Most of our town centre businesses have been severely impacted by Covid-19. Lockdown restrictions and closures bring specific pressures, but even outside that, reduced footfall and limits on customer numbers due to spacing requirements have caused problems for shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and service providers.
We thought it might be interesting to hear direct from businesses, and the way it has personally affected them. We can also give them a platform to highlight ways we can still support – online, home visits, takeaways etc.
First up, we spoke to Marta and Stuart Downs of Strawberry Grove, the cafe at the bottom of the High Street.
Stuart told us “We’re an independent family run collection of three small cafes in the Marlow area and opened an online store to keep us going through the first lock down when we saw there was a need from people who couldn’t get to the shops. From selling a range limited of just three grocery boxes at the beginning, we have expanded to include lots of fantastic stock with a real focus on local suppliers, all for next day delivery from our website.”
Marta explained that they had some very happy news during this time, but it did pile on the pressure: “It was lot of hard work at the beginning, especially when our first baby Alexander was born just weeks after the first lock down began, but we achieved our aim to keep all our staff in work and our customers coming back.“
“Our Marlow and Lane End cafes are open throughout lockdown, for collection, takeaway and delivery, and from this week we are selling an extra special Christmas Afternoon Tea as well as a range of Christmas Hampers coming soon, which have been really exciting to put together. “ (Website is http://strawberrygrove.co.uk/)
Stuart concluded “At the moment it’s like the world has been turned upside down, but it’s amazing to see the local community banding together and helping each other through this, as well as the innovation the crisis has stirred amongst people and businesses alike. We wanted to say a massive thank you to all our customers that are continuing to support us through this difficult time.“
Phone: 01628 486636