Tester & Jones celebrates 15th anniversary
Hot on the heels of winning ‘Micro Business of the Year’ at the ACES East Sussex Business Awards 2019, Tester & Jones is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
Established in October 2004, Tester & Jones is Crowborough's only independent funeral director and is proud of the care it takes in arranging every single funeral which is entrusted to its care.
Tester & Jones was established by Glenys Jones, and Stephen Tester, who had worked together previously at another funeral director in the town and felt they could offer Crowborough and the surrounding areas a compassionate and professional funeral service.
“We were and still are a team,” says Glenys. “Both Stephen and I really care about the community here in Crowborough; when we started out, we wanted to support the people here and offer traditional care and attention to our families. Looking after people and working with them to make those all important arrangements for their loved one’s funeral is still what motivates us.”
Since Tester & Jones was formed, it has gone from a standing start to conducting more than 200 funerals a year!
“It was a really special time in the early days and it was so exciting when our phone started to ring,” remembers Glenys. “Even though we were both really experienced in the funeral industry, those first few funerals were nerve wracking. We are so very grateful to those families who supported us in the early days and put their trust in us and, of course, to everyone who has done so since.”
Although compassion and care is key to what it does, Tester & Jones is also proud of its professionalism. It is an active member of SAIF (The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors) and follows its strict code of conduct.
One area which sets Tester & Jones apart from other funeral directors is the continued support it gives families after a funeral has taken place. From the beginning, they told people that their door was always open after the funeral for coffee and a chat. But they felt that they could be doing more to support families.
So, plans came together for a Bereavement Group – which celebrated its 10th anniversary this summer. The group has grown to 100 people, who meet once a month at Barnsgate Manor, while there is also have a smaller group.
“Over the years we have built a wonderful team around us and we really couldn’t have got to the position we have today without them and the amazing support of the people of Crowborough,” says Glenys.
Stephen adds: “I don’t think we’ve changed our approach at all since the day we opened – we always wanted to offer a personal service and we’ve continued to provide that. We’ve both remained very hands-on in the business and I don’t see this changing for a good while yet.”