Katherine, Spence Bakery

“The initial stages of lockdown felt a little bit like being trapped in a Public Information film from the government, but without the reassurance that everything is going to be alright.

We closed for about 5 days pretty much after lockdown was announced, just to give ourselves some breathing space. We decided to try doing home deliveries, but we didn't expect such enthusiasm for the idea! After 7 days we realised it wasn't feasible so we stopped and my blood pressure returned to somewhere near normal! We have however continued to deliver to our most vulnerable and shielding customers on a weekly basis.

We also have a thriving wholesale business that runs alongside our retail shops, the minute the pubs and restaurants closed, that side of the business collapsed. It was really hard to furlough people who just want to work, who want to bake.

Changing the way we trade (from the window or doorway) with everyone queuing outside, has slowed everything down, but in a good way. At first we wanted to deal with the big queues as efficiently as possible and let people get on with their days or weekends, but now it feels a little more intimate.

We have had the opportunity to have 1-1s with our customers. They have all been so lovely, and so grateful that we've remained open throughout lockdown. It's really heartwarming.”