It was a sad day in March when, like pubs and restaurants around the country, we were forced to close our doors following government guidelines.
We quickly set our minds to how we could support our local community in Hunsdon and Widford and try and keep our business going. James quickly adapted some of our most popular dishes to be suitable for take-away to finish at home – such favourites as Melanzana parmigiana, duck confit and fragrant beef curry, pilaf rice & raita. We’ve added weekly changing soups, pies and deserts to our menu. We’ve always served take-away fish and chips on Friday evenings and these are more popular than ever now. In the first week we had sold out before we’d even advertised it! We have to cap it at 70 fish & chips.
We opened our first pop-up shop on our terrace on a week after lockdown on 31st March and decided to keep it to just twice a week to make it manageable. Word quickly spread and we were busy from day one and it’s got busier and busier every week. We see new faces every week and it’s lovely to chat to our friends and neighbours, although sometimes the long queue means we have to keep chatting to a minimum! Most people come along to collect their pre-orders and pick up some extras from the pop-up terrace shop at the same time.
We also wanted to make sure that people who were self-isolating had access to fresh healthy food so we began offering a home delivery service to people in our village Hunsdon and neighbouring Widford.
As we had no idea how long we were likely to be closed we also began to sell a variety of wine, beer and spirits from our cellar. We have a variety of wine, local beer Tring Brewery lager, Campfire gin and soft drinks available to purchase from our pop-up terrace shop.
As we wanted to support many of our loyal suppliers like butchers Turner and George and The Chefs Deli, we soon added top quality fresh and frozen meat including steaks and salami, mozzarella and other deli treats as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s been a great way to help keep our suppliers ticking over with orders while we are closed as the closure of pubs and restaurants has a massive knock on effect to suppliers too.
People enjoy coming to the shop saying they enjoy seeing and chatting to people in the socially-distanced queue, new friends have been made and it’s brought our community together during this strange time. Lots of people have told us that they prefer to shop here than going to a supermarket because they feel safer as well as enjoying the quality of our produce. Others say they’re pleased to support us while our pub is closed and similarly we are really happy to give something back to our community.
We look forward to welcoming you to our pop-up shop in Hunsdon very soon!