As I sit here in my garden on this perfect Spring Sunday, I am struck by how insanely crazy the last four weeks have been. This time last month life was ‘normal’, the shop was open everyday with customers coming, filling their jars and bottles, having a chat and enjoying life, there was some talk of a Corona virus but it wasn’t affecting us.
But then, on my 50th birthday, life as I knew it changed. I’m not one for letting a party opportunity pass me by, but on this occasion, my big birthday came and went without even so much as a birthday cake!
As the weeks progressed, the weirdness grew and the changes that came were almost instantaneous, suddenly, one Tuesday morning we closed the door to customers and switched to a call and collect service.
For a tiny business like mine, it was a miracle we set this up so quickly, thank god for my Mum! I didn’t know how this would work out but as you may have seen from my Facebook posts, it’s been really successful. We’re getting between 20 and 30 orders a day which is allowing us to have the orders ready for collection the following day. It’s been exhausting adapting to this new way of working, and I think like many, I am feeling a degree of low level anxiety about my health and that of my family.
My beautiful shop now resembles more of a warehouse than a shop, and there’s a high chance that I might go crazy if I have to weigh out one more bag of flour! I certainly never set out to package everything in paper bags – that was not the point of the shop but it’s still better than plastic.
On the plus side, my dog, Piggy has enjoyed lots of time with the dog walker as she isn’t very busy at the moment, and the two of us (Pigs and me, not me and the dog walker!) have had some lovely evenings sat in the garden watching the sun go down. I’ve also taken some time out to plant some fruit and veg from seed, having not tried it before, I am intrigued to see if it’s a success.
If you know me, you’ll know that I’m an artist at heart, business is not my thing, and I am certainly not driven by money. I opened the Zero shop to help the environment, and I have continued to keep it open as I want to help the most vulnerable in our community at this extraordinary time. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for all my customers but I really want to reach those who might be alone, or scared, who need help and food. If you know of anyone who needs a delivery of food, then please let me know, or get them to get in touch with us, we’re here to help.
I was reminded yesterday that it’s Easter this weekend, I have been so busy that I think it could have easily passed me by. I am going to close the shop on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday and take some time out, I think I need it.
Thank you all for your support, I've been overwhelmed by your comments and praise. If you’d like to place an order, please give us a call on 07391 490098, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure you get your fix of bread flour, oats, chocolate nuts or whatever it is that floats your boat!.
Happy Easter x