A CUSTOMER assistant surprised a grandmother-of-seven by buying her a ruby wedding anniversary cake in Waitrose.

Shopper, Valerie Mitchell, 68, of Earley Avenue, visited Waitrose on her birthday, July 9, to look for her ruby wedding anniversary cake.

Valerie married her husband Derek on July 12, 1980 at the United Reform Church in Andover.

She saw the celebration cake but was having some trouble getting it off the shelf.

The 68-year-old went to the customer service desk to speak to a staff member, and Matt Flake, was able to assist her.

“I told Matt it was my birthday and wanted the cake for my ruby anniversary and was expecting to pay for it.

“But Matt said it as been a horrible few months, so have the cake on me.

“I was so taken back by his kindness as this has never happened to me before,” Valerie said.

Andover Advertiser: Derek Mitchell, left, and Valerie Mitchell, rightDerek Mitchell, left, and Valerie Mitchell, right

The celebration’s cake was deep and round, with piped flowers on the icing.

It was marked up at £13 in the store.

Valerie said she was hoping to share her anniversary cake with friends and family at Weyhill Fair pub, but they ended up camping next to their caravan in a nearby field.

There were four other couples who took their motor homes on Valerie’s wedding anniversary, on July 12.

“My message to Matt is thank you so much for the cake.

“It was lovely and a great surprise.

“I hope Matt gets all the praise from the bosses at Waitrose.

“It was such a lovely gesture and I wanted to give him a hug but because of Covid I couldn’t.

“It helped make our day better because we had to cancel our party on July 11 at the Hayward Suite Wolversdene Club in Andover,” she added.

Looking back at her wedding day, Valerie said: “I met my husband in the George pub in 1978.

“We met by chance and Derek was chatting me up for his friend, but he decided we got on, so we ended up going out together.

“The friend who was initially interested in me was the best man.

“The wedding was everything I could have dreamed of. I felt like a princess in my wedding dress.

“I remember receiving the proposal in the letter as Derek was away in the army.”