We have had a surprisingly amazing start to 2015 with one of our strongest Januarys to date, despite predictions of the normal post-Christmas slump.

Thanks to the cold weather coming in, and the building work going on opposite, we’ve had an increase in hot food and heating product sales.

The village is 1,000ft up, so getting to us, no matter of the direction, you have to travel up that steep hill. When the bad weather comes, people come to us rather than go out. Life here means we don’t have any mod cons and customers are stocking up on logs, bottled gas and kindling – they’re spending their money on trying to keep warm.

Trying to keep warm is reflected in our food sales, too, and fresh produce has done really well. Of course, salad doesn’t sell but swedes, carrots and turnips are strong because they’re healthy and filling in the winter months. I’m glad to say that our bakery sales have gone up by 20-30% in the past 12 months, and we always sell the products that come in each day.

My next goal is to extend my premium jam range and change the display of my local produce. It is something I’ve always wanted to do because it suits our life here and looks good for the affluent customers.

I’m not predicting it will fly out, but I’m happy to invest, because it has a higher profit margin than a lot of other products so we can afford to let it sit there.

Do you sell warm food in your store? How have the sales been this winter? Let us know in the comments section.