‘Never fear’ - Butcher reassures community he will deliver in wake of second lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:30 04 November 2020

Ali Dent outside his shop in Hilgay, near Downham Market.  Picture: Chris Bishop

Ali Dent outside his shop in Hilgay, near Downham Market. Picture: Chris Bishop


A long-standing village shop owner and butcher has reassured his community he will deliver in more ways than one in the wake of a second lockdown.

A J Dent Butchers and Groceries shop. Picture: Ali DentA J Dent Butchers and Groceries shop. Picture: Ali Dent

Ali Dent, who runs A J Butchers and Groceries shop at Hilgay, near Downham Market, said he is “here to help” as the country heads into lockdown again on Thursday, November 5.

His store, which has been around for more than 100 years and was previously run by his grandfather and father, is one of the oldest in the area.

Mr Dent, who was made an MBE, said the lockdown could affect trade but that the shop was doing better than it was before Covid.

He said: “When it first happened we were flat out for several weeks and the trade sort of dried up a little bit but it’s now starting to perk up again, which is good. We were quite busy this morning anyway.

“We sell a few groceries but not many so I think most people go to the supermarkets.

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“Meat wise we should be alright. The groceries weren’t last time as we were only getting one eighth of what we ordered, so we had to go out and about and to Cash and Carry to get stuff to cover the shop.”

The shop owner has reassured his local community to “never fear” as he will be delivering to his elderly and vulnerable customers for free.

He added: “We’ll try and help anyone we can. We haven’t let anyone down yet.

“We do free twice weekly deliveries which we’ve done for donkey’s years, we’ve been in business for over 100 years and we’ve always had free deliveries.”

Speaking about the general feeling of the local community, he said people were “fed up” by the national lockdown.

He added: “We’re not too bad here because we haven’t had that many cases but I think a lot of people think it’s not fair because we’ve kept quite clear and people have done what they should do around this way.

“You think ‘oh not again’ because you miss your family, you know my grandson, daughter and son, you miss out seeing them which is a shame for us but we’re hoping they find a serum very quickly.”

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