Cineworld Pick-and-Mix vendor makes Jersey Rich List
Despite recent sugar tax levies, former hire car representative Lillian Greaves inducted amongst island’s wealthiest residents
One-time potato picker, waitress and hire car representative Lillian Greaves was today ranked 7th on the island’s rich list, with an estimated net worth of £436m, after her waterfront Pick-and-Mix franchise recorded bumper profits for a fifth consecutive year; and she cashed-in lucrative returns from investments in hotdog manufacturing, car parks and dentistry.
We spoke with Mrs Greaves about her successes.
‘It all started roughly eight years ago’ she explained ‘And it was all a bit of a mistake if I’m honest.’ ‘I left my Saturday girl in charge one weekend because I had to fly to Southampton at short notice. But as I was rushing around to get things done, I inadvertently added an extra zero to the pricing displays of all the sweets. Pick-and-Mix therefore went from £4.50 per 100 grams, to forty-five quid.’ ‘When I came back on Monday’ she said ‘there was over a hundred and thirty grand in the till.’ ‘So’ she continued, ‘that very same day, I ramped up chilli nuts to fourteen pounds a cone, and Pepsi to a tenner – and people still bought them!’ ‘I’d paid off my mortgage by the end of the week.’
‘It’s been a rollercoaster’ she said ‘That’s for sure. And if you’d told me four years ago that I’d spend my fifty-eighth birthday sandwiched between Tony Buckingham and the Barclay Brothers, I’d have ripped your arm off!’
We asked Mrs Greaves about whether the imposition by Cineworld of a UK sugar tax on her products had dampened sales.
‘Don’t make me laugh’ she said ‘It would be like slapping GST on crystal-meth and hoping people switched to Olbas Oil. You see it in people’s eyes when they trudge in. It’s a primeval thing. They just simply have to get into their bodies chocolate mice and sherbet saucers. It’s why I removed all the lids from the plastic compartments. They just kept getting torn off’
Not everyone however shares Mrs Greaves’ buoyancy.
‘This whole sugar tax is a deal-breaker’ explained father of three, Ned Graham. ‘We went to see The Incredibles 2 on Sunday: my wife and I, along with Toby and Jade. By the time we’d got in and picked up some drinks and sweets, I’d spent £286. I couldn’t believe it. But here’s the thing: that very same visit the previous week – before the sugar tax – would have only cost £283’
‘Do you know?’ he said ‘I sat down when we got home, and I worked out that it would actually be cheaper for us to buy an ex-display model Smart TV and a years’ subscription to Amazon Prime than go to the cinema…. and we’d still have enough left for 5 kilos of popcorn, that we would then get delivered to the house. For free.’ ‘It really makes you think’ he said ‘doesn’t it?’