Indies of the South East adapt to feed communities
As part of its wide-ranging support for small retailers and producers during the COVID-19 crisis, the Guild of Fine Food has been gathering and sharing innovative ideas from across the UK’s independent food and drink retail community. With many in the South East nimbly adapting their offerings, the Guild of Fine Food hopes these stories will inspire the sector and shine a spotlight on the small businesses that are stepping up to become part of the solution.
Among those providing a vital lifeline to people across the region, is Cheese Etc in Pangbourne near Reading, which is offering to collect additional items of shopping for customers in self isolation, as an extension to its free local delivery service. Others include Rushfields Farm Shop in Poynings, Sussex, recently launching a delivery service including veg boxes, fruit boxes, dairy boxes and butchery boxes, and Thyme & Tides Deli in Stockbridge, Hampshire, which is now offering a home delivery service to surrounding villages, featuring frozen meals and deli items, following the temporary closure of its bistro.
While waving the flag for the agile independents going the extra mile to ensure that shoppers can get the provisions they need, the Guild of Fine Food has also created a dedicated COVID-19 online resource, offering tailored information, advice and tips for the fine food trade. Open to all, the webpage features a live map of food and drink businesses that have stock available or need supplies, connecting producers, distributors and retailers, as well as suppliers of equipment and services.
The food industry can also sign up to receive the Guild of Fine Food’s new support bulletin via email, which will feature content specifically relevant to independent food retailers, the producers who supply them and the consumers who support them.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, commented: “We could all do with some positive news at the moment and the independent food scene is coming up with the goods in more ways than one. It fills me with pride to see how our members and the wider retail market have adapted their businesses overnight, in order to serve their customers more effectively and safely during this period, and I think this says a lot about the people behind the patchwork of diverse independents across the country. These businesses have stepped up when we need them the most and they deserve our support in return. I’d encourage everyone to check out what their local delis, cheesemongers, butchers and bakers are doing and use the hashtag #supportlocal on social media to share their stories.”
The Guild of Fine Food’s COVID-19 support resource is open to all and can be accessed at gff.co.uk/support
To arrange an interview with John Farrand or for further information, please contact any of the following:
Sam Brice at Freshly Ground PR
+44 (0) 7961 635960
Amy Brice at Freshly Ground PR
+44 (0) 7717 893123