An encounter with a badger is not the usual start to a Wednesday morning at the JoJo office. Not wishing to mislead you, I must admit that it was not the stripy, short-legged mammal of Wind in the Willows fame which greeted us on Wednesday, but a bus driver who proudly announced his name to be ‘Badger’. With Badger at the helm, the JoJo team boarded the bus which was bound for the company warehouse in Newport. In honour of JoJo’s 20th anniversary, the London and Newport offices were getting together at the warehouse for a big celebration.
The bacon baps ordered in for the journey did not last long as we crossed London and headed for the M4 and beyond. As we drew up to the warehouse, it seemed the head office staff had already started off the party and were enjoying some drinks outside, surrounded by a halo of JoJo balloons. The London team was first shown around the warehouse. JoJo always has one eye on the trends and Karen Fry, JoJo’s Operations Director, staying true to this commitment, led her tour of the warehouse in bright pink stilettos. At the protest of Laura on account of this being poor health & safety practice, Karen reassured us: “The warehouse is not operable today!” All were impressed with the new warehouse, which JoJo moved into last December and it seemed a testament to the commitment of the staff and the growth of the company over the last 20 years.
After the tour, the teams tucked into some lunch, although most could not keep their minds off pudding after glancing the cakes laid out in the boardroom during the tour. The JoJo cake competition, organised in honour of our 20th birthday, had certainly inspired the bakers amongst our ranks. There were over 50 entries to the competition. Some had taken the competition seriously indeed – Gavin (Health and Safety Exec), Mags (Supply Chain) and Katie (from the Customer Service team) had created – and I use ‘created’ here as ‘baked’ simply will not do – what can only be described as a masterpiece in iced goods. The cake, which must have been at least two feet long, was a giant, 3D, baked version of JoJo’s logo, complete with iced accessories depicting JoJo, our bunny mascot, getting up to all sorts. However, tough competition meant this cake only secured 3rd place after the judging had taken place!
1st prize was awarded to Rasa (from the distribution team) for her enormous round cake topped with berries galore and made up of literally dozens of layers. 2nd prize went to Nikki (Garment Tech) for her sweet little JoJo baby patchwork blanket design. Others had taken the competition a little less seriously, with one memorable entry being a ‘Microwavable Muffin’ complete with instructions – “place ingredients in mug, stir, pop in the microwave for 2 mins, enjoy!” Whatever your taste, JoJo’s selection had the answer and I think it fair to say that both teams enjoyed (perhaps a little too much?) cake.
I’m glad to report the day did not entirely revolve around cake, although I’m sure some (not mentioning any names…) would not have been disappointed if it had. Mixed teams made up of the Newport and London offices tackled the JoJo quiz together. While some struggled to remember the names of the four train stations in Monopoly, others fought over the perfect score in bowling. The last section of the quiz focused on questions specific to JoJo, a topic both teams should have been very familiar with! After we were asked how many international accounts are held with JoJo, all were shocked to learn that even Mark, JoJo’s International Business Development Manager, could not give exactly the right answer!
JoJo’s Jenny Wright took great enjoyment in judging the football shootout, using the opportunity to give some encouraging advice to the participants (“That was terrible! I could have done it better myself!”), and some of the Newport team proved themselves a dab hand at Hoop-la.
The party ended with the drawing of the Raffle prizes and all crossed their fingers for a chance of winning the Kindle or even just a bottle of bubbly.
Congratulations to Laura and both teams on 20 years of beautiful JoJo! And a huge thank you to the party organising team who made it all happen and helped raise over £300 for our company charity Nema.
Clem, Marketing & PR Department.