Introducing Imogen Haverty
Now that Tea Set staffer Imogen Haverty has reached the finals of the Great British High Street of the Year Awards, she’s the only one who is surprised.
Employer Vicky Wills and Tea Set customers already know how her dedication, friendly face and can-do spirit light up the gorgeous Cotswold tea rooms where she dispenses her magic.
More than just a waitress, 16-year-old Imogen has helped steer the Tea Set through its hectic opening months on Chippy high street, winning the hearts of everyone she encounters.
The Tea Set team have been so successful that the enterprising café has already been named Best Café in Bucks and Oxon in the 2016 Muddy Stilettos Awards – and they only opened their doors this March!
These are exciting times for Chipping Norton. Imogen and Chippy have both been shortlisted in the 2016 #GBHighSt competition, and they need your votes.
So vote for Imogen in the High Street Hero Under 25s category and vote for Chippy at Chippy2Win.com in the Small Market Town category – every day from every email you have until 18 November – and help Chippy win the double!
ECN chatted with Imogen to find out more about Chippy’s young GB High Street Queen of Hearts.
How long have you lived in Chipping Norton?
I’ve lived in Chippy all my life.
Did you know Vicky had nominated you as a High Street Hero?
I have to admit I had no idea!
How does it feel to have reached the final three in such a tough competition?
I’m very surprised, but definitely flattered.
What is your work history so far?
I worked in Number 24 café, before Vicky and Steve took it over and turned it into the tea rooms which opened in March this year. So 2016 has been a busy one!
What is the favourite part of the job for you?
I love making coffees, and speaking with customers.
What are the hardest and most challenging parts of your role?
That has to be dealing with lots of orders at once, for example during a lunch time rush, and making sure every customer is happy.
What tips do you have for being a productive team player?
Make sure everyone feels confident with the job they are doing, and always take the time to help each other out.
How important is it to be able to think for yourself at work?
It’s essential, as you often need to react quickly to the tasks at hand and deal with things which go wrong.
What is the most significant thing you’ve learned at the Tea Set?
The importance of team work, and good communication.
What skills do you want to improve or acquire over the new few years?
Lots of things, but I’m working to gain more confidence.
What is your ultimate career goal?
I’m undecided at this stage, but I enjoy working with people. So I think a future job would definitely have a people focus!
What’s special about working at the Tea Set?
I get on well with everyone in the cafe, so it really makes the job more relaxed.
Can you tell me how you solved or overcome a particular problem?
When the Tea Set first opened, I enjoyed helping train staff on how to use the coffee machine and till.
Can you give me an instance of how you enhance the customer experience?
I like to help customers with specific needs, such as dietary requirements, to ensure they still have a good experience at the Tea Set.
If you became a High Street Hero, how do you see yourself mentoring other young workers?
I will definitely continue to help any new members of staff settle into their roles, and share any advice or tips which I’ve learned along the way.
What tips do you have for giving customers a great experience?
Always be welcoming and friendly with customers, try to help with special requests and sort out any problems which crop up.
What do you like to do to relax outside of work?
I enjoy doing dance classes and seeing friends.
Can you sum up your feelings about the job?
Working at the Tea Set is a really rewarding part-time job for me, and I’ve learned so much. I’d love to be able to pass on my knowledge as a High Street Hero, and continue to gain new skills as part of a team.