Jempsons is a noble emporium originally based in the ancient Cinque Port of Rye in East Sussex. They’ve been going a good long while, have a supermarket out in the country that attracts the celebrity set (most folk can’t afford it), a sheik bakery-come-coffee shop in Rye, and most recently have taken over, done up, and re-opened a failing bakery in King’s Road, St. Leonards. It too is a bakery-come-coffee shop, and has tables and chairs both inside and outside – for those sunny days when you fancy a lazy sit down and a snack among the dealers, dog shit and occasional pan-handler that sidles your way.
I was in there the other day to buy a loaf of bread and ‘something nice for tea.’ The bread was hellish expensive, but you feel good buying it as your loaf is personally sliced by one of Jempsons’ blonde young things (if you can attract their attention away from admiring their nails and the endless games of patience they play by the till).
My loaf arrived and I was perusing the cakes. It was rather late in the day so there wasn’t that much choice, however I spotted two Swiss Buns. Swiss Buns, for those who don’t know them, are a small cake of slightly sweet bread covered in icing sugar. They are generally the cheapest cake you can buy.
Not at Jempsons.
Ninety five pence. That’s 95p to those who have fallen off their chair in shock. Luckily, we’ve stopped asking the psychological 99p: Charge 99p – people consider they’re getting a good deal. Charge £1.00 and they think you’re expensive. 99p is dead and buried, but only because no one uses 1p pieces anymore. Now, the psychological amount is 95p.
NINETY FIVE PENCE! For a small bit of bread and some icing sugar.
If I wasn’t a religious man I would probably swear. If I wasn’t pious I might say that 95p for a Swiss Bun is a FUCKING RIP OFF! I might even go so far as to say that Jempsons are SCROFULOUS BASTARDS out to squeeze the last penny from the people of St. Leonards.
Even 50p (that’s £2.00 for 4) would be expensive. BUT 95p!
This 95p Swiss Bun malarkey lead me to think that maybe Jempsons, like FaceBook, are going to float themselves on the stock market. After all, with profit like that who wouldn’t want to buy shares?
You wait, they’ll be a Jempsons IPO soon. The Swiss Bun tells me so.