‘It looks promising’ - Cheese business’ optimism as it welcomes back customers
PUBLISHED: 11:59 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:59 30 June 2020
John Killet and Martin Mather, who run the Cheese Shed and Cheese Truckle on the Shepherds Business Park on Norwich Road, Lenwade, supply products to businesses across Norfolk.
In March, the Norfolk public came to its aid to purchase stock that otherwise would have gone in the bin when many of its customers were forced to closed.
The support allowed the business to pay suppliers and put them in a strong position to go forward ahead of pubs, hotels and restaurants reopening on Saturday.
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Mr Killet said: “It went amazing really, probably better than what I thought. I did think there might not be anybody there but chefs were getting ready for the weekend.
“It has been same as usual busy along north Norfolk coast, I have been there today [Monday] and it looks really promising with lots of places getting ready.”
While many of his customers were shut, smaller businesses such as butchers meant he was able to work two days a week during lockdown.
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He said: “For me personally, there have been a few business people in the area that have supported me and kept me going. The shops we did supply really did get behind me, they were busier but they bought more and they tried new things to support me.
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“Even now I still think to myself, is this really happening? It still seems a really weird dream and its surreal that something can completely effect everything like it has.
“We have gone from being really busy thinking we have cracked it to the whole country is on its knees and rebuilding from scratch. It’s not just my industry, it’s everything and that is bizarre.
“We haven’t been making money but we have been doing something. I managed to get most of the money owned to me to pay suppliers which was the biggest relief for me and puts us in a stronger position to go forward.”
He said the next few months would prove important with the end of furlough payments and seeing whether people could afford to eat out.
Mr Killett said: “The next big time is Christmas, if anybody is going to make money this year it is going to be then. If social distancing is still in place they cannot have big bookings.”
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