Businesses diversify to serve communities in need

08 April 2020, 12:19 PM
  • We take a look at three businesses that have adapted quickly to changing circumstances to provide essential services
Businesses diversify to serve communities in need

Expanding online offerings
The Wensleydale Creamery has adapted its online mail order offerings to give customers a wider selection of produce available to be delivered to the door.

The company has launched an Online Deli section to its website with offerings from local producers usually available at the Visitor Centre. This includes a selection of crackers, chutneys, biscuits and chocolate, as well as a range of Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese. A range of gifts and homeware is also available to purchase online for the first time.

Visitor Centre director, Trish Cannon said, “Here at Wensleydale Creamery, we are determined to do whatever we can to bring happiness to homes and support our customers to get their favourite cheese delivered to their door. Whilst supermarkets are facing increasing demand and pressure, we don’t want to see people go without the everyday essentials – we hope our online deli will ensure everyone is able to easily access our award-winning cheeses, as well as supporting other local Yorkshire businesses whose delicious food products and locally-made gifts are available through our mail order.”

Entrepreneurial spirit
Two young farmers have re-directed their business from wholesale to delivering straight to customers. Hannah Kinston and John Davies (pictured), the founders of British Food Box, had been supplying cheese and butter to local pubs, retailers and restaurants but lost business overnight due to required closures. The pair sought a way to continue and support the wider community by opening a pop-up shop on the farm, selling a range of products from local producers including meat, sugar and cakes.

The team has also now switched to a home delivery service, delivering essentials to vulnerable members of the community within a 10-mile radius.

Hannah said, “Overnight we sat down and we listed all the aspects of our business and how we thought the coronavirus may affect them (this was very hard to predict as no-one can predict a day at a time at the moment, let alone weeks and months). We then looked at what we could do over this tough period for us all that would bring a large benefit to our community; we recognised how many elderly and vulnerable people were already struggling and we could see this getting worse for them. We are also young farmers so we always support the British Agricultural Industry too as much as we can.

At this moment in all of our lives money doesn’t have a value - a car you drive is just four wheels! The most important thing is our community and trying to help everybody around us so that we can all get through this together.”

Utilising production
Several distilleries have been utilising their supplies of ethanol and switching production to create much-needed hand sanitiser. Wirral-based gin company Tappers Gin has also pledged to set aside a portion of all proceeds so they can produce, and then donate, sanitiser to front line workers and others most in need during the crisis.

Founder and MD Dr Steve Tapril explains, “We originally thought about fundraising for the hospital and others but it was obvious that money wasn’t the issue – people needed sanitiser. We settled on the idea of retailing 200ml bottles on our website and putting a portion of the proceeds to fund donations to those most in need. Our main objective at the outset was to donate in bulk to Arrowe Park Hospital. Once everyone became aware of what we were doing, we have been inundated, and it has been heartbreaking to hear about the struggle that people are facing. There is a two-week turnaround time for online orders, and we have sold approximately 800 in 48 hours of the 1,000 bottles we had available to us. We are desperately trying to find more.”

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