Local Businesses weathering the Storm

The Parishioner asked three local businesses to share their stories…

Bouncing back from COVID – The Stylish Dog Grooming Salon

Parishioner—How has Covid-19 affected  you and how are you doing?

It feels so strange to look back, but only four months ago Take The Lead Services was locking the doors of our grooming salon, doggy daycare, dog walking and dog training premises not knowing if the business would financially survive the lockdown.

 Not knowing if our team would ever be working together again was upsetting for all of us and we all really missed our four-legged buddies too.  They are like our extended family! But we really do feel like we are now ‘bouncing back’!  We humans might have been willing to sell our souls for a haircut over lockdown but we have discovered that there were a lot of dogs queueing up ready for the appointment book to open too! 

We know our clients love us because they tell us all the time but we found out as we came out of lockdown that they really meant it. Clients continue to use our services even though they don’t need to as they now work from home but they want to support us as a local family business! We are truly thankful for their loyalty and generosity! We always try to see the positive in any situation and in our case it is puppies, amazing clients and good health! EVERYONE seems to have got a puppy in the last three months so we are now seeing them in the grooming salon for their Puppy Pamper sessions and they are also attending our puppy training classes!  So not only do we get to bounce back but we get to bounce back with puppies!      Katrina—07903555424

PaninO & Go

Parishioner— A new business in a pandemic—how did it all begin?

I wanted to be somewhere where I didn’t have to report to people. I felt for some reason- and I’m not sure why – that I thought I could do something on my own, near home, something to let me get involved in my family, only few minutes away from schools . I would often think when I bought my coffee and jumped on a train to work, about how it would be to make my own cup of coffee in my own coffee shop….

The big adventure started with no knowledge of how to run a business or how to make a proper cup of coffee. We knew that our sandwiches would have great feedback from customers, and we just wanted to bring to Ash something different, something tasty, using the best ingredients. Our sandwiches are made in our kitchen every morning and throughout the day. Our menu is a combination of different breads like ciabatta, flat breads and paninis, with loads of generous fillings of the best quality.

The fact that our lovely customers keep coming back gives us confidence and we are happy to be part of the local community.                       Gabi & Alan—07415 119430 

Twin Larder—Zero Waste Shop

Parishioner—What’s it like keeping the community supplied in a pandemic?

As COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill, we were fortunate enough to be able to continue trading being classed as an essential shop when UK lockdown was announced.

We proudly provide our local community sustainable, eco-friendly, cruelty-free & ethical products from dry pantry essentials to household cleaning and personal care products – sourced locally where possible. As an unpackaged refill shop where customers can bring their own containers to fill and buy as little or as much as they need, with so many touch-points in the shop and with the increasing rate of infection meant we had to adapt very quickly for the business to survive.

It became apparent early on that it would be challenging to manage if we stayed open hence, we felt it was safer to close off the shop completely and pre-pack the food.

We have had to change our business model a few times in the last 4-months including moving all of our physical inventory to an online shop almost overnight to offer a ‘Click & Collect’ and a ‘Local Delivery’ service to those vulnerable and self-isolating / shielding at home to adapt with the ever changing situation and inline with the government guidelines to keep working safely during the pandemic.

Before even some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets had made changes we‘d already implemented social distancing and restricted entry to a couple of shoppers at a time just before lockdown and we had to put limits on toilet rolls, pasta, flour, dried yeast etc.  to make sure we had enough stock for everyone. 

We’ve recently started refilling customers’ containers again but due to the size of our shop we are not fully open yet. We are currently offering a ‘Drop-in Door Service’ 10am to 2pm and ‘Click & Collect’ with online bookings appointments 2-4pm Wednesday-Saturday. 

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all our lovely customers for standing by us. By shopping with us, not only are they supporting our small family business but also indirectly supporting other small businesses too – our amazing suppliers, a lot of them based locally, who kept us well stocked all throughout so we’ve been able to continue serving the local community. The continued support of local residents has been absolutely overwhelming and we’re very grateful to be of service to a wonderful community which has welcomed us with so much warmth. Thank you for embracing the refill revolution! –  Karla & Mark—01252 343226