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Panic buyers welcome - we even have pasta, says deli

PUBLISHED: 12:51 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:51 19 March 2020

A sign outside the Norfolk Deli in Hunstanton which says panic buyers are welcome  Picture: Chris Bishop

A sign outside the Norfolk Deli in Hunstanton which says panic buyers are welcome Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

An award-winning deli says it would welcome panic buyers, as it battles to survive in the teeth of the coronavirus crisis.

Mark Kacary at the Norfolk Deli, which he has run for six years on Greevegate at Hunstanton  Picture: Chris BishopMark Kacary at the Norfolk Deli, which he has run for six years on Greevegate at Hunstanton Picture: Chris Bishop

After nearby supermarket shelves were stripped of essentials, Mark Kacary said more shoppers came through the door at the Norfolk Deli in Hunstanton.

He said small businesses needed locals to support them all year round as a first choice if they are to survive.

“You don’t really get people coming into places like here to panic buy,” he said of his tongue-in-cheek sign.

Mr Kacary said the business, on Greevegate, only survived because of the holiday trade. It remains to be seen how coronavirus will hit seaside traders, with Easter and the traditional start of the season just weeks away.

The Norfolk Deli on Greevegate, at Hunstanton  Picture: Chris BishopThe Norfolk Deli on Greevegate, at Hunstanton Picture: Chris Bishop

He opened a coffee shop on the nearby High Street in December, weeks before the virus broke out in China, which he fears could soon fall victim to the disease.

“It will close when the government says cafes and restaurants must close, which I suspect will be in the next seven days,” he said.

Rent bills will soon fall due for both businesses, which employ eight people.

Asked if the government could do more to help, Mr Kacary said: “They could be more like the French instead of telling us: ‘Oh great, there are going to be government-backed loans.

“What’s to say we’re going to be able to pay it all back once this is all over?”

The Deli, which sells 40 different sandwiches and more than 60 types of cheese also offers a virtual farmers’ market.

It has won a clutch of awards and is currently short-listed for a national farm shop award.

Mr Kacary moved to Norfolk from Berkshire to fund the business in 2014 with his wife Rosie.

Hunstanton’s High Street was quieter than normal today.

Shelves at nearby supermarkets have been emptied over the last few days, while alcohol hand gel, hand wash and store cupboard foods have been in short supply in the resort.

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