How have things been for you during this unprecedented time?
We were really worried at the beginning of the lockdown,since our own coffee shop in Guildford and other coffee shops and restaurants that we supply closed. However, sales at the farm shops and delis we supply, along with our own web shop, has really picked up during this difficult time.
What has been the secret of your success in getting through it?
The secret of our success is our customers. Without them we are nothing! We have tried to stay positive during this time and have looked at possibilities rather than obstacles. Since our own coffee shop closed, we've focused on still keeping a personal touch in our communication with our customers through social media, e-mail, texts and through home deliveries (which we have now had to move to Royal Mail).
Despite the challenges, have you found yourself in any humorous situations?
When one of our lovely customers said she had a little gift for us, and was waiting for us when we delivered coffee to her doorstep with a box containing some facemasks. I pictured some homemade PPE facemasks but, since she's in the beauty industry, they were beauty facemasks for our own well-being. How thoughtful is that? Also, in the car at the beginning, when both Chris and I made home deliveries together, we made a day out of it. There was lots of laughter and good spirits.
What advice would you have for other local businesses?
Stay connected with your customers and other local businesses, and help each other. Be kind!
Any new initiatives that you are planning for this summer?
Since our business have changed direction with more online shopping, we need to further look into ways of reducing waste. We are looking into partnering up with a charity that is close to our hearts.
Why is it important that people ‘Stay Loyal to Local’ going forward?
To have a network around you with people that know you is vital in a crisis. If we stay loyal to local it improves the local economy; reduces pollution through deliveries from far away; and usually gives you higher quality in your food. It is a no brainer!
Lastly, what is your own favourite thing about the local area?
The abundance of local food producers. We are very lucky indeed.
Stay Loyal to Local campaign