'Our best ever year': The businesses booming as lockdown lifts

Butcher in shop with jars in front of him

Local butcher Sam Papworth says people are spending more than usual this year on food for their Christmas dinner. - Credit: Archant

Now Christmas is 'back on,' these are the must-have items being snapped up in Norfolk as the county prepares to go into tier two.

Patio heaters Sales have gone up as people plan to meet up with family and friends outdoors. A spokesman from Norwich Camping and Leisure, Yarmouth Road, Blofield, said: "We've sold out of all our stock of patio heaters and the big problem is re-supply. The average cost is £150 and we've had a lot of enquiries about them."

Christmas meat from butchers  Sam Papworth, of Papworth Butchers, with shops in North Walsham, Fakenham, Swaffham and Sheringham, said: "Christmas orders are now coming in thick and fast. We've sold quite a lot of geese which is an expensive option. I think people are living it up more than usual, thinking that if they've got less people, they will go to town. We are on track for a very good Christmas."

Christmas dinner delivered to your home or workplace A new concept that's taken off in Covid is food delivered to your door as going to a restaurant is more tricky. Joel Metcalf and Justin Ross set up OffSeasons food delivery service in Norwich back in October. Already they've got 128 Christmas dinner orders (some for several people) booked, delivering up to December 24 full menus of chilled items and still taking bookings up until December 11. "It's gone crazy, we are getting a lot of orders from offices who can't give their staff the usual Christmas party so are ordering a dinner delivered to the workplace for an at your desk socially distanced Christmas lunch," said Mr Metcalf. "Also Zoom video conferences whereby everyone gets a package of food delivered to eat together while on the call. Some slots have sold out, and we're now thinking of doing pizzas one day a week as well as the traditional Christmas dinners."

Two men one with arms crossed standing outside building

Justin Ross and Joel Metcalf of OffSeasons. They have 148 bookings already for Christmas dinners delivered to your door. - Credit: Archant

Shop keeper at deli standing at counter with pastries in front of him

Mark Kacary, who runs the Norfolk Deli with his wife Rosie, said their sales of Christmas hampers were 140pc up on any other year in business. - Credit: Norfolk Deli

Christmas food hampers. Mark Kacary, who runs the Norfolk Deli, Hunstanton with wife Rosie, said sales last month of their hampers had gone up by 140pc compared to every other November in any other year. They've been running the deli for seven years. "Out of those sales, 85pc are online, we have sold to businesses who are giving their staff a hamper instead of a Christmas party, we are selling for Zoom calls. The furthest we've sent one to is Aberdeenshire and Jersey. We've had someone from Auckland, New Zealand order one for her mother in Norfolk. Around 80pc of our hampers are bespoke, people choose their own items online. We've had to stop doing the most expensive hamper because we ran out of baskets, but most range from £20-£300 and the average spend is £95-£100."

Picture of hot dinners ready to be delivered

The roast dinners being delivered to people's doors from OffSeasons. - Credit: Archant

Trips to see Santa. Ian Russell, owner of Wroxham Barns, said the annual Santa Experience attraction was sold out by the end of October but after the government put Norfolk into tier two, some families had to cancel because of the restriction in households mixing. But as soon as they released tickets back for sale, they all sold out again. "There are fewer places offering a trip to see Santa this year. We've also got two shopping events and now singing is allowed, we've booked a choir to sing carols."

Christmas trees Salle Farms, near Reepham, opened up last weekend for the first time this year. Tom Barwick, manager, said: "It was our best ever, we were 20-30pc up on last year. It was great, brilliant. I just wonder though whether people were just coming to get their Christmas tree earlier, as there is nothing else to do and lots of doom and gloom."

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Norfolk Black turkeys Godwick Turkeys, based at Godwick, near King's Lynn now offer an online order service as well as a 'farm gate collection' or even home delivery. Business owner Rob Garner said: "This has been a challenging year for all and we understand people will be looking to make Christmas that extra bit special this year. But both our Norfolk Black and Norfolk Bronze turkeys are selling fast."

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