:  What’s your busiest time of year?

A:  Christmas is really busy in the run up to the holidays, but generally we do a lot better when the sun shines, so anytime when it is out really!

Q:  Who does the baking for Hackett’s to Go?

A:  Jane is our resident cook, and she had devised the recipes for coronation chicken, and prawns Marie Rose, as well as producing the best scones in Oxfordshire!

Q:  How do you price your food?

A:  We look at the cost of the ingredients, and then add in a %, which is dictated by “Dave The Money”!  We are not trying to exploit people who need to buy lunch, and we always have an entry level sandwich for around £1.60 – £1.75.  We try and base our thinking on the premise that anyone should be able to get lunch for under £5.00, including a drink and a snack.

Q:  You believe in organic and healthy options.  What do you offer at HTG that complies with this?

A:  All our mayonnaise and margarine is low fat, and no one had noticed as yet!  I cannot tell the difference anymore, especially with Mayo.  We also make a big deal about the salad in a sandwich, and use a premium lettuce mix that includes rocket, frisse and other types, based on the idea that if it tastes good people will eat it rather than pull it out from between the slices of bread!  We carry a range of gluten free options, and as far as we can we use ethically produced food, local and home made, using organic or free range ingredients.

Q: What the price of the average take away from HTG?

A:  A regular coffee is £2.00, a panino is £3.00, Crisps are 70p, cold drinks vary, but a carton of Ribena is £1.30.  So you could have a panino, ribena and crisps for £5.00.

Q:  Will you be opening other sandwich deli’s in Oxfordshire?

A:  We recently opened a Hackett’s coffee in Summertown, Oxford. The plan is to expand to possibly Headington,  Carterton  perhaps, and Abingdon maybe?  Who knows, you might see a Hacketts on most  Oxon town streets in a few years!

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