Essential Now and Always!

What is regarded as ‘essential’? Right now, it includes supermarkets, food shops, health shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, bicycle shops, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices and banks. Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational too.

Research shows that for every £1 spent in a small or medium-sized business, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a ‘larger’ business. Consider what our independent business owners bring to the community, how they’ve gone above and beyond over the last 10 months to provide service whenever we need it. We spoke to a few about their experience to date.

The Bakery on Hamilton Road has remained open throughout lockdown and Andy Cole and partner Mel Menzies are very thankful to customers who have supported them.

They launched a delivery service in March 2020 and introduced new products, such as tea and coffee, which proved to be a lifeline for customers in isolation. The free delivery service is now well-established with orders going out every Wednesday and Saturday. 

You’ll find The Bakery at 116 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe IP11 7AB. Call 01394 273933 to place an order with payment by BACS or on invoice.

Back in March 2020, Paul Branch and his team at Fruit & Flowers found themselves adapting by making deliveries to people that couldn’t go out. Paul said it was like “going back in time” but it’s something that they’re going to continue to offer post-lockdown if they can, believing that if they keep the orders going and if hospitality work comes back then they will “flourish”.

“It’s massively important that people continue to support their local independents in Felixstowe, especially right now. People definitely will be going back to perhaps old-fashioned ways and support little businesses, not just me but the whole community, the whole town, it would definitely be a big bonus,” says Paul.

Fruit & Flowers at 101 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe

You’ll find Fruit & Flowers at 101 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe IP11 7BL. For opening hours and more, find @greengroser on Facebook or phone 01394 548166.

Conkers Pets is an independent, family-run pet shop where Mike and Barb Moran have been at the helm since 2011.

Mike admits the first lockdown was a huge learning curve with health, safety and logistical issues to overcome. He and Barb invested in website improvements, scrapped delivery charges and introduced contactless delivery whilst also revamping the shop so that customers can adhere to social distancing measures. 

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our amazingly loyal customers for sticking with us through these strange times and for their patience and understanding. They have given us so much support and we are truly humbled.”

Conkers Pets is at 110–112 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe IP11 7AB. Orders can be placed online or by telephone for ‘contactless delivery’ (same day if ordered before noon): www.conkerspets.co.uk / 01394 286124

The Felixstowe Fishmonger at 9-11 Crescent Road is open and offering free delivery anywhere in Suffolk. Ian, the owner, has also introduced a new click and collect service enabling customers to phone in orders or to order via Facebook. 

Ian said: “It’s massively important that people continue to support their local independents during this time. We’ve been very lucky with the support we’ve had so far, frankly without it we wouldn’t be here. I think most of the independents in the town are feeling this lockdown a little bit more. The town is very, very quiet so obviously we’re relying on our local customers to help keep the doors open.”  

Fresh fish from The Felixstowe Fishmonger at 9-11 Crescent Road

For opening hours and more information email [email protected], call 01394 276356 or find them on Facebook: @Felixstowefishmonger

S J Summers Butchers at 111 High Road West saw unprecedented demand when the first lockdown was announced with queues forming from 7am. In fact, Stephen was forced to limit purchases to ensure there was something for everyone.

“The last thing I wanted to happen was to have to turn customers away empty handed,” says owner Stephen Summers, “so we introduced restrictions for a short time. Subsequent lockdowns have been easier to manage because our customers know it’s unnecessary to panic buy.” 

Trade continues to be brisk and thanks to your support, Stephen has recruited a new full-time butcher and is considering having an apprentice. 

You can find out more on Facebook, look for Summers Butchers, and order by calling 01394 282408. 

Underwood Hardware & DIY served customers from the front door when the first lockdown was announced but when long queues started to form, David (Wyard) and Paul (Armbruster) set up a ‘phone and collect service’ from the rear of the shop in Penfold Road.

“Most days we received 300-400 phone calls, along with text messages, emails and WhatsApps,” says Paul. “As things began to settle down, customers were served from the front of the shop again. The order by phone system was still in place, as was the delivery service which proved popular, especially with those shielding. This system continued until the end of September when we reopened the shop properly.

“We worked very hard ordering, restocking and delivering. We were surprised by the number of people who had never been in the shop before and it’s fantastic to see so many returning.”

Underwood Hardware & DIY at 151 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe

Underwood Hardware & DIY is located at 151 Hamilton Road. For opening hours visit www.underwoodhardware.co.uk or call 01394 284685.

Kev at The Bread Basket at 283 High Street, Walton continues to serve fresh baked produce, all baked fresh Monday to Saturday from 7am to 3pm, as well as soups and jacket potatoes, and is currently looking into launching a delivery service.

Due to his staff having to shield, Kev is running the bakery on his own and is very thankful for all the customers who have supported him. Take a look at his website and Facebook page and you’ll understand why. Yum!

The Bread Basket at 283 High Street, Walton

You can contact Kev through his Facebook page @TheBreadBasket or by calling 01394 276584.

These are just a few of the local business owners who need and clearly deserve your support. There are many, many more. There are several online directories, including our own, where it’s easy and free to add your business – go to www.spotlightmagazine.co.uk/directory – and follow the directions. 

Please make your money work for the local economy so we have a solid base on which to build for the future when this ends. You hold that power in your pocket!

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