Get Something Back!

Last week I was chatting to the girls at Rosewood Truro florist, who had just met Simon and Ryan from Something Back.  They were very interested in what they were told, so I decided to investigate their venture and understand how it works.

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Something Back is a new and innovative reward scheme founded by Simon Chegwidden and Ryan Poon and based in Truro.

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If you buy goods or services from a local independent company listed on SomethingBack.co.uk, you will receive reward money to use in another local, independent businesses.  For example if you take out a mortgage and receive £150 reward money which you spend in a local salon or nail bar. You could purchase a new kitchen, receive £100 and spend it in a top end local restaurant.  Or even purchase a holiday from a chosen travel agent, receive £50 reward and treat the kids to a surf lesson at a local surf school.

At the moment Ryan and Simon have been assembling local businesses where you, the customer, can spend your reward money.  Already several Truro businesses are a part of Something Back, such as Archie Browns, B Juicy, Grounded, 108 Coffee House, Champagne & Nail Bar, The Cornish Food Box, and many more in Truro, Newquay and Falmouth.  Reward businesses are selected on their reputation, products and customer reviews.

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Something Back plans to officially launch this summer, once it has sufficient goods and services to offer customers.

You can see their video at their holding page www.somethingback.co.uk and follow them on face book www.facebook.com/SomethingBack.ltd or find and follow them on Twitter.

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If you are a business and would like to attract new customers by offering reward money to or would like to be considered as a local business where customers can spend their reward money then please get hold of Ryan on 07756532608 or Simon on 07747600828.

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Spoil your Dad this year on Father’s Day 21st June

This week I cornered several people who work in Truro and asked what they are planning to give for Father’s Day.  The responses included beer (popular answer), a trendy shirt, music, or just a big fat hug!  Whatever the perfect present for your dad, Truro has an amazing selection of gifts for Father’s Day.

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The Red Elephant Beer Cellar has an incredible range of beers from the UK and around the world.  You are spoilt for choice when choosing Dad a brew.  Also, The Cornish Food Box, stocks a fine variety of specialist drinks ranging from cordials to gin – all produced locally.

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The Scentstore, in Cathedral Lane has a broad range of men’s aftershave and fragrances, from firm favourites to the latest smellys!   They also offer a free wrapping service to make your gift look extra special.

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When I was a little girl, I always liked the smell of my Dad’s face after he had had a shave. The Body Shop is a great place to buy traditional men’s shaving brushes and foam if you think that is what will make your dad feel special!

The soft leather wallets and briefcases in Cascade, Pydar Mews is a real indulgence and struck me as the perfect gift.  I also thought, perhaps music or a DVD from HMV or Music Nostalgia would also make a great present (as long as you knew what they wanted!).

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Inhabit sells mugs, where you can personalise your own Father’s Day mug.  Their display included, the all essential man tin, as well as slate clocks, tomato ketchup and maps, (where Dad can indicate where he has travelled) – all original gift ideas!

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You can’t go wrong with a book.  Waterstone’s and Bonthyon Book store offer a wonderful choice.  Waterstone’s is definitely a haven where Dad’s can hang out and the ladies go shopping.

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Whirlwind Sports offers plenty of Father’s Day’s gifts, ranging from fashionable shirts, trendy T-shirts to rugby jerseys.   Maybe Dad would like to come and choose his gift with you and get those fresh new running trainers.

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Finally, if you are looking for a tasty gifts, Halzephron can help you find a mouth watering chutney, fiery mustard or zingy marmalade.  Also, the Tourist Information Office has a great selection of little gifts.  Chocolate is a fantastic gift for Father’s Day – he might even share some with you!  There are many specialist chocolate brands to choose from.  Have a peak at the counter at Midtown Deli or Uneeka! Finally the most important thing to do on Father’s Day is to give Dad a hug and spend time together – maybe a meal out in Truro….

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Cooking demos in the AGA shop in Truro!

Did you know that the AGA shop in Truro holds frequent AGA demonstrations throughout the year, such as ‘Make the Most of your AGA’, ‘Easy Entertaining’, ‘themed demonstrations (Christmas)’ and ‘cakes and bakes’.

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Many businesses in Truro have acknowledged that the traditional way of selling your products through the front doors is simply not enough.  Marketing in all its different guises is essential in helping you sell your product.  However, it does depend on what type of business you have, which leads me onto the AGA Shop that fully embraces all elements of customer engagement.

In anticipation of moving into our new house which already has an AGA, I decided to attend one of these fabulous demonstrations and learnt so much from ‘Make the most of your AGA’ with David Pengelly.  David took thirteen of us through baking, steaming, grilling and stir frying all within two hours!

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Upon entering the store on Quay Street, you could feel the heat in the room – you knew you were in the AGA shop by the warmth it was radiating.  It was great to see an AGA in action and I could not believe how much it could do and how easy David made it look!

David demonstrated to us on a slick shiny black four oven which was powered by gas.  His experience and love of the AGA is immense, he went on to explain that the beauty of the AGA is that it is a heat storage cast iron cooker and the reason it is special, is in its simplicity.

