The owner of Jolly Nice Farm Shop and Kitchen near Minchinhampton has revealed the efforts her staff went to to ensure they could continue to provide for isolated and vulnerable customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rebecca Wilson, owner of the farm shop said staff quickly rose to the challenges of Covid-19 by establishing a new delivery and ‘contactless collection’ services for older and vulnerable people shielding during lockdown.
The service has involved the Jolly Nice team making hundreds of phone calls each week to vulnerable customers and preparing their orders safely and securely. In order to ensure the safest and most reassuring possible visit for customers, the team have invested in new safety measures across the four acre site.
The new measures have included the installation of an outdoor sink for customer handwashing, screens at all tills and a one way system, and as the lockdown began to lift, Jolly Nice experienced the busiest week since its history as new measures helped to ensure the safety of those visiting.
Mrs Wilson said:“When lockdown hit, our cafe had to close overnight but our team have all worked incredibly hard to keep our business open. I’m proud of the way they have adapted to new roles over the past three months, making hundreds of phone calls to speak to our vulnerable customers every week and packing their orders.
“Many isolated customers have told us that Jolly Nice has been a real lifeline, and we’ve also looked out for those who’ve been working so hard in our community with our ‘Free Flapjacks to Fuel NHS Workers, Farmers and Key Workers’ scheme and deliveries of cakes to local hospitals.
“We invested in a new outdoor sink, screens at the tills and a one way system so that shopping at Jolly Nice has been safe and reassuringly pleasant for local customers. The fresh air under the canopy is brilliant – our free-range butchery, fruit, vegetables and flowers are all outside as we’re a unique farm shop on the site of an old filling station.
“Everyone has pulled together, and it has been great how our more than seventy local suppliers have rewarded our loyalty over the years by helping us keep well stocked, after a text from Julian at Manor Farm in Grittleton we had eggs on the shelves within the hour and Melissa and family at Woefuldane Dairy have worked non stop to keep milk, cream and butter on our shelves at a time when many British dairy farmers with complex supply chains have had to throw away thousands of litres of milk, which is so upsetting.
She added: “We founded Jolly Nice as third generation dairy farmers struggling to make ends meet.
“We really hope that more and more people choose to shop locally for a sustainable future for the patchwork of small family farms in the Cotswolds.”