Born in 1802, Victor Hugo was a French poet, novelist and dramatist of the Romantic movement.

Hugo is one of the greatest and best-known French writers.

Born in 1939, Greggs is a Newcastle upon Tyne based bakery with 1,950 stores at time of writing.

Greggs is the largest bakery in the UK and makes very lovely sausage rolls.

Victor Hugo and Sausage Rolls.

It was Victor Hugo that once said:

Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come.

And it was Greggs that once said:

The wait is over… 3.1.19 #vegansausageroll.

Northern Pride.

I am really proud of Greggs.

A brand whose time has come.

I am a guy living in the North East of England.

A place I really like.

But a place that is still all-too-often characterised by Jimmy Nail, Sting, Cheryl Whatevershescalledthesedays’ arse-tattoo, where the shipyards used to be, where Newcastle Brown used to be made, where silly football clubs have self-destruct buttons and that place the Northern Powerhouse forgot.

I see Greggs as a genuine local hero.

A retail success story.

A brand with a sense of now-ness.

It knows what it is for.

And why it works now.

A strong, fun ‘brand-of-the-people’ that we can watch, enjoy and admire.


Greggs is a decent quality, clever, patient, steady monster of a business.

A smartly run and smartly marketed monster.

Quietly going about its business and achieving, for the the first time in 2018, a turnover of one billion pounds.

Employing 22,000 people.

And still the home of the Festive Bake.


Greggs seems to bring people together too, I think.

With little bragging or bluster.

It makes me feel nostalgic.

It’s simple and straight forward so that I understand it.

It’s built on common sense.

It’s fun.

And, business-wise, it is probably the best thing about the NE for me since I arrived here in 1987.

I love Greggs.

And if you love Greggs too, here’s a canny little Greggs Locator.

Just for you.


  1. They also do an excellent line in backwards facia signs that reflect the wrong way round – so the right way round – in the expensively themed and dressed windows of the posh shop opposite.

    As the poet Mike Garry wrote in his magnificent ‘Ode to Anthony H Wilson’ – its ‘the voice of an honest Northern blagger’. Long may it reign.

    • Hello Shaughn

      ‘Not heard from you for a while.

      I am glad you are well.

      There is 1 billion pounds worth of pastry being sold by Greggs every year now.

      Amazing really.

      From our little Northern town.

      Stay tuned, Sir!


  2. A great business. Moving from nutritional baddie to goodie. A soft spot in my heart. And the vegan sausage roll is excellent. Their social media voice is brilliant. My brother went to Sunderland Uni and I also have a weird pride for what they’ve done because I knew them when they were small. I feel the same about Blur.

    • Greggs is a ‘nice’ brand I think.

      Probably still quite nutritionally naughty in many ways.

      But yes.

      I’m with you Mark.

      They give me a warm feeling.


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