Tebay Services: Staff discuss reaction from customers

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Sat in the Lake District, Tebay Service Station is a family-run stop which celebrates local farmers, food producers and crafters. This Morning hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford chatter to head butcher Dave and buyer Alexander about what helps them to stand out from other motorway services. They insisted they work hard to ensure they provide the best quality products and go out of their way to “other something special” to customers.

Eamonn began: “A few people would say a stop at a motorway service station as interesting to say the least, not the highlight of a holiday.”

“It’s a necessity,” Ruth chipped in as her husband continued: “A necessity on Saturday!” referencing being stuck in traffic on the M25.

Ruth went on to recall a trip to Ireland with Eamonn when they ended up at Tebay Services. Eamonn asked: “Why can’t all service stations be like this?”

He continued: “They’re actually a farm shop and do all this special bread, there’s a butchers. It was lovely.”

“Now lots of people have discovered them because they’ve been on a brand new TV show,” Ruth added.

“This is a family run service station and it’s proving a huge hit with viewers.”

The pair cut to Dave and Alexander with the latter explaining his role and how he makes the service station a must-visit.

“I’m the farm shop buyer and I buy all of the food in the shop except for the butchers which I leave to Dave because he knows what he’s doing,” Alexander detailed.

“He certainly does know what he’s doing and has become a bit of a star on the show,” Ruth remarked. “How long have you been a butcher there. It’s an odd place to find a butchers counter.”

Dave revealed: “It will be my 15th year in December. It’s strange to walk into the service station and find a pitcher counter.

“But there are strong links between the family farm and the business. My role when I joined this business was to join them together.”

Dave explained all the produce on display was from a family farm which ran alongside the service station.

Ruth asked: “What reaction do you get Dave from people like us who didn’t know about Tebay Services. The first time they come in, what kind of reaction do you get from them?”

“There’s a bit of a, the stand back and take two on it,” Dave replied. “Like, ‘What are you doing here? You’re a service station and there’s a butchers counter. Are we really in a service station on the motorway?’

“And the fact is we are. These are all local people. That’s what we’re all about, locality.”

Eamonn asked: “Alexander does different pay? Does it make good business sense?”

“It’s really hard work to do this and it’s why no one else in this country or world would do it,” Alexander answered.

“It’s really hard to do but it does pay because people buy into what we offer. We offer something special, we always go out of our way to find things which are unique and delight people so yes it does work.”

Eamonn continued: “I just want to know Alexander, what is the set up on motorways? Are they all owned by the same people or a small group of people?

“Why is there no variation or deviation but you guys stand alone? Just explain the science behind that.”

“I think that other motorway services have a different business proposition. They are the state managers and they let franchises rent space from them whereas everything we sell within here is our own,” Alexander detailed.

“Everything we sell is of our own making or things we have bought in. We aren’t interested in chasing big brands, we’re interested in celebrating the producers and that’s our success and why other people can’t really replicate it.”

This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10am.

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