Ever since the initial COVID19 lockdown on 23 March when we were all told to stay at home, life has never been the same; for everybody. Any hopes of this ghastly pandemic easing early were quickly dashed as the number of fatalities rapidly increased, and the government insisted we isolate for much longer than the initially proposed three weeks.
Here in Cornwall, as in the rest of the UK, initial lockdown had an immediate massive effect on the local economy. Bookings for Easter were cancelled, and the prospect of a normal summer rapidly disappeared.
For us at the Original Looe Bakery, the first casualty was our small café. As a provider of food stuffs to the local economy we were allowed to deliver to our local customers, but even when some lockdown rules were relaxed the café, which was a regular meeting place for members of our local community to meet up with old friends, stayed firmly closed as there simply wasn’t enough space to operate safely under the 2metre rule.
Like the majority of small business owners, in those early days I feared for the future of the bakery. Many Cornwall businesses rely on summer to help keep running through the lean times of winter. With minimal income coming into the bakery and the prospect of tourism being effectively banned throughout 2020, even with government help, the future looked incredibly grim.
Thankfully, restrictions were released that allowed us to re-open our takeaway counter and that has been a financial lifeline. Tourists were given the green light to travel throughout the UK and that has helped us recover some of our losses, but more importantly remain in business. Even though we’re far from out of the woods I feel now is an appropriate time to reflect.
So, to our customers - whether you who have taken advantage of our local delivery, have bought drinks, cakes and pastries from our takeaway or have purchased our Cornish Pasties and Cream Teas by post, a massive Thank You to you all!
Lastly, to the fantastic Original Looe Bakery staff who have worked through some incredibly challenging times and continue to turn up to work with a smile on your face, I simply couldn’t have done it without any of you. You're the best!