I discovered that the AGA was designed in 1922 by a blind man called Dr Gustaf Dalén.   Dr Gustaf Dalén was accredited with the Nobel Prize for his work in automated lighthouses.  After Dr Gustaf Dalén became blind in a lighthouse experiment, he then created the AGA, a cast-iron cooker capable of every kind of cooking simultaneously, through its two large hotplates and two ovens.

David explained that through all the years the fundamental AGA design has never changed.  The cookers are made in Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, which has a history of iron ore smelting.  Cookers come in different colours and styles, whilst ranging from two, three, four and five doors!  They are fuelled by gas or electric.  David explained that new AGA’s are made from 70% recycled AGA material and that some people trade in their old AGA’s to get modern ones.

Then down to the nitty gritty.  David described that under each chrome dome there is a boiling and simmering plate and inside the cooker, heat can get around to 330 degrees.  There are no temperature dials, it is all about cooking by position and time.

I learnt that you can grill your bacon, sausage and tomatoes on the highest runner, an inch from the top, whilst on the bottom you can fry your onions and leeks simultaneously.  Rule of thumb is ‘floor to fry and the top to grill’.  You also need to remember where the heat source is coming from and to turn your cooking around.

One of the benefits of the AGA is that it is east to keep clean.  Nobody likes cleaning ovens and so the idea with the cast iron is that any spillages of sauces carbonise away to powder and so maybe once every other month you might need to go in with a wire brush and brush this out.

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You can use an AGA for almost anything you can fry an egg and even popcorn on the surface, using a Bake-o-Glide (Teflon coated cotten) that sits beneath the dome lid.  You can also use a grid to make toast, similar to making camping toast!  You can make your own bread or rolls in an AGA, the smaller the loaf the higher the rack.

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If you are cooking a steak, you can fry it on the surface (on a hot pan) for a few minutes and then place it inside.  I had a surprise when out of the AGA, David produced two freshly cooked chickens, treacle pudding, a curry, meringues, sausages, tomatoes and bacon with no smell, and this is because all smells are vented out.

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David used some amazing equipment whilst showing us how to get the best out of an AGA, with the all essential long oven gloves (for the depth of the cooker), pans with handles that detach, as well as the AGA white dishes designed by Portmeirion, which is a remarkable  freezer-to-oven-to-tableware, perfectly designed to fit AGA runners!  This particular dish was used to make the quiche in.

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He then went on to show us how to cook carrots, broccoli and rice, all by bringing them to the boil, draining the water and then placing them inside the cooker and letting them steam (very healthy).  Then David made a colourful mango stir fry with fresh prawns in a sauté pan (his favourite).  Lastly to end of the evening he made an orange and blueberry sponge cake.

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One of the benefits of attending these demonstrations is that you can receive 10% off the products in the store.

Before this demo, I had no idea what an AGA is all about, but have seen several in Cornwall.  It was an enlightening event and I even discovered that you can dry your washing on it.  No longer is there need for a toaster, tumbledryer or kettle.  With the kettle always on the side, tea can always be on the go. Bliss!

At the end everyone tucked into the delicious feast prepared by David, presented by Julian and tidied by the delightful Magalie.  A great team effort from the AGA Truro store.

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If you have inherited an AGA (like me) or are considering buying one, or sharpening up on your skills in using your AGA, then these demonstrations are worthwhile. Please call the AGA Truro shop to book your place on 01872 278901

Make the most of your AGA – Total Control
18 June 2015 Time: 11:00 AM Ticket Price: Call to book
Covering all aspects of cooking on the most controllable AGA ever. Baking, steaming, grilling, stir frying etc are covered. You’ll be amazed at just how much it can do! Meet other AGA owners and taste the delicious freshly cooked food.

Make the most of your AGA
25 June 2015 Time: 11:00 AM Ticket Price: Call to book
From beginners to owners of 40 years plus. There is always something you did not know.

Themed Demonstration – Easy Entertaining
16 July 2015 Time: 11:00 AM Ticket Price: £15
Quick and easy dishes to replicate at home for friends and family. If you have a crowd coming this summer special is just the thing. Light bites, Mediterranean delights and deserts with seasonal fruits are just the beginning.

Make the most of your AGA
23 July 2015 Time: 18:00 PM Ticket Price: Call to book
From beginners to owners of 40 years plus. There is always something you did not know. Surprise yourself and see how much an AGA can really do.

Make the most of your AGA

20 August 2015 Time: 11:00 AM Ticket Price: Call to book
From beginners to owners of 40 years plus. There is always something you did not know. Surprise yourself and see how much an AGA can really do.

Make the most of your AGA

03 September 2015 Time: 18:00 PM Ticket Price: Call to book. From beginners to owners of 40 years plus. There is always something you did not know. Surprise yourself and see how much an AGA can really do.

Gread, Cakes & Bakes with David Pengelly
17th September 2015 Time: 11:00 AM Ticket Price: £15.00

Easy Entertaining with David Pengelly
24th September 2015 Time: 11:00 AM Ticket Price: £15.00
Quick and easy dishes to replicate at home for friends and family. If you have a crowd coming this summer special is just the thing. Light bites, Mediterranean delights and deserts with seasonal fruits are just the beginning.

Keep an eye out for the Christmas demonstration – I think I might send my husband along